Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever. As the hills stand about Jerusalem, so the Lord stands round about his people, from this time forth for evermore. The sceptre of wickedness shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous turn their hands to evil.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are true of heart. Those who turn aside to crooked ways the Lord shall take away with the evildoers; but let there be peace upon Israel.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter and our tongue with songs of joy. Then said they among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has indeed done great things for us, and therefore we rejoiced.
Restore again our fortunes, O Lord, as the river beds of the desert.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed, will come back with shouts of joy, bearing their sheaves with them.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the Lord keeps the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you hasten to rise up early and go so late to rest, eating the bread of toil, for he gives his beloved sleep.
Children are a heritage from the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his gift. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy are those who have their quiver full of them: they shall not be put to shame when they dispute with their enemies in the gate.
Blessed are all those who fear the Lord, and walk in his ways. You shall eat the fruit of the toil of your hands; it shall go well with you, and happy shall you be. Your wife within your house shall be like a fruitful vine; your children round your table, like fresh olive branches. Thus shall the one be blest who fears the Lord.
The Lord from out of Zion bless you, that you may see Jerusalem in prosperity all the days of your life. May you see your children’s children, and may there be peace upon Israel.
The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on, it comes from the desert, from a terrible land. A stern vision is told to me; the betrayer betrays, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, O Elam, lay siege, O Media; all the sighing she has caused I bring to an end.
Therefore my loins are filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labour; I am bowed down so that I cannot hear, I am dismayed so that I cannot see. My mind reels, horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling. They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Rise up, commanders, oil the shield!
For thus the Lord said to me:
‘Go, post a lookout, let him announce what he sees. When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him listen diligently, very diligently.’
Then the watcher called out:
‘Upon a watch-tower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed throughout the night. Look, there they come, riders, horsemen in pairs!’
Then he responded,
‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of her gods lie shattered on the ground.’
O my threshed and winnowed one, what I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you.
The oracle concerning Dumah.
One is calling to me from Seir, ‘Sentinel, what of the night?
Sentinel, what of the night?’ The sentinel says:
‘Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again.’
‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
God the Father, help us to hear the call of Christ the King and to follow in his service, whose kingdom has no end; for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, one glory. Amen.