Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. "Selah"
God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.
Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.
God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress.
When the kings joined forces, when they advanced together,
they saw [her] and were astounded; they fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there, pain like that of a woman in labor.
You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish shattered by an east wind.
As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever. "Selah"
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.
Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness.
Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments.
Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers,
consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation.
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world,
both low and high, rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle:
Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me--
those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him--
the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough--
that he should live on forever and not see decay.
For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others.
Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves.
But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.
This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. "Selah"
Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.
But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. "Selah"
Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases;
for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.
Though while he lived he counted himself blessed-- and men praise you when you prosper--
he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light [of life].
A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself." So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
"King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,
and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
"The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.
They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.
And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today.
This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.
Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
"I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.
"On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'15
"Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' " 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied.
16'Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'19
"So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me.
But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen--
that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles."
At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane."
"I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable.
The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.
King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do."
Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?"
Paul replied, "Short time or long--I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."
The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them.
They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, "This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment."
Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."