Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 113

1 Kings 6–10, Proverbs 2

Bible text(s)

Solomon Builds the Temple

1480 years after the people of Israel left Egypt, during the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the second month, the month of Ziv, Solomon began work on the Temple. 2Inside it was 27 metres long, nine metres wide, and 13.5 metres high. 3The entrance room was 4.5 metres deep and nine metres wide, as wide as the sanctuary itself. 4The walls of the Temple had openings in them, narrower on the outside than on the inside. 5Against the outside walls, on the sides and the back of the Temple, a three-storied annexe was built, each storey 2.2 metres high. 6Each room in the lowest storey was 2.2 metres wide, in the middle storey 2.7 metres wide, and in the top storey 3.1 metres wide. The temple wall on each floor was thinner than on the floor below so that the rooms could rest on the wall without having their beams built into it.

7The stones with which the Temple was built had been prepared at the quarry, so that there was no noise made by hammers, axes, or any other iron tools as the Temple was being built.

8The entrance to the lowest storey of the annexe was on the south side of the Temple, with stairs leading up to the second and third storeys. 9So King Solomon finished building the Temple. He put in a ceiling made of beams and boards of cedar. 10The three-storied annexe, each storey 2.2 metres high, was built against the outside walls of the Temple, and was joined to them by cedar beams.

11The LORD said to Solomon, 12“If you obey all my laws and commands, I will do for you what I promised your father David. 13I will live among my people Israel in this Temple that you are building, and I will never abandon them.”

14So Solomon finished building the Temple.

The Interior Furnishings of the Temple

(2 Chr 3.8–14)

15The inside walls were covered with cedar panels from the floor to the ceiling, and the floor was made of pine. 16An inner room, called the Most Holy Place, was built in the rear of the Temple. It was nine metres long and was partitioned off by cedar boards reaching from the floor to the ceiling. 17The room in front of the Most Holy Place was eighteen metres long. 18The cedar panels were decorated with carvings of gourds and flowers; the whole interior was covered with cedar, so that the stones of the walls could not be seen.

19In the rear of the Temple an inner room was built, where the LORD's Covenant Box was to be placed. 20This inner room was nine metres long, nine metres wide, and nine metres high, all covered with pure gold. The altar was covered with cedar panels. 21The inside of the Temple was covered with gold, and gold chains were placed across the entrance of the inner room, which was also covered with gold. 22The whole interior of the Temple was covered with gold, as well as the altar in the Most Holy Place.

23Two winged creatures were made of olive wood and placed in the Most Holy Place, each one 4.4 metres tall. 24-26Both were of the same size and shape. Each had two wings, each wing 2.2 metres long, so that the distance from one wing tip to the other was 4.4 metres. 27They were placed side by side in the Most Holy Place, so that two of their outstretched wings touched each other in the middle of the room, and the other two wings touched the walls. 28The two winged creatures were covered with gold.

29The walls of the main room and of the inner room were all decorated with carved figures of winged creatures, palm trees, and flowers. 30Even the floor was covered with gold.

31A double door made of olive wood was set in place at the entrance of the Most Holy Place; the top of the doorway was a pointed arch. 32The doors were decorated with carved figures of winged creatures, palm trees, and flowers. The doors, the winged creatures, and the palm trees were covered with gold. 33For the entrance to the main room a rectangular door-frame of olive wood was made. 34There were two folding doors made of pine 35and decorated with carved figures of winged creatures, palm trees, and flowers, which were evenly covered with gold.

36An inner court was built in front of the Temple, enclosed with walls which had one layer of cedar beams for every three layers of stone.

37The foundation of the Temple was laid in the second month, the month of Ziv, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign. 38In the eighth month, the month of Bul, in the eleventh year of Solomon's reign, the Temple was completely finished exactly as it had been planned. It had taken Solomon seven years to build it.

Solomon's Palace

1Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years. 2-3The Hall of the Forest of Lebanon was 44 metres long, 22 metres wide, and 13.5 metres high. It had three rows of cedar pillars, fifteen in each row, with cedar beams resting on them. The ceiling was of cedar, extending over storerooms, which were supported by the pillars. 4In each of the two side walls there were three rows of windows. 5The doorways and the windows had rectangular frames, and the three rows of windows in each wall faced the opposite rows.

6The Hall of Columns was 22 metres long and 13.5 metres wide. It had a covered porch, supported by columns.

7The Throne Room, also called the Hall of Judgement, where Solomon decided cases, had cedar panels from the floor to the rafters.

8Solomon's own quarters, in another court behind the Hall of Judgement, were made like the other buildings. He also built the same kind of house for his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt.

9All these buildings and the great court were made of fine stones from the foundations to the eaves. The stones were prepared at the quarry and cut to measure, with their inner and outer sides trimmed with saws. 10The foundations were made of large stones prepared at the quarry, some of them 3.5 metres long and others four metres long. 11On top of them were other stones, cut to measure, and cedar beams. 12The palace court, the inner court of the Temple, and the entrance room of the Temple had walls with one layer of cedar beams for every three layers of cut stones.

Huram's Task

13King Solomon sent for a man named Huram, a craftsman living in the city of Tyre, who was skilled in bronze work. 14His father, who was no longer living, was from Tyre, and had also been a skilled bronze craftsman; his mother was from the tribe of Naphtali. Huram was an intelligent and experienced craftsman. He accepted King Solomon's invitation to be in charge of all the bronze work.

The Two Bronze Columns

(2 Chr 3.15–17)

15Huram cast two bronze columns, each one eight metres tall and 5.3 metres in circumference, and placed them at the entrance of the Temple. 16He also made two bronze capitals, each one 2.2 metres tall, to be placed on top of the columns. 17The top of each column was decorated with a design of interwoven chains, 18and two rows of bronze pomegranates.

19The capitals were shaped like lilies, 1.8 metres tall, 20and were placed on a rounded section which was above the chain design. There were 200 pomegranates in two rows round each capital.

21Huram placed these two bronze columns in front of the entrance of the Temple: the one on the south side was named Jachin, and the one on the north was named Boaz. 22The lily-shaped bronze capitals were on top of the columns.

And so the work on the columns was completed.

The Bronze Tank

(2 Chr 4.2–5)

23Huram made a round tank of bronze, 2.2 metres deep, 4.4 metres in diameter, and 13.2 metres in circumference. 24All round the outer edge of the rim of the tank were two rows of bronze gourds, which had been cast all in one piece with the rest of the tank. 25The tank rested on the backs of twelve bronze bulls that faced outwards, three facing in each direction. 26The sides of the tank were 75 millimetres thick. Its rim was like the rim of a cup, curving outwards like the petals of a lily. The tank held about 40,000 litres.

The Bronze Carts

27Huram also made ten bronze carts; each was 1.8 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, and 1.3 metres high. 28They were made of square panels which were set in frames, 29with the figures of lions, bulls, and winged creatures on the panels; and on the frames, above and underneath the lions and bulls, there were spiral figures in relief. 30Each cart had four bronze wheels with bronze axles. At the four corners were bronze supports for a basin; the supports were decorated with spiral figures in relief. 31There was a circular frame on top for the basin. It projected upwards 45 centimetres from the top of the cart and eighteen centimetres down into it. It had carvings round it. 32The wheels were 66 centimetres high; they were under the panels, and the axles were of one piece with the carts. 33The wheels were like chariot wheels; their axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were all of bronze. 34There were four supports at the bottom corners of each cart, which were of one piece with the cart. 35There was a 22 centimetre band round the top of each cart; its supports and the panels were of one piece with the cart. 36The supports and panels were decorated with figures of winged creatures, lions, and palm trees, wherever there was space for them, with spiral figures all round. 37This, then, is how the carts were made; they were all alike, having the same size and shape.

38Huram also made ten basins, one for each cart. Each basin was 1.8 metres in diameter, and held about 800 litres. 39He placed five of the carts on the south side of the Temple, and the other five on the north side; the tank he placed at the south-east corner.

Summary List of Temple Furnishings

(2 Chr 4.11—5.1)

40-45Huram also made pots, shovels, and bowls. He completed all his work for King Solomon for the LORD's Temple. This is what he made:

    The two columns
    The two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the columns
    The design of interwoven chains on each capital
    The 400 bronze pomegranates, in two rows of a hundred each round the design on each capital
    The ten carts
    The ten basins
    The tank
    The twelve bulls supporting the tank
    The pots, shovels, and bowls.

All this equipment for the Temple, which Huram made for King Solomon, was of polished bronze. 46The king had it all made in the foundry between Sukkoth and Zarethan, in the Jordan Valley. 47Solomon did not have these bronze objects weighed, because there were too many of them, and so their weight was never determined.

48Solomon also had gold furnishings made for the Temple: the altar, the table for the bread offered to God, 49the ten lampstands that stood in front of the Most Holy Place, five on the south side and five on the north; the flowers, lamps, and tongs; 50the cups, lamp snuffers, bowls, dishes for incense, and the pans used for carrying live coals; and the hinges for the doors of the Most Holy Place and of the outer doors of the Temple. All these furnishings were made of gold.

51When King Solomon finished all the work on the Temple, he placed in the temple storerooms all the things that his father David had dedicated to the LORD — the silver, gold, and other articles.

The Covenant Box is Brought to the Temple

(2 Chr 5.2—6.2)

1Then King Solomon summoned all the leaders of the tribes and clans of Israel to come to him in Jerusalem in order to take the LORD's Covenant Box from Zion, David's City, to the Temple. 2They all assembled during the Festival of Shelters in the seventh month, in the month of Ethanim. 3When all the leaders had gathered, the priests lifted the Covenant Box 4and carried it to the Temple. The Levites and the priests also moved the Tent of the LORD's presence and all its equipment to the Temple. 5King Solomon and all the people of Israel assembled in front of the Covenant Box and sacrificed a large number of sheep and cattle — too many to count. 6Then the priests carried the Covenant Box into the Temple and put it in the Most Holy Place, beneath the winged creatures. 7Their outstretched wings covered the box and the poles it was carried by. 8The ends of the poles could be seen by anyone standing directly in front of the Most Holy Place, but from nowhere else. (The poles are still there today.) 9There was nothing inside the Covenant Box except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed there at Mount Sinai, when the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel as they were coming from Egypt.

10As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud 11shining with the dazzling light of the LORD's presence, and they could not go back in to perform their duties. 12Then Solomon prayed:

“You, LORD, have placed the sun in the sky,

yet you have chosen to live in clouds and darkness.

13Now I have built a majestic temple for you,

a place for you to live in for ever.”

Solomon's Address to the People

(2 Chr 6.3–11)

14As the people stood there, King Solomon turned to face them, and he asked God's blessing on them. 15He said, “Praise the LORD God of Israel! He has kept the promise he made to my father David, when he said, 16‘From the time I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen any city in all the land of Israel in which a temple should be built where I would be worshipped. But I chose you, David, to rule my people.’ ”

17And Solomon continued, “My father David planned to build a temple for the worship of the LORD God of Israel, 18but the LORD said to him, ‘You were right in wanting to build a temple for me, 19but you will never build it. It is your son, your own son, who will build my temple.’

20“And now the LORD has kept his promise. I have succeeded my father as king of Israel, and I have built the Temple for the worship of the LORD God of Israel. 21I have also provided a place in the Temple for the Covenant Box containing the stone tablets of the covenant which the LORD made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon's Prayer

(2 Chr 6.12–42)

22Then in the presence of the people Solomon went and stood in front of the altar, where he raised his arms 23and prayed, “LORD God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You keep your covenant with your people and show them your love when they live in wholehearted obedience to you. 24You have kept the promise you made to my father David; today every word has been fulfilled. 25And now, LORD God of Israel, I pray that you will also keep the other promise you made to my father when you told him that there would always be one of his descendants ruling as king of Israel, provided they obeyed you as carefully as he did. 26So now, O God of Israel, let everything come true that you promised to my father David, your servant.

27“But can you, O God, really live on earth? Not even all heaven is large enough to hold you, so how can this Temple that I have built be large enough? 28LORD my God, I am your servant. Listen to my prayer, and grant the requests I make to you today. 29Watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have chosen to be worshipped. Hear me when I face this Temple and pray. 30Hear my prayers and the prayers of your people when they face this place and pray. In your home in heaven hear us and forgive us.

31“When a person is accused of wronging another and is brought to your altar in this Temple to take an oath that he is innocent, 32O LORD, listen in heaven and judge your servants. Punish the guilty one as he deserves, and acquit the one who is innocent.

33“When your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and then when they turn to you and come to this Temple, humbly praying to you for forgiveness, 34listen to them in heaven. Forgive the sins of your people, and bring them back to the land which you gave to their ancestors.

35“When you hold back the rain because your people have sinned against you, and then when they repent and face this Temple, humbly praying to you, 36listen to them in heaven. Forgive the sins of the king and of the people of Israel. Teach them to do what is right. Then, O LORD, send rain on this land of yours, which you gave to your people as a permanent possession.

37“When there is famine in the land or an epidemic, or the crops are destroyed by scorching winds or swarms of locusts, or when your people are attacked by their enemies, or when there is disease or sickness among them, 38listen to their prayers. If any of your people Israel, out of heartfelt sorrow, stretch out their hands in prayer towards this Temple, 39hear their prayer. Listen to them in your home in heaven, forgive them, and help them. You alone know the thoughts of the human heart. Deal with each person as he deserves, 40so that your people may obey you all the time they live in the land which you gave to our ancestors.

41-42“When a foreigner who lives in a distant land hears of your fame and of the great things you have done for your people, and comes to worship you and to pray at this Temple, 43listen to his prayer. In heaven, where you live, hear him and do what he asks you to do, so that all the peoples of the world may know you and obey you, as your people Israel do. Then they will know that this Temple I have built is the place where you are to be worshipped.

44“When you command your people to go into battle against their enemies and they pray to you, wherever they are, facing this city which you have chosen and this Temple which I have built for you, 45listen to their prayers. Hear them in heaven, and give them victory.

46“When your people sin against you — and there is no one who does not sin — and in your anger you let their enemies defeat them and take them as prisoners to some other land, even if that land is far away, 47listen to your people's prayers. If there in that land they repent and pray to you, confessing how sinful and wicked they have been, hear their prayers, O LORD. 48If in that land they truly and sincerely repent, and pray to you as they face towards this land which you gave to our ancestors, this city which you have chosen, and this Temple which I have built for you, 49then listen to their prayers. In your home in heaven hear them and be merciful to them. 50Forgive all their sins and their rebellion against you, and make their enemies treat them with kindness. 51They are your own people, whom you brought out of Egypt, that blazing furnace.

52“Sovereign LORD, may you always look with favour on your people Israel and their king, and hear their prayer whenever they call to you for help. 53You chose them from all the peoples to be your own people, as you told them through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

The Final Prayer

54After Solomon had finished praying to the LORD, he stood up in front of the altar, where he had been kneeling with uplifted hands. 55In a loud voice he asked God's blessings on all the people assembled there. He said, 56“Praise the LORD who has given his people peace, as he promised he would. He has kept all the generous promises he made through his servant Moses. 57May the LORD our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us, or abandon us; 58may he make us obedient to him, so that we will always live as he wants us to live, and keep all the laws and commands he gave our ancestors. 59May the LORD our God remember at all times this prayer and these petitions I have made to him. May he always be merciful to the people of Israel and to their king, according to their daily needs. 60And so all the nations of the world will know that the LORD alone is God — there is no other. 61May you, his people, always be faithful to the LORD our God, obeying all his laws and commands, as you do today.”

The Dedication of the Temple

(2 Chr 7.4–10)

62Then King Solomon and all the people there offered sacrifices to the LORD. 63He sacrificed 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep as fellowship offerings. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple. 64That same day he also consecrated the central part of the courtyard, the area in front of the Temple, and then he offered there the sacrifices burnt whole, the grain offerings, and the fat of the animals for the fellowship offerings. He did this because the bronze altar was too small for all these offerings.

65There at the Temple, Solomon and all the people of Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters for seven days. There was a huge crowd of people from as far away as Hamath Pass in the north and the Egyptian border in the south. 66On the eighth day Solomon sent the people home. They all praised him and went home happy because of all the blessings that the LORD had given his servant David and his people Israel.

God Appears to Solomon Again

(2 Chr 7.11–22)

1After King Solomon had finished building the Temple and the palace and everything else he wanted to build, 2the LORD appeared to him again, as he had in Gibeon. 3The LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer. I consecrate this Temple which you have built as the place where I shall be worshipped for ever. I will watch over it and protect it for all time. 4If you will serve me in honesty and integrity, as your father David did, and if you obey my laws and do everything I have commanded you, 5I will keep the promise I made to your father David when I told him that Israel would always be ruled by his descendants. 6But if you or your descendants stop following me, if you disobey the laws and commands I have given you, and worship other gods, 7then I will remove my people Israel from the land that I have given them. I will also abandon this Temple which I have consecrated as the place where I am to be worshipped. People everywhere will ridicule Israel and treat her with contempt. 8This Temple will become a pile of ruins, and everyone who passes by will be shocked and amazed. ‘Why did the LORD do this to this land and this Temple?’ they will ask. 9People will answer, ‘It is because they abandoned the LORD their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt. They gave their allegiance to other gods and worshipped them. That is why the LORD has brought this disaster on them.’ ”

Solomon's Agreement with Hiram

(2 Chr 8.1–2)

10It took Solomon twenty years to build the Temple and his palace. 11King Hiram of Tyre had provided him with all the cedar and pine and with all the gold he wanted for this work. After it was finished, King Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the region of Galilee. 12Hiram went to see them, and he did not like them. 13So he said to Solomon, “So these, my brother, are the towns you have given me!” For this reason the area is still called Cabul. 14Hiram had sent Solomon more than four tonnes of gold.

Further Achievements of Solomon

(2 Chr 8.3–18)

15King Solomon used forced labour to build the Temple and the palace, to fill in land on the east side of the city, and to build the city wall. He also used it to rebuild the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16(The king of Egypt had attacked Gezer and captured it, killing its inhabitants and setting fire to the city. Then he gave it as a wedding present to his daughter when she married Solomon, 17and Solomon rebuilt it.) Using his forced labour, Solomon also rebuilt Lower Beth Horon, 18Baalath, Tamar in the Judean wilderness, 19the cities where his supplies were kept, the cities for his horses and chariots, and everything else he wanted to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and elsewhere in his kingdom. 20-21For his forced labour Solomon used the descendants of the people of Canaan whom the Israelites had not killed when they took possession of their land. These included Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, whose descendants continue to be slaves down to the present time. 22Solomon did not make slaves of Israelites; they served as his soldiers, officers, commanders, chariot captains, and horsemen.

23There were 550 officials in charge of the forced labour working on Solomon's various building projects.

24Solomon filled in the land on the east side of the city, after his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt, had moved from David's City to the palace Solomon built for her.

25Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built to the LORD. He also burnt incense to the LORD. And so he finished building the Temple.

26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Eziongeber, which is near Elath, on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the land of Edom. 27King Hiram sent some experienced seamen from his fleet to serve with Solomon's men. 28They sailed to the land of Ophir, and brought back to Solomon more than fourteen tonnes of gold.

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba

(2 Chr 9.1–12)

1The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, and she travelled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. 2She brought with her a large group of attendants, as well as camels loaded with spices, jewels, and a large amount of gold. When she and Solomon met, she asked him all the questions that she could think of. 3He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. 4The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built. 5She saw the food that was served at his table, the living quarters for his officials, the organization of his palace staff and the uniforms they wore, the servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed. 6She said to King Solomon, “What I heard in my own country about you and your wisdom is true! 7But I couldn't believe it until I had come and seen it all for myself. But I didn't hear even half of it; your wisdom and wealth are much greater than what I was told. 8How fortunate are your wives! And how fortunate your servants, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings! 9Praise the LORD your God! He has shown how pleased he is with you by making you king of Israel. Because his love for Israel is eternal, he has made you their king so that you can maintain law and justice.”

10She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: more than four tonnes of gold and a very large amount of spices and jewels. The amount of spices she gave him was by far the greatest that he ever received at any time.

11(Hiram's fleet, which had brought gold from Ophir, also brought from there a large amount of juniper wood and jewels. 12Solomon used the wood to build railings in the Temple and the palace, and also to make harps and lyres for the musicians. It was the finest juniper wood ever imported into Israel; none like it has ever been seen again.)

13King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for, besides all the other customary gifts that he had generously given her. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba.

King Solomon's Wealth

(2 Chr 9.13–28)

14Every year King Solomon received almost 23 tonnes of gold 15in addition to the taxes paid by merchants, the profits from trade, and tribute paid by the Arabian kings and the governors of the Israelite districts.

16Solomon made 200 large shields, and had each one overlaid with almost seven kilogrammes of gold. 17He also made 300 smaller shields, overlaying each one of them with almost two kilogrammes of gold. He had all these shields placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon.

18He also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest of it was covered with the finest gold. 19-20The throne had six steps leading up to it, with the figure of a lion at each end of every step, a total of twelve lions. At the back of the throne was the figure of a bull's head, and beside each of the two arms was the figure of a lion. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom.

21All of Solomon's drinking cups were made of gold, and all the utensils in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. No silver was used, since it was not considered valuable in Solomon's day. 22He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with Hiram's fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

23King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king, 24and the whole world wanted to come and listen to the wisdom that God had given him. 25Everyone who came brought him a gift — articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This continued year after year.

26Solomon built up a force of 1,400 chariots and 12,000 cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 27During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycomore in the foothills of Judah. 28The king's agents controlled the export of horses from Musri and Cilicia, 29and the export of chariots from Egypt. They supplied the Hittite and Syrian kings with horses and chariots, selling chariots for 600 pieces of silver each and horses for 150 each.

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The Rewards of Wisdom

1Learn what I teach you, my child, and never forget what I tell you to do. 2Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. 3Yes, beg for knowledge; plead for insight. 4Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. 5If you do, you will know what it means to fear the LORD and you will succeed in learning about God. 6It is the LORD who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding. 7He provides help and protection for those who are righteous and honest. 8He protects those who treat others fairly, and guards those who are devoted to him.

9If you listen to me, you will know what is right, just, and fair. You will know what you should do. 10You will become wise, and your knowledge will give you pleasure. 11Your insight and understanding will protect you 12and prevent you from doing the wrong thing. They will keep you away from people who stir up trouble by what they say — 13those who have abandoned a righteous life to live in the darkness of sin, 14those who find pleasure in doing wrong and who enjoy senseless evil, 15unreliable people who cannot be trusted.

16You will be able to resist any immoral woman who tries to seduce you with her smooth talk, 17who is faithless to her own husband and forgets her sacred vows. 18If you go to her house, you are travelling the road to death. To go there is to approach the world of the dead. 19No one who visits her ever comes back. He never returns to the road to life. 20So you must follow the example of good people and live a righteous life. 21Righteous people — people of integrity — will live in this land of ours. 22But God will snatch the wicked from the land and pull sinners out of it like plants from the ground.

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