Bible Reading Plan

Saturday, August 12


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Nehemiah 3:15-5:13

15Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, the official of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He built it, covered it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah at the king’s garden as far as the steps that descend from the city of David.16After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, official of half the district of Beth-zur, made repairs as far as a point opposite the tombs of David, and as far as the artificial pool and the house of the mighty men.17After him the Levites carried out repairs under Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, the official of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district.18After him their brothers carried out repairs under Bavvai the son of Henadad, official of the other half of the district of Keilah.19Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the official of Mizpah, repaired another section in front of the ascent of the armory at the Angle.20After him Baruch the son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the Angle to the doorway of the house of Eliashib the high priest.21After him Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another section, from the doorway of Eliashib’s house even as far as the end of his house.22After him the priests, the men of the valley, carried out repairs.23After them Benjamin and Hasshub carried out repairs in front of their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, carried out repairs beside his house.24After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah as far as the Angle and as far as the corner.25Palal the son of Uzai made repairs in front of the Angle and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs.26The temple servants living in Ophel made repairs as far as the front of the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower.27After them the Tekoites repaired another section in front of the great projecting tower and as far as the wall of Ophel.

28Above the Horse Gate the priests carried out repairs, each in front of his house.29After them Zadok the son of Immer carried out repairs in front of his house. And after him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, carried out repairs.30After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah carried out repairs in front of his own quarters.31After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, carried out repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, in front of the Inspection Gate and as far as the upper room of the corner.32Between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants carried out repairs.

Work Is Ridiculed

1Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews.2He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?”3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, “Even what they are building—if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!”

4Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity.5Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have demoralized the builders.

6So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

7Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry.8All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.

Discouragement Overcome

9But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.

10Thus in Judah it was said,

“The strength of the burden bearers is failing,

Yet there is much rubbish;

And we ourselves are unable

To rebuild the wall.”

11Our enemies said, “They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.”12When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, “They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,”13then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows.14When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”

15When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.16From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.17Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon.18As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.19I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another.20“At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

21So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared.22At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.”23So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.

Usury Abolished

1Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers.2For there were those who said, “We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain that we may eat and live.”3There were others who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine.”4Also there were those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards.5“Now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others.”

6Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words.7I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, “You are exacting usury, each from his brother!” Therefore, I held a great assembly against them.8I said to them, “We according to our ability have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?” Then they were silent and could not find a word to say.9Again I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?10“And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury.11“Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them.”12Then they said, “We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say.” So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise.13I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise.

Nehemiah’s Example

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

25Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.26I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is.27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.28But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.29But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;30and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

32But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;33but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,34and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.35This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

36But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry.37But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well.38So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

39A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.40But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

Proverbs 21:5-7

5The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,

But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

6The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue

Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.

7The violence of the wicked will drag them away,

Because they refuse to act with justice.