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Matthew 23:1-12; Numbers 22:41; Numbers 23:1-26; Song of Solomon 3:6-11; Song of Solomon 4:1-16; Song of Solomon 5:1 (New International Version)

Seven Woes

23:1-7pp -- Mk 12:38,39; Lk 20:45,46 23:37-39pp -- Lk 13:34,35

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.' 8 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he saw part of the people.

Balaam's First Oracle

1 Balaam said, "Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me." 2 Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Then Balaam said to Balak, "Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet with me. Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you." Then he went off to a barren height. 4 God met with him, and Balaam said, "I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram. 5 The LORD put a message in Balaam's mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message." 6 So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the princes of Moab. 7 Then Balaam uttered his oracle: "Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. 'Come,' he said, 'curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.' 8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? 9 From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs!" 11 Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!" 12 He answered, "Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?"

Balaam's Second Oracle

13 Then Balak said to him, "Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will see only a part but not all of them. And from there, curse them for me." 14 So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah, and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, "Stay here beside your offering while I meet with him over there." 16 The LORD met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message." 17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the princes of Moab. Balak asked him, "What did the LORD say?" 18 Then he uttered his oracle: "Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor. 19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill 20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. 21 "No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them 22 God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. 23 There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, 'See what God has done!' 24 The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till he devours his prey and drinks the blood of his victims." 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!" 26 Balaam answered, "Did I not tell you I must do whatever the LORD says?" 6 Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant? 7 Look! It is Solomon's carriage, escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel, 8 all of them wearing the sword, all experienced in battle, each with his sword at his side, prepared for the terrors of the night. 9 King Solomon made for himself the carriage; he made it of wood from Lebanon. 10 Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem. 11 Come out, you daughters of Zion, and look at King Solomon wearing the crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced.

Lover

1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. 2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. 3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. 4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. 5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. 6 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. 7 All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions' dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards. 9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. 10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! 11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon. 12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. 13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, 14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices. 15 You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.

Beloved

16 Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.

Lover

Friends

1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.
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