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Srpanj 24

Ezra 9:1-15
1. After we finished all these things, the leaders of the Israelites came to me and said, "Ezra, the Israelites have not kept themselves separate from the other people living around us. And the priests and the Levites have not kept themselves separate. The Israelites are being influenced by evil things done by the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites.
2. The Israelites have married the people living around us. The Israelites are supposed to be special, but now they are mixed with the other people living around them. The leaders and important officials of the Israelites have set a bad example in this thing."
3. When I heard about this, I tore my robe and my coat to show I was upset. I pulled hair from my head and beard. I sat down, shocked and upset.
4. Then everyone who respected God's Law shook with fear. They were afraid because the Israelites who came back from captivity were not faithful to God. I was shocked and upset. I sat there until the evening sacrifice, and the people gathered around me.
5. Then, when it was time for the evening sacrifice, I got up. I had made myself look shameful while I was sitting there. My robe and coat were torn, and I fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God.
6. Then I prayed this prayer: My God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to look at you. I am ashamed because our sins are higher than our heads. Our guilt has reached all the way up to the heavens.
7. We have been guilty of many sins from the days of our ancestors until now. We sinned so our kings and priests were punished. Foreign kings attacked us and took our people away. They took away our wealth and made us ashamed. It is the same even today.
8. But now, finally, you have been kind to us. You have let a few of us escape captivity and come to live in this holy place. Lord, you gave us new life and relief from our slavery.
9. Yes, we were slaves, but you would not let us be slaves forever. You were kind to us. You made the kings of Persia be kind to us. Your Temple was ruined, but you gave us new life so that we can rebuild your Temple and repair it like new. God, you helped us build a wall to protect Judah and Jerusalem.
10. Now, God, what can we say to you? We have stopped obeying you again.
11. You used your servants the prophets to give these commands to us. You said, "The land you are going to live in and own is a ruined land. It has been ruined by evil things the people living there have done. They have done very bad things in every place in this land. They have made this land dirty with their sins.
12. So Israelites, don't let your children marry their children. Don't join them. Don't want the things they have. Obey my commands so that you will be strong and enjoy the good things of the land. And then you can keep this land and give it to your children."
13. What has happened to us is our own fault. We have done evil things, and we have much guilt. But you, our God, have punished us much less than we should have been. We have done many terrible sins, and we should have been punished worse. And you have even let some of our people escape captivity.
14. So we know that we must not break your commands. We must not marry those people. They do very bad things. God, if we continue to marry these bad people, we know you will destroy us. Then there would be no one from the Israelites left alive.
15. Lord, God of Israel, you are good, and you still have let some of us live. Yes, we are guilty, and because of our guilt, not one of us should be allowed to stand in front of you.

Ezra 10:1-44
1. Ezra was praying and confessing. He was crying and bowing down in front of God's Temple. While Ezra was doing that, a large group of the Israelites— men, women, and children—gathered around him. They were crying.
2. Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, spoke to Ezra and said, "We have not been faithful to our God. We have married the people living around us. But, even though we have done this, there is still hope for Israel.
3. Now let us make an agreement before our God to send away all these women and their children. We will do that to follow the advice of Ezra and the people who respect the laws of our God. We will obey God's law.
4. Get up, Ezra. This is your responsibility, but we will support you. So be brave and do it."
5. So Ezra got up. He made the leading priests, the Levites, and all the Israelites promise to do what he said.
6. Then Ezra went away from the front of God's house. He went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While Ezra was there, he didn't eat food or drink water. He did that because he was still very sad. He was very sad about the Israelites who came back to Jerusalem.
7. Then he sent a message to every place in Judah and Jerusalem. The message told all the Jewish people who had come back from captivity to meet together in Jerusalem.
8. Those who did not come to Jerusalem in three days like the officials and elders said would lose their property and be removed from the group.
9. So in three days all the men from the families of Judah and Benjamin gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people met together in the Temple yard. They were very upset because of the reason for the meeting and because of the heavy rain.
10. Then Ezra the priest stood and said to them, "You people have not been faithful to God. You have married foreign women. You have made Israel more guilty by doing that.
11. Now you must confess your sins to the Lord, the God of your ancestors. You must obey his command. Separate yourselves from the people living around you and from your foreign wives."
12. Then the whole group who met together answered Ezra. They shouted, "Ezra, you are right! We must do what you say.
13. But there are many people here. And it is the rainy time of year, so we cannot stay outside. This problem cannot be solved in a day or two because we have sinned in a very bad way.
14. Let our leaders decide for the whole group meeting here. Then let every man in our towns who married a foreign woman come here to Jerusalem at a planned time. Let them come here with the elders and judges of their towns. Then God will stop being angry with us."
15. Only a few men were against this plan. They were Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah. Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite also were against the plan.
16. So the Israelites who came back to Jerusalem accepted the plan. Ezra the priest chose men who were family leaders. He chose one man from each tribe. Each man was chosen by name. On the first day of the tenth month, the men who were chosen sat down to study each of the cases.
17. And by the first day of the first month, they finished discussing all the men who had married foreign women.
18. These are the names of the descendants of the priests who married foreign women: From the descendants of Jeshua son of Jozadak and Jeshua's brothers, these men: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah.
19. All of them promised to divorce their wives. And then each one of them offered a ram from the flock for a guilt offering. They did that because of their guilt.
20. From the descendants of Immer, these men: Hanani and Zebadiah.
21. From the descendants of Harim, these men: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah.
22. From the descendants of Pashhur, these men: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
23. Among the Levites, these are the men who married foreign women: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (also called Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
24. Among the singers, this is the man who had married a foreign woman: Eliashib. Among the gatekeepers, these are the men who had married foreign women: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
25. Among the Israelites, these men married foreign women: From the descendants of Parosh, these men: Ramiah, Izziah, Malkijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malkijah, and Benaiah.
26. From the descendants of Elam, these men: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah.
27. From the descendants of Zattu, these men: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza.
28. From the descendants of Bebai, these men: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.
29. From the descendants of Bani, these men: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth.
30. From the descendants of Pahath Moab, these men: Adna, Kelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.
31. From the descendants of Harim, these men: Eliezer, Ishijah, Malkijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
32. Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.
33. From the descendants of Hashum, these men: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.
34. From the descendants of Bani, these men: Maadai, Amram, Uel,
35. Benaiah, Bedeiah, Keluhi,
36. Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
37. Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu.
38. From the descendants of Binnui, these men: Shimei,
39. Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah,
40. Macnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,
41. Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah,
42. Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.
43. From the descendants of Nebo, these men: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah.
44. All these men had married foreign women, and some of them had children with these wives.

Psalms 88:6-10
6. You put me in that hole in the ground. Yes, you put me in that dark place.
7. Your anger presses down on me like a heavy weight. It's like one wave after another pounding against me. Selah
8. You made my friends leave me. They all avoid me like someone no one wants to touch. Like a prisoner in my house, I cannot go out.
9. My eyes hurt from crying. Lord, I pray to you constantly! I lift my arms in prayer to you.
10. Do you do miracles for the dead? Do ghosts rise up and praise you? No! Selah

Proverbs 21:23-24
23. People who are careful about what they say will save themselves from trouble.
24. Proud people think they are better than others. They show they are evil by what they do.

Acts 24:1-27
1. Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea. He brought with him some of the older Jewish leaders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They went to Caesarea to make charges against Paul before the governor.
2. Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to make his accusations. Tertullus said, "Most Honorable Felix, our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. For this we all continue to be very thankful.
4. But I don't want to take any more of your time. So I will say only a few words. Please be patient.
5. This man is a troublemaker. He causes trouble with the Jews everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group.
6. Also, he was trying to make the Temple unclean, but we stopped him. You can decide if all this is true. Ask him some questions yourself."
9. The other Jews agreed and said it was all true.
10. The governor made a sign for Paul to speak. So Paul answered, "Governor Felix, I know that you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you.
11. I went to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago. You can learn for yourself that this is true.
12. These Jews who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone at the Temple or making trouble with the people. And I was not making trouble or arguing in the synagogues or any other place in the city.
13. These men cannot prove the things they are saying against me now.
14. But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way (which these Jews say is not the right way), and I believe everything that is taught in the Law of Moses and all that is written in the books of the prophets.
15. I have the same hope in God that these Jews have—the hope that all people, good and bad, will be raised from death.
16. This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and before everyone.
17. "I was away from Jerusalem for many years. I went back there to take money to help my people. I also had some gifts to offer at the Temple. I was doing this when some Jews saw me there. I had finished the cleansing ceremony. I had not made any trouble, and no one was gathering around me.
19. But some Jews from Asia were there. They should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. They were there!
20. Ask these men here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the high council meeting in Jerusalem.
21. I did say one thing when I stood before them. I said, 'You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from death!'"
22. Felix already understood a lot about the Way. He stopped the trial and said, "When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide what to do with you."
23. Felix told the army officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring whatever he needed.
24. After a few days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jew. Felix asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus.
25. But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about things like doing right, self-control, and the judgment that will come in the future. He said, "Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you."
26. But Felix had another reason for talking with Paul. He hoped Paul would pay him a bribe, so he sent for Paul often and talked with him.
27. But after two years, Porcius Festus became governor. So Felix was no longer governor. But he left Paul in prison to please the Jews.