1 Now on that day, they read from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it, there was found written that the Ammonites and the Moabites must not enter the church of God, even for all time,
2 because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, and they hired Balaam against them, to curse them. But our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 Now it happened that, when they had heard the law, they separated every foreigner from Israel.
4 And Eliashib, the priest, was over this task; he had been given charge of the treasury of the house of our God, and he was a close relative of Tobiah.
5 Then he made for himself a large storeroom, and in that place, there was laid before him gifts, and frankincense, and vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, the portions of the Levites, and of the singing men, and of the gatekeepers, and the first-fruits of the priests.
6 But during all this, I was not in Jerusalem, because in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, the king of Babylon, I went to the king, and at the end of some days, I petitioned the king.
7 And I went to Jerusalem, and I understood the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, such that he would make him a storeroom in the vestibules of the house of God.
8 And it seemed to me very evil. And I cast the vessels of the house of Tobiah outside of the storeroom.
9 And I gave instructions, and they cleansed again the storeroom. And I brought back, into that place, the vessels of the house of God, the sacrifice, and the frankincense.
10 And I realized that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, and that each one had fled into his own region, from the Levites, and from the singing men, and from those who were ministering.
11 And I brought the case before the magistrates, and I said, “Why have we forsaken the house of God?” And I gathered them together, and I caused them to stand at their stations.
12 And all of Judah brought the tithes of the grain, and the wine, and the oil into the storehouses.
13 And we appointed over the storehouses, Shelemiah, the priest, and Zadok, the scribe, and Pedaiah from the Levites, and next to them Hanan, the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah. For they had proven to be faithful. And so the portions of their brothers were entrusted to them.
14 Remember me, O my God, because of this, and may you not wipe away my acts of compassion, which I have done for the house of my God and for his ceremonies.
15 In those days, I saw, in Judah, some who were treading the presses on the Sabbath, and who were carrying sheaves, and placing on donkeys burdens of wine, and of grapes, and of figs, and all manner of burdens, and who were bringing these into Jerusalem on the day of the Sabbath. And I contended with them, so that they would sell on a day when it was permitted to sell.
16 And some Tyrians dwelt within, who were bringing fish and all kinds of items for sale. And they were selling on the Sabbaths to the sons of Judah in Jerusalem.
17 And I put the nobles of Judah under oath, and I said to them: “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day?
18 Did not our fathers do these things, and so our God brought all this evil upon us and upon this city? And you are adding more wrath upon Israel by violating the Sabbath!”
19 And it happened that, when the gates of Jerusalem had rested on the day of the Sabbath, I spoke, and they closed the gates. And I instructed that they should not open them until after the Sabbath. And I appointed some of my servants over the gates, so that no one would carry in a burden on the day of the Sabbath.
20 And so the merchants and those who sold all kinds of items remained just outside of Jerusalem, once and again.
21 And I contended with them, and I said to them: “Why are you remaining just beyond the wall? If you do this again, I will send hands upon you.” And so, from that time, they no longer came on the Sabbath.
22 I also spoke to the Levites, so that they would be cleansed, and would arrive to guard the gates and to sanctify the day of the Sabbath. Because of this also, O my God, remember me and spare me, in accord with the multitude of your mercies.
23 But also in those days, I saw some Jews taking wives from the Ashdodites, and the Ammonites, and the Moabites.
24 And their sons spoke partly in the speech of Ashdod, and they did not know how to speak the Jewish language, and they were speaking according to the language of one people or another.
25 And I put them under oath, and I cursed them. And I struck some of their men, and I shaved off their hair, and I made them swear to God that they would not give their daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for their sons, nor for themselves, saying:
26 Did not Solomon, king of Israel, sin in this kind of thing? And certainly, among many nations, there was no king similar to him, and he was beloved of his God, and God set him as king over all of Israel. And yet foreign women led even him into sin!
27 So how could we disobey and do all this great evil, so that we would transgress against our God, and take foreign wives?”
28 Now one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib, the high priest, was a son-in-law to Sanballat, a Horonite, and I made him flee from me.
29 O Lord, my God, remember against those who defile the priesthood and the law of the priests and the Levites!
30 And so I cleansed them from all foreigners, and I established the orders of the priests and the Levites, each one in his ministry.
31 O my God, remember me also, for good, because of the offering of wood, at the appointed times, and because of the first-fruits. Amen.
1 And the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying:
2 Rise and go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach in it. For its malice has ascended before my eyes.
3 And Jonah rose in order to flee from the face of the Lord to Tarshish. And he went down to Joppa and found a ship bound for Tarshish. And he paid its fare, and he went down into it, in order to go with them to Tarshish from the face of the Lord.
4 But the Lord sent a great wind into the sea. And a great tempest took place in the sea, and the ship was in danger of being crushed.
5 And the mariners were afraid, and the men cried out to their god. And they threw the containers that were in the ship into the sea in order to lighten it of them. And Jonah went down into the interior of the ship, and he fell into a painful deep sleep.
6 And the helmsman approached him, and he said to him, “Why are you weighed down with sleep? Rise, call upon your God, so perhaps God will be mindful of us and we might not perish.”
7 And a man said to his shipmate, “Come, and let us cast lots, so that we may know why this disaster is upon us.” And they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 And they said to him: “Explain to us what is the reason that this disaster is upon us. What is your work? Which is your country? And where are you going? Or which people are you from?”
9 And he said to them, “I am Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10 And the men were greatly afraid, and they said to him, “Why have you done this?” (For the men knew that he was fleeing from the face of the Lord, because he had told them.)
11 And they said to him, “What are we to do with you, so that the sea will cease for us?” For the sea flowed and swelled.
12 And he said to them, “Take me, and cast me into the sea, and the sea will cease for you. For I know that it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”
13 And the men were rowing, so as to return to dry land, but they did not succeed. For the sea flowed and swelled against them.
14 And they cried out to the Lord, and they said, “We beseech you, Lord, do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not attribute to us innocent blood. For you, Lord, have done just as it pleased you.”
15 And they took Jonah and cast him into the sea. And the sea was stilled from its fury.
16 And the men feared the Lord greatly, and they sacrificed victims to the Lord, and they made vows.
42 And their enemies afflicted them: and they were humbled under their hands:
43 Many times did he deliver them. But they provoked him with their counsel: and they were brought low by their iniquities.
44 And he saw when they were in tribulation: and he heard their prayer.
45 And he was mindful of his covenant: and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 And he gave them unto mercies, in the sight of all those that had made them captives.
47 Save us, O Lord, our God: and gather us from among nations: That we may give thanks to thy holy name, and may glory in thy praise.
48 Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say: So be it, so be it.
1 Must we begin again to commend ourselves? Or are we in need (as some are) of epistles of commendation for you, or from you?
2 You are our Epistle, written in our hearts, which is known and read by all men.
3 It has been made manifest that you are the Epistle of Christ, ministered by us, and written down, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, and not on tablets of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of the heart.
4 And we have such faith, through Christ, toward God.
5 It is not that we are adequate to think anything of ourselves, as if anything was from us. But our adequacy is from God.
6 And he has made us suitable ministers of the New Testament, not in the letter, but in the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 But if the ministration of death, engraved with letters upon stones, was in glory, (so much so that the sons of Israel were not able to gaze intently upon the face of Moses, because of the glory of his countenance) even though this ministration was ineffective,
8 how could the ministration of the Spirit not be in greater glory?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation is with glory, so much more is the ministration of justice abundant in glory.
10 And neither was it glorified by means of an excellent glory, though it was made illustrious in its own way.
11 For if even what was temporary has its glory, then what is lasting has an even greater glory.
12 Therefore, having such a hope, we act with much confidence,
13 and not as Moses did, in placing a veil over his face, so that the sons of Israel would not gaze intently at his face. This was ineffective,
14 for their minds were obtuse. And, even until this present day, the very same veil, in the readings from the Old Testament, remains not taken away (though, in Christ, it is taken away).
15 But even until today, when Moses is read, a veil is still set over their hearts.
16 But when they will have been converted to the Lord, then the veil shall be taken away.
17 Now the Spirit is Lord. And wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18 Yet truly, all of us, as we gaze upon the unveiled glory of the face of the Lord, are transfigured into the same image, from one glory to another. And this is done by the Spirit of the Lord.