October 4

Nehemiah 5

1Then there was a great outcry from the people and their wives against their countrymen the Jews.

2For there were some who said, We, our sons and our daughters, are a great number: let us get grain, so that we may have food for our needs.

3And there were some who said, We are giving our fields and our vine-gardens and our houses for debt: let us get grain because we are in need.

4And there were others who said, We have given up our fields and our vine-gardens to get money for the king’s taxes.

5But our flesh is the same as the flesh of our countrymen, and our children as their children: and now we are giving our sons and daughters into the hands of others, to be their servants, and some of our daughters are servants even now: and we have no power to put a stop to it; for other men have our fields and our vine-gardens.

6And on hearing their outcry and what they said I was very angry.

7And after turning it over in my mind, I made a protest to the chiefs and the rulers, and said to them, Every one of you is taking interest from his countryman. And I got together a great meeting of protest.

8And I said to them, We have given whatever we were able to give, to make our brothers the Jews free, who were servants and prisoners of the nations: and would you now give up your brothers for a price, and are they to become our property? Then they said nothing, answering not a word.

9And I said, What you are doing is not good: is it not the more necessary for you to go in the fear of our God, because of the shame which the nations may put on us?

10Even I and my servants have been taking interest for the money and the grain we have let them have. So now, let us give up this thing.

11Give back to them this very day their fields, their vine-gardens, their olive-gardens, and their houses, as well as a hundredth part of the money and the grain and the wine and the oil which you have taken from them.

12Then they said, We will give them back, and take nothing for them; we will do as you say. Then I sent for the priests and made them take an oath that they would keep this agreement.

13And shaking out the folds of my robe, I said, So may God send out from his house and his work every man who does not keep this agreement; even so let him be sent out and made as nothing. And all the meeting of the people said, So be it, and gave praise to the Lord. And the people did as they had said.

14Now from the time when I was made ruler of the people in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year till the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, for twelve years, I and my servants have never taken the food which was the right of the ruler.

15But earlier rulers who were before me made the people responsible for their upkeep, and took from them bread and wine at the rate of forty shekels of silver; and even their servants were lords over the people: but I did not do so, because of the fear of God.

16And I kept on with the work of this wall, and we got no land for ourselves: and all my servants were helping with the work.

17And more than this, a hundred and fifty of the Jews and the rulers were guests at my table, in addition to those who came to us from the nations round about us.

18Now the food made ready for one day was one ox and six fat sheep, as well as fowls; and once in ten days a store of all sorts of wine: but all the same, I did not take the food to which the ruler had a right, because the people were crushed under a hard yoke.

19Keep in mind, O my God, for my good, all I have done for this people.

Nehemiah 6

1Now when word was given to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arabian and to the rest of our haters, that I had done the building of the wall and that there were no more broken places in it (though even then I had not put up the doors in the doorways);

2Sanballat and Geshem sent to me saying, Come, let us have a meeting in one of the little towns in the lowland of Ono. But their purpose was to do me evil.

3And I sent men to them saying, I am doing a great work, so that it is not possible for me to come down: is the work to be stopped while I go away from it and come down to you?

4And four times they sent to me in this way, and I sent them the same answer.

5Then Sanballat sent his servant to me a fifth time with an open letter in his hand;

6And in it these words were recorded: It is said among the nations, and Geshem says so, that you and the Jews are hoping to make yourselves free from the king’s authority; and that this is why you are building the wall: and they say that it is your purpose to be their king;

7And that you have prophets preaching about you in Jerusalem, and saying, There is a king in Judah: now an account of these things will be sent to the king. So come now, and let us have a discussion.

8Then I sent to him, saying, No such things as you say are being done, they are only a fiction you have made up yourself.

9For they were hoping to put fear in us, saying, Their hands will become feeble and give up the work so that it may not get done. But now, O God, make my hands strong.

10And I went to the house of Shemaiah, the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us have a meeting in the house of God, inside the Temple, and let the doors be shut: for they will come to put you to death; truly, in the night they will come to put you to death.

11And I said, Am I the sort of man to go in flight? what man, in my position, would go into the Temple to keep himself safe? I will not go in.

12Then it became clear to me that God had not sent him: he had given this word of a prophet against me himself: and Tobiah and Sanballat had given him money to do so.

13For this reason they had given him money, in order that I might be overcome by fear and do what he said and do wrong, and so they would have reason to say evil about me and put shame on me.

14Keep in mind, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat and what they did, and Noadiah, the woman prophet, and the rest of the prophets whose purpose was to put fear into me.

15So the wall was complete on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.

16And when our haters had news of this, all the nations round about us were full of fear and were greatly shamed, for they saw that this work had been done by our God.

17And further, in those days the chiefs of Judah sent a number of letters to Tobiah, and his letters came to them.

18For in Judah there were a number of people who had made an agreement by oath with him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah, the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken as his wife the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah.

19And they said much before me of the good he had done, and gave him accounts of my words. And Tobiah sent letters with the purpose of causing me fear.

Nehemiah 7:1-4

1Now when the building of the wall was complete and I had put up the doors, and the door-keepers and the music-makers and the Levites had been given their places,

2I made my brother Hanani, and Hananiah, the ruler of the tower, responsible for the government of Jerusalem: for he was a man of good faith, fearing God more than most.

3And I said to them, Do not let the doors of Jerusalem be open till the sun is high; and while the watchmen are in their places, let the doors be shut and locked: and let the people of Jerusalem be put on watch, every one in his watch, opposite his house.

4Now the town was wide and great: but the people in it were only a small number, and the houses had not been put up.

Psalms 99

1The Lord is King; let the peoples be in fear: his seat is on the winged ones; let the earth be moved.

2The Lord is great in Zion; he is high over all the nations.

3Let them give praise to your name, for it is great and to be feared; holy is he.

4The king’s power is used for righteousness; you give true decisions, judging rightly in the land of Jacob.

5Give high honour to the Lord our God, worshipping at his feet; holy is he.

6Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those who gave honour to his name; they made prayers to the Lord, and he gave answers to them.

7His voice came to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his witness, and the law which he gave them.

8You gave them an answer, O Lord our God; you took away their sin, though you gave them punishment for their wrongdoing.

9Give high honour to the Lord our God, worshipping with your faces turned to his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.

Revelation of John 4

1After these things I saw a door open in heaven, and the first voice came to my ears, like the sound of a horn, saying, Come up here, and I will make clear to you the things which are to come.

2Straight away I was in the Spirit: and I saw a high seat in heaven, and one was seated on it;

3And to my eyes he was like a jasper and a sardius stone: and there was an arch of light round the high seat, like an emerald.

4And round about the high seat were four and twenty seats: and on them I saw four and twenty rulers seated, clothed in white robes; and on their heads crowns of gold.

5And out of the high seat came flames and voices and thunders. And seven lights of fire were burning before the high seat, which are the seven Spirits of God;

6And before the high seat there was, as it seemed, a clear sea of glass; and in the middle of the high seat, and round about it, four beasts full of eyes round about.

7And the first beast was like a lion, and the second like an ox, and the third had a face like a man, and the fourth was like an eagle in flight.

8And the four beasts, having every one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and inside: and without resting day and night, they say, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, Ruler of all, who was and is and is to come.

9And when the beasts give glory and honour to him who is seated on the high seat, to him who is living for ever and ever,

10The four and twenty rulers go down on their faces before him who is seated on the high seat, and give worship to him who is living for ever and ever, and take off their crowns before the high seat, saying,

11It is right, our Lord and our God, for you to have glory and honour and power: because by you were all things made, and by your desire they came into being.

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