1“To the angelof the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spiritsof God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.5The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.6Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
7“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.12The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.13Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.21To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.22Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
1When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,2and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”3Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”4Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.5Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.6So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.7But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.8They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.9But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.10Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”11Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”12Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”13Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.14After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”15When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.16From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah17who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,18and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.19Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.20Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”21So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.22At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.”23Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
1Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.2The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.3He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.4Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;5make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing,6with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King.7Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.8Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;9let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.