LECTIO DIVINA

There are lots of ways to read the Bible, this is one way that we like to stop and reflect on scripture.


READ THE SCRIPTURE

what is the text saying?


MEDITATE ON ITS MEANING FOR YOU

what jumps out to me personally?


PRAY, BASED ON YOUR MEDITATION

what do I say to the Lord?


CONTEMPLATE ON THE PRESENCE OF GOD

allow His Spirit to wash over you


WHAT ARE THE STEPS FORWARD?

what action plan do I plan to take?

    • Lamentations 1:7-22

      7 In 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.

      8 Jerusalem 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.

      9 Her 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.”

      10 The enemy laid hands

          on all her treasures;

      she saw pagan nations

          enter her sanctuary—

      those you had forbidden

          to enter your assembly.

      11 All 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.”

      17 Zion 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.”

    • 1 John 5:1-5

      1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

    • Psalm 137

      1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept

          when we remembered Zion.

      2 There on the poplars

          we hung our harps,

      3 for there our captors asked us for songs,

          our tormentors demanded songs of joy;

          they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

      4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord

          while in a foreign land?

      5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,

          may my right hand forget its skill.

      6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth

          if I do not remember you,

      if I do not consider Jerusalem

          my highest joy.

      7 Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did

          on the day Jerusalem fell.

      “Tear it down,” they cried,

          “tear it down to its foundations!”

      8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,

          happy is the one who repays you

          according to what you have done to us.

      9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants

          and dashes them against the rocks.

    • Luke 16:1-15

      1 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

      3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

      5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

      6 “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.

      “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’

      7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

      “‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.

      “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

      8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

      10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

      13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

      14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

    • Proverbs 20:1-6

      1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;

          whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

      2 A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;

          those who anger him forfeit their lives.

      3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,

          but every fool is quick to quarrel.

      4 Sluggards do not plow in season;

          so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

      5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,

          but one who has insight draws them out.

      6 Many claim to have unfailing love,

          but a faithful person who can find?

    • 2 Kings 5:1-14

      1 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

      2 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

      4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

      7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

      8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

      11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

      13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

    • Ephesians 6:10-20

      10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

      18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

    • Psalm 61

      1 Hear my cry, O God;

          listen to my prayer.

      2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,

          I call as my heart grows faint;

          lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

      3 For you have been my refuge,

          a strong tower against the foe.

      4 I long to dwell in your tent forever

          and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

      5 For you, God, have heard my vows;

          you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

      6 Increase the days of the king’s life,

          his years for many generations.

      7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;

          appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

      8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name

          and fulfill my vows day after day.

    • Luke 16:19-31

      19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

      22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

      25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

      27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

      29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

      30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

      31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

    • Proverbs 20:18-30

      18 Plans are established by seeking advice;

          so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

      19 A gossip betrays a confidence;

          so avoid anyone who talks too much.

      20 If someone curses their father or mother,

          their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

      21 An inheritance claimed too soon

          will not be blessed at the end.

      22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”

          Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

      23 The Lord detests differing weights,

          and dishonest scales do not please him.

      24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.

          How then can anyone understand their own way?

      25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly

          and only later to consider one’s vows.

      26 A wise king winnows out the wicked;

          he drives the threshing wheel over them.

      27 The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the Lord

          that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

      28 Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;

          through love his throne is made secure.

      29 The glory of young men is their strength,

          gray hair the splendor of the old.

      30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil,

          and beatings purge the inmost being.

    • 2 Kings 5:15-27

      15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

      16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

      17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”

      19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

      After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

      21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

      22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[a] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

      23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

      25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

      “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

      26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

    • James 5:7-12

      7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

      10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

      12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

    • Psalm 129

      1 “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,”

          let Israel say;

      2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,

          but they have not gained the victory over me.

      3 Plowmen have plowed my back

          and made their furrows long.

      4 But the Lord is righteous;

          he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”

      5 May all who hate Zion

          be turned back in shame.

      6 May they be like grass on the roof,

          which withers before it can grow;

      7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,

          nor one who gathers fill his arms.

      8 May those who pass by not say to them,

          “The blessing of the Lord be on you;

          we bless you in the name of the Lord.”

    • Luke 17:1-19

      1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.

      “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

      5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

      6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

      7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”


      Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

      11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

      14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

      15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

      17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

    • Proverbs 21:1-6

      1 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water

          that he channels toward all who please him.

      2 A person may think their own ways are right,

          but the Lord weighs the heart.

      3 To do what is right and just

          is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

      4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart—

          the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

      5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit

          as surely as haste leads to poverty.

      6 A fortune made by a lying tongue

          is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.

    • Joel 3:1-8

      1 “In those days and at that time,

          when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

      2 I will gather all nations

          and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

      There I will put them on trial

          for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel,

      because they scattered my people among the nations

          and divided up my land.

      3 They cast lots for my people

          and traded boys for prostitutes;

          they sold girls for wine to drink.

      4 “Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. 5 For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.

      7 “See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.

    • 1 Peter 5:1-11

      1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

      5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

      “God opposes the proud

          but shows favor to the humble.”

      6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

      8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

      10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

    • Psalm 87

      1 He has founded his city on the holy mountain.

      2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion

          more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.

      3 Glorious things are said of you,

          city of God:

      4 “I will record Rahab and Babylon

          among those who acknowledge me—

      Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush—

          and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”

      5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said,

          “This one and that one were born in her,

          and the Most High himself will establish her.”

      6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:

          “This one was born in Zion.”

      7 As they make music they will sing,

          “All my fountains are in you.”

    • Luke 17:20-37

      20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

      22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

      26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

      28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

      30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” 

      36-37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.

      He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

    • Proverbs 21:20-31

      20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,

          but fools gulp theirs down.

      21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love

          finds life, prosperity and honor.

      22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty

          and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

      23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues

          keep themselves from calamity.

      24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—

          behaves with insolent fury.

      25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,

          because his hands refuse to work.

      26 All day long he craves for more,

          but the righteous give without sparing.

      27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—

          how much more so when brought with evil intent!

      28 A false witness will perish,

          but a careful listener will testify successfully.

      29 The wicked put up a bold front,

          but the upright give thought to their ways.

      30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan

          that can succeed against the Lord.

      31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,

          but victory rests with the Lord.

    • Nehemiah 2:11-20

      11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

      13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal[a] Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

      17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

      They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

      19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

      20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”