19Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.20A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.22But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.2The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.3So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.4But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”7So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong.13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you,14and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.15Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
1How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.2Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is no one to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.3After affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place. All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress.4The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to her appointed festivals. All her gateways are desolate, her priests groan, her young women grieve, and she is in bitter anguish.5Her foes have become her masters; her enemies are at ease. The LORD has brought her grief because of her many sins. Her children have gone into exile, captive before the foe.6All the splendor has departed from Daughter Zion. Her princes are like deer that find no pasture; in weakness they have fled before the pursuer.7In the days of her affliction and wandering Jerusalem remembers all the treasures that were hers in days of old. When her people fell into enemy hands, there was no one to help her. Her enemies looked at her and laughed at her destruction.8Jerusalem has sinned greatly and so has become unclean. All who honored her despise her, for they have all seen her naked; she herself groans and turns away.9Her filthiness clung to her skirts; she did not consider her future. Her fall was astounding; there was none to comfort her. “Look, LORD, on my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed.”10The enemy laid hands on all her treasures; she saw pagan nations enter her sanctuary— those you had forbidden to enter your assembly.11All her people groan as they search for bread; they barter their treasures for food to keep themselves alive. “Look, LORD, and consider, for I am despised.”12“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the LORD brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?13“From on high he sent fire, sent it down into my bones. He spread a net for my feet and turned me back. He made me desolate, faint all the day long.14“My sins have been bound into a yoke ; by his hands they were woven together. They have been hung on my neck, and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has given me into the hands of those I cannot withstand.15“The Lord has rejected all the warriors in my midst; he has summoned an army against me to crush my young men. In his winepress the Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judah.16“This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.”17Zion stretches out her hands, but there is no one to comfort her. The LORD has decreed for Jacob that his neighbors become his foes; Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them.18“The LORD is righteous, yet I rebelled against his command. Listen, all you peoples; look on my suffering. My young men and young women have gone into exile.19“I called to my allies but they betrayed me. My priests and my elders perished in the city while they searched for food to keep themselves alive.20“See, LORD, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death.21“People have heard my groaning, but there is no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my distress; they rejoice at what you have done. May you bring the day you have announced so they may become like me.22“Let all their wickedness come before you; deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my sins. My groans are many and my heart is faint.”
1How the Lord has covered Daughter Zion with the cloud of his anger ! He has hurled down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.2Without pity the Lord has swallowed up all the dwellings of Jacob; in his wrath he has torn down the strongholds of Daughter Judah. He has brought her kingdom and its princes down to the ground in dishonor.3In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.4Like an enemy he has strung his bow; his right hand is ready. Like a foe he has slain all who were pleasing to the eye; he has poured out his wrath like fire on the tent of Daughter Zion.5The Lord is like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for Daughter Judah.6He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden; he has destroyed his place of meeting. The LORD has made Zion forget her appointed festivals and her Sabbaths; in his fierce anger he has spurned both king and priest.7The Lord has rejected his altar and abandoned his sanctuary. He has given the walls of her palaces into the hands of the enemy; they have raised a shout in the house of the LORDas on the day of an appointed festival.8The LORD determined to tear down the wall around Daughter Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not withhold his hand from destroying. He made ramparts and walls lament; together they wasted away.9Her gates have sunk into the ground; their bars he has broken and destroyed. Her king and her princes are exiled among the nations, the law is no more, and her prophets no longer find visions from the LORD.10The elders of Daughter Zion sit on the ground in silence; they have sprinkled dust on their heads and put on sackcloth. The young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground.11My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.12They say to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their lives ebb away in their mothers’ arms.13What can I say for you? With what can I compare you, Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?14The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.15All who pass your way clap their hands at you; they scoff and shake their heads at Daughter Jerusalem: “Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?”16All your enemies open their mouths wide against you; they scoff and gnash their teeth and say, “We have swallowed her up. This is the day we have waited for; we have lived to see it.”17The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.18The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. You walls of Daughter Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest.19Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.20“Look, LORD, and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?21“Young and old lie together in the dust of the streets; my young men and young women have fallen by the sword. You have slain them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered them without pity.22“As you summon to a feast day, so you summoned against me terrors on every side. In the day of the LORD’s anger no one escaped or survived; those I cared for and reared my enemy has destroyed.”
1I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.2Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.3Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.4One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.5They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works.6They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds.7They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.8The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.9The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.10All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you.11They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,12so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.14The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.15The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.16You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.17The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.18The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.19He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.20The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.21My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.