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Topical Scripture [W11a]

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Topical Scripture

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Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation. [GEN 2:2-3]

When Lamech was one hundred and eighty-two years old, he begot a son and named him Noah, saying, "Out of the very ground that the LORD has put under a curse, this one shall bring us relief from our work and the toil of our hands." [GEN 5:28-29]

Jacob replied: "You know what work I did for you and how well your livestock fared under my care; the little you had before I came has grown into very much, since the LORD'S blessings came upon you in my company. Therefore I should now do something for my own household as well." [GEN 30:29-30]

One such day, when Joseph came into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were then in the house, she laid hold of him by his cloak, saying, "Lie with me!" But leaving the cloak in her hand, he got away from her and ran outside. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand as he fled outside, she screamed for her household servants and told them, "Look! my husband has brought in a Hebrew slave to make sport of us! He came in here to lie with me, but I cried out as loud as I could. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran away outside." [GEN 39:11-15]

Then a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt. He said to his subjects, "Look how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave our country." Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. Thus they had to build for Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses. Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread. The Egyptians, then, dreaded the Israelites and reduced them to cruel slavery, making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and all kinds of field work - the whole cruel fate of slaves. [EX 1:8-14]

The king of Egypt answered them, "What do you mean, Moses and Aaron, by taking the people away from their work? Off to your labor!" [EX 5:4]

So the taskmasters and foremen of the people went out and told them, "Thus says Pharaoh: I will not provide you with straw. Go and gather the straw yourselves, wherever you can find it. Yet there must not be the slightest reduction in your work." The people, then, scattered throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw, while the taskmasters kept driving them on, saying, "Finish your work, the same daily amount as when your straw was supplied." [EX 5:10-13]

On the first day you shall hold a sacred assembly, and likewise on the seventh. On these days you shall not do any sort of work, except to prepare the food that everyone needs. "Keep, then, this custom of the unleavened bread. Since it was on this very day that I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt, you must celebrate this day throughout your generations as a perpetual institution." [EX 12:16-17]

"Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter... or your beast... In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." [Taken from EX 20:8-11]

"For six days you may do your work, but on the seventh day you must rest, that your ox and your ass may also have rest, and that the son of your maidservant and the alien may be refreshed." [EX 23:12]

The LORD said to Moses, "You must also tell the Israelites: Take care to keep my sabbaths, for that is to be the token between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the LORD, who make you holy. Therefore, you must keep the sabbath as something sacred. Whoever desecrates it shall [pay the prescribed penalty]. If anyone does work on that day, he must be rooted out of his people. Six days there are for doing work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of complete rest, sacred to the LORD. Anyone who does work on the sabbath day shall [pay the prescribed penalty] . So shall the Israelites observe the sabbath, keeping it throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. Between me and the Israelites it is to be an everlasting token; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested at his ease." When the LORD had finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the commandments, the stone tablets inscribed by God's own finger. [Taken from EX 31:12-18] [Note: Under Mosaic law, capital punishment was applied in such cases.]

"For six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; on that day you must rest even during the seasons of plowing and harvesting." [EX 34:21]

Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, "This is what the LORD has commanded to be done. On six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be sacred to you as the sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Anyone who does work on that day shall [pay the prescribed penalty. You shall not even light a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day." [Taken from EX 35:1-3] [Note: Under Mosaic law, capital punishment was applied in such cases.]

When the whole Israelite community left Moses' presence, everyone, as his heart suggested and his spirit prompted, brought a contribution to the LORD for the construction of the meeting tent, for all its services, and for the sacred vestments. Both the men and the women, all as their heart prompted them, brought brooches, earrings, rings, necklaces and various other gold articles. Everyone who could presented an offering of gold to the LORD. Every Israelite man and woman brought to the LORD such voluntary offerings as they thought best, for the various kinds of work which the LORD had commanded Moses to have done. [EX 35:20-22,29]

Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and has filled him with a divine spirit of skill and understanding and knowledge in every craft: in the production of embroidery, in making things of gold, silver or bronze, in cutting and mounting precious stones, in carving wood, and in every other craft. He has also given both him and Oholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has endowed them with skill to execute all types of work: engraving, embroidering, the making of variegated cloth of violet, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen thread, weaving, and all other arts and crafts." [EX 35:30-35]

"Bezalel, therefore, will set to work with Oholiab and with all the experts whom the LORD has endowed with skill and understanding in knowing how to execute all the work for the service of the sanctuary, just as the LORD has commanded." Moses then called Bezalel and Oholiab and all the other experts whom the LORD had endowed with skill, men whose hearts moved them to come and take part in the work. They received from Moses all the contributions which the Israelites had brought for establishing the service of the sanctuary. Still, morning after morning the people continued to bring their voluntary offerings to Moses. Thereupon the experts who were executing the various kinds of work for the sanctuary, all left the work they were doing, and told Moses, "The people are bringing much more than is needed to carry out the work which the LORD has commanded us to do." Moses, therefore, ordered a proclamation to be made throughout the camp: "Let neither man nor woman make any more contributions for the sanctuary." So the people stopped bringing their offerings; there was already enough at hand, in fact, more than enough, to complete the work to be done. [EX 36:1-7]

The various experts who were executing the work, made the Dwelling with its ten sheets woven of fine linen twined, having cherubim embroidered on them with violet, purple and scarlet yarn. [EX 36:8]

The Israelites had carried out all the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. So when Moses saw that all the work was done just as the LORD had commanded, he blessed them. [EX 39:42-43]

Moses and Aaron and his sons used to wash their hands and feet there, for they washed themselves whenever they went into the meeting tent or approached the altar, as the LORD had commanded Moses. Finally, he set up the court around the Dwelling and the altar and hung the curtain at the entrance of the court. Thus Moses finished all the work. [EX 40:31-33]

"This shall be an everlasting ordinance for you: on the tenth day of the seventh month every one of you, whether a native or a resident alien, shall mortify himself and shall do no work. Since on this day atonement is made for you to make you clean, so that you may be cleansed of all your sins before the LORD, by everlasting ordinance it shall be a most solemn sabbath for you, on which you must mortify yourselves. This atonement is to be made by the priest who has been anointed and ordained to the priesthood in succession to his father. He shall wear the linen garments, the sacred vestments, and make atonement for the sacred sanctuary, the meeting tent and the altar, as well as for the priests and all the people of the community. This, then, shall be an everlasting ordinance for you: once a year atonement shall be made for all the sins of the Israelites." Thus was it done, as the LORD had commanded Moses. [LEV 16:29-34]

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and tell them: The following are the festivals of the LORD, my feast days, which you shall celebrate with a sacred assembly. For six days work may be done; but the seventh day is the sabbath rest, a day for sacred assembly, on which you shall do no work. The sabbath shall belong to the LORD wherever you dwell." [LEV 23:1-3]

"The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD'S feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work. On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD. Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work." [LEV 23:6-8]

On this same day you shall by proclamation have a sacred assembly, and no sort of work may be done. This shall be a perpetual statute for you and your descendants wherever you dwell. [LEV 23:21]

The LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month you shall keep a sabbath rest, with a sacred assembly and with the trumpet blasts as a reminder; you shall then do no sort of work, and you shall offer an oblation to the LORD." [LEV 23:23-25]

The LORD said to Moses, "The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement, when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves and offer an oblation to the LORD. On this day you shall not do any work, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD, your God. Anyone who does not mortify himself on this day shall be cut off from his people, and if anyone does any work on this day, I will remove him from the midst of his people. This is a perpetual statute for you and your descendants wherever you dwell: you shall do no work, but shall keep a sabbath of complete rest and mortify yourselves. Beginning on the evening of the ninth of the month, you shall keep this sabbath of yours from evening to evening." [LEV 23:26-32]

The LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites: The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD'S feast of Booths, which shall continue for seven days. On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly, and you shall do no sort of work. For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD, and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and offer an oblation to the LORD. On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work." [LEV 23:33-36]

I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. "When, then, your countryman becomes so impoverished beside you that he sells you his services, do not make him work as a slave. Rather, let him be like a hired servant or like your tenant, working with you until the jubilee year, when he, together with his children, shall be released from your service and return to his kindred and to the property of his ancestors." [LEV 25:38-41]

The LORD said to Moses: "This is the rule for the Levites. Each from his twenty-fifth year onward shall perform the required service in the meeting tent. When he is fifty years old, he shall retire from the required service and work no longer. His service with his fellow Levites shall consist in sharing their responsibilities in the meeting tent, but he shall not do the work. This, then, is how you are to regulate the duties of the Levites." [NUM 8:23-26]

The LORD said to Aaron, "You and your sons as well as the other members of your ancestral house shall be responsible for the sanctuary; but the responsibility of the priesthood shall rest on you and your sons alone. Bring with you also your other kinsmen of the tribe of Levi, your ancestral tribe, as your associates and assistants, while you and your sons are in front of the tent of the commandments. They shall look after your persons and the whole tent; however, they shall not come near the sacred vessels or the altar, lest both they and you die. As your associates they shall have charge of all the work connected with the meeting tent. But no layman shall come near you. You shall have charge of the sanctuary and of the altar, that wrath may not fall again upon the Israelites. Remember, it is I who have taken your kinsmen, the Levites, from the body of the Israelites; they are a gift to you, dedicated to the LORD for the service of the meeting tent. But only you and your sons are to have charge of performing the priestly functions in whatever concerns the altar and the room within the veil. I give you the priesthood as a gift. Any layman who draws near shall be put to death." [NUM 18:1-7] 

"You shall consecrate to the LORD, your God, all the male firstlings of your herd and of your flock. You shall not work the firstlings of your cattle, nor shear the firstlings of your flock." [DEUT 15:19]

The people served the LORD during the entire lifetime of Joshua, and of those elders who outlived Joshua and who had seen all the great work which the LORD had done for Israel. [JUDG 2:7]

So her mother-in-law said to her, "Where did you glean today? Where did you go to work? May he who took notice of you be blessed!" Then she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked. "The man at whose place I worked today is named Boaz," she said. "May he be blessed by the LORD, who is ever merciful to the living and to the dead," Naomi exclaimed to her daughter-in-law; and she continued, "He is a relative of ours, one of our next of kin." [RUTH 2:19-20]

So David assembled the rest of the soldiers and went to Rabbah. When he had fought against it and captured it, he took the crown from Milcom's head. It weighed a talent, of gold and precious stones; it was placed on David's head. He brought out immense booty from the city, and also led away the inhabitants, whom he assigned to work with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, or put to work at the brickmold. This is what he did to all the Ammonite cities. David and all the soldiers then returned to Jerusalem. [2SAM 12:29-31]

King Solomon had Hiram brought from Tyre. He was a bronze worker, the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali; his father had been from Tyre. He was endowed with skill, understanding, and knowledge of how to produce any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his metal work. [1KGS 7:13-14]

When all the work undertaken by King Solomon in the temple of the LORD was completed, he brought in the dedicated offerings of his father David, putting the silver, gold, and other articles in the treasuries of the temple of the LORD. [1KGS 7:51]

Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and cast their gods into the fire; they destroyed them because they were not gods, but the work of human hands, wood and stone. [2KGS 19:17-18]

Then he called for his son Solomon and commanded him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: "My son, it was my purpose to build a house myself for the honor of the LORD, my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: 'You have shed much blood, and you have waged great wars. You may not build a house in my honor, because you have shed too much blood upon the earth in my sight. However, a son is to be born to you. He will be a peaceful man, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. For Solomon shall be his name, and in his time I will bestow peace and tranquility on Israel. It is he who shall build a house in my honor; he shall be a son to me, and I will be a father to him, and I will establish the throne of his kingship over Israel forever.' Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has said you shall. May the LORD give you prudence and discernment when he brings you to rule over Israel, so that you keep the law of the LORD, your God. Only then shall you succeed, if you are careful to observe the precepts and decrees which the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be brave and steadfast; do not fear or lose heart. See, with great effort I have laid up for the house of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, and bronze and iron in such great quantities that they cannot be weighed. I have also stored up wood and stones, to which you must add. Moreover, you have available an unlimited supply of workmen, stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and every kind of craftsman skilled in gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Set to work, therefore, and the LORD be with you!" [1CHRON 22:6-16]

These were the sons of Levi according to their ancestral houses, the family heads as they were enrolled one by one according to their names. They performed the work of the service of the house of the LORD from twenty years of age upward, for David's final orders were to enlist the Levites from the time they were twenty years old. [1CHRON 23:24,27]

Among the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, one thousand seven hundred police officers, had the administration of Israel on the western side of the Jordan in all the work of the LORD and in the service of the king. [1CHRON 26:30]

"As for you, Solomon, my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing soul, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the mind's thoughts. If you seek him, he will let himself be found by you; but if you abandon him, he will cast you off forever. See, then! The LORD has chosen you to build a house as his sanctuary. Take courage and set to work." [1CHRON 28:9-10]

Then David gave to his son Solomon the pattern of the portico and of the building itself, with its storerooms, its upper rooms and inner chambers, and the room with the propitiatory. He provided also the pattern for all else that he had in mind by way of courts for the house of the LORD, with the surrounding compartments for the stores for the house of God and the stores of the votive offerings, as well as for the divisions of the priests and Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the liturgical vessels of the house of the LORD. He specified the weight of gold to be used in the golden vessels for the various services and the weight of silver to be used in the silver vessels for the various services; likewise for the golden lampstands and their lamps he specified the weight of gold for each lampstand and its lamps, and for the silver lampstands he specified the weight of silver for each lampstand and its lamps, depending on the use to which each lampstand was to be put. [1CHRON 28:11-15]

Then David said to his son Solomon: "Be firm and steadfast; go to work without fear or discouragement, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. The classes of the priests and Levites are ready for all the service of the house of God; they will help you in all your work with all those who are eager to show their skill in every kind of craftsmanship. Also the leaders and all the people will do everything that you command." [1CHRON 28:20-21]

King David then said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and immature; the work, however, is great, for this castle is not intended for man, but for the LORD God. For this reason I have stored up for the house of my God, as far as I was able, gold for what will be made of gold, silver for what will be made of silver, bronze for what will be made of bronze, iron for what will be made of iron, wood for what will be made of wood, onyx stones and settings for them, carnelian and mosaic stones, every other kind of precious stone, and great quantities of marble. But now, because of the delight I take in the house of my God, in addition to all that I stored up for the holy house, I give to the house of my God my personal fortune in gold and silver: three thousand talents of Ophir gold, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the rooms, for the various utensils to be made of gold and silver, and for every work that is to be done by artisans. Now, who else is willing to contribute generously this day to the LORD?" Then the heads of the families, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the overseers of the king's affairs came forward willingly and contributed for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. Those who had precious stones gave them into the keeping of Jehiel the Gershonite for the treasury of the house of the LORD. The people rejoiced over these free-will offerings, which had been contributed to the LORD wholeheartedly. King David also rejoiced greatly. [2CHRON 2:1-9]

Huram, king of Tyre, wrote an answer which he sent to Solomon: "Because the LORD loves his people, he has placed you over them as king." He added: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for having given King David a wise son of intelligence and understanding, who will build a house for the LORD and also a house for his royal estate. I am now sending you a craftsman of great skill, Huram-abi, son of a Danite woman and of a father from Tyre; he knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze and iron, with stone and wood, with purple, violet, fine linen and crimson, and also how to do all kinds of engraved work and to devise every type of artistic work that may be given him and your craftsmen and the craftsmen of my lord David your father." [2CHRON 2:10-13]

Thereupon Solomon took a census of all the alien men who were in the land of Israel (following the census David his father had taken of them), who were found to number one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred. Of these he made seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to keep the people working. [2CHRON 2:16-17]

When all the work undertaken by Solomon for the temple of the LORD had been completed, he brought in the dedicated offerings of his father David, putting the silver, the gold and all the other articles in the treasuries of the house of God. [2CHRON 5:1]

All of Solomon's work was carried out successfully from the day the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid until the house of the LORD had been completed in every detail. [2CHRON 8:16]

Upon Azariah, son of Oded, came the spirit of God. He went forth to meet Asa and said to him: "Hear me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin! The LORD is with you when you are with him, and if you seek him he will be present to you; but if you abandon him, he will abandon you. For a long time Israel had no true God, no priest-teacher and no law, but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was present to them. In that former time there was no peace for anyone to go or come, but there were many terrors upon the inhabitants of the lands. Nation crushed nation and city crushed city, for God destroyed them by every kind of adversity. But as for you, be strong and do not relax, for your work shall be rewarded." [2CHRON 15:1-7]

After this, King Jehoshaphat of Judah allied himself with King Ahaziah of Israel, who did evil. He joined with him in building ships to sail to Tarshish; the fleet was built at Ezion-geber. But Eliezer, son of Dodavahu from Mareshah, prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the LORD will shatter your work." And the ships were wrecked and were unable to sail to Tarshish. [2CHRON 20:35-37]

They gathered their brethren together and sanctified themselves; then they came as the king had ordered, to cleanse the LORD'S house in keeping with his words. The priests entered the interior of the LORD'S house to cleanse it; and whatever they found in the LORD'S temple that was unclean they brought out to the court of the LORD'S house, where the Levites took it from them and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. They began the work of consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they arrived at the vestibule of the LORD; they consecrated the LORD'S house during eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month, they had finished. [2CHRON 29:15-17]

In the year after their coming to the house of God in Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, son of Jozadak, together with the rest of their brethren, the priests and Levites and all who had come from the captivity to Jerusalem, began by appointing the Levites twenty years of age and over to supervise the work on the house of the LORD. Jeshua and his sons and brethren, with Kadmiel and Binnui, son of Henadad, and their sons and their brethren, the Levites, stood as one man to supervise those who were engaged in the work on the house of God. When the builders had laid the foundation of the LORD'S temple, the vested priests with the trumpets and the Levites, sons of Asaph, were stationed there with the cymbals to praise the LORD in the manner laid down by David, king of Israel. They alternated in songs of praise and thanksgiving to the LORD, "for he is good, for his kindness to Israel endures forever"; and all the people raised a great shout of joy, praising the LORD because the foundation of the LORD'S house had been laid. Many of the priests, Levites, and family heads, the old men who had seen the former house, cried out in sorrow as they watched the foundation of the present house being laid. Many others, however, lifted up their voices in shouts of joy, and no one could distinguish the sound of the joyful shouting from the sound of those who were weeping; for the people raised a mighty clamor which was heard afar off. [EZRA 3:8-13]

The king sent this answer: "To Rehum, the governor, Shimshai, the scribe, and their fellow officials living in Samaria and elsewhere in the province West-of-Euphrates, greetings and the following: The communication which you sent us has been read plainly in my presence. When at my command inquiry was made, it was verified that from ancient times this city has risen up against kings and that rebellion and sedition have been fostered there. Powerful kings were once in Jerusalem who ruled over all West-of-Euphrates, and taxes, tributes, and tolls were paid to them. Give orders, therefore, that will stop the work of these men. This city may not be rebuilt until a further decree has been issued by me. Take care that you do not neglect this matter, lest the evil grow to the detriment of the throne." As soon as a copy of King Artaxerxes' letter had been read before Rehum, the governor, Shimshai, the scribe, and their fellow officials, they went in all haste to the Jews in Jerusalem and stopped their work by force of arms. Thus it was that the work on the house of God in Jerusalem was halted. This inaction lasted until the second year of the reign of Darius, king of Persia. [EZRA 4:17-24]

Let it be known to the king that we have visited the province of Judah and the house of the great God: it is being rebuilt of cut stone and the walls are being reinforced with timber; the work is being carried on diligently and is making good progress under their hands. [EZRA 5:8]

They joyfully kept the feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, for the LORD had filled them with joy by making the king of Assyria favorable to them, so that he gave them help in their work on the house of God, the God of Israel. [EZRA 6:22]

Afterward I said to them: "You see the evil plight in which we stand: how Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been gutted by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be an object of derision!" Then I explained to them how the favoring hand of my God had rested upon me, and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us be up and building!" And they undertook the good work with vigor. [NEH 2:17-18]

Above the Horse Gate the priests carried out the work of repair, each before his own house. [NEH 3:28]

Between the upper chamber of the Angle and the Sheep Gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants carried out the work of repair. [NEH 3:32]

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, it roused his anger and he became very much incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, saying in the presence of his brethren and the troops of Samaria: "What are these miserable Jews trying to do? Will they complete their restoration in a single day? Will they recover these stones, burnt as they are, from the heaps of dust?" Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said: "It is a rubble heap they are building. Any fox that attacked it would breach their wall of stones!" Take note, O our God, how we were mocked! Turn back their derision upon their own heads and let them be carried away to a land of captivity! Hide not their crime and let not their sin be blotted out in your sight, for they insulted the builders to their face! We, however, continued to build the wall, which was soon filled in and completed up to half its height. The people worked with a will. [NEH 3:33-38]

Our enemies thought, "Before they are aware of it or see us, we shall come into their midst, kill them, and put an end to the work." When the Jews who lived near them had come to us from one place after another, and had told us ten times over that they were about to attack us, I stationed guards down below, behind the wall, near the exposed points, assigning them by family groups with their swords, their spears, and their bows. I made an inspection, then addressed these words to the nobles, the magistrates, and the rest of the people: "Have no fear of them! Keep in mind the LORD, who is great and to be feared, and fight for your brethren, your sons and daughters, your wives and your homes." When our enemies became aware that we had been warned and that God had upset their plan, we all went back, each to his own task at the wall. From that time on, however, only half my able men took a hand in the work, while the other half, armed with spears, bucklers, bows, and breastplates, stood guard behind the whole house of Judah as they rebuilt the wall. The load carriers, too, were armed; each did his work with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Every builder, while he worked, had his sword girt at his side. Also, a trumpeter stood beside me, for I had said to the nobles, the magistrates, and the rest of the people: "Our work is scattered and extensive, and we are widely separated from one another along the wall; wherever you hear the trumpet sound, join us there; our God will fight with us." Thus we went on with the work, half of the men with spears at the ready, from daybreak till the stars came out. At the same time I told the people to spend the nights inside Jerusalem, each man with his own attendant, so that they might serve as a guard by night and a working force by day. Neither I, nor my kinsmen, nor any of my attendants, nor any of the bodyguard that accompanied me took off his clothes; everyone kept his weapon at his right hand. [NEH 4:5-17]

Moreover, from the time that King Artaxerxes appointed me governor in the land of Judah, from his twentieth to his thirty-second year - during these twelve years neither I nor my brethren lived from the governor's allowance. The earlier governors, my predecessors, had laid a heavy burden on the people, taking from them each day forty silver shekels for their food; then too, their men oppressed the people. But I, because I feared God, did not act thus. Moreover, though I had acquired no land of my own, I did my part in this work on the wall, and all my men were gathered there for the work. [NEH 5:14-16]

When it had been reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and our other enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and that there was no breach left in it (though up to that time I had not yet set up the doors in the gates), Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us hold council together at Caphirim in the plain of Ono." They were planning to do me harm. However, I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am engaged in a great enterprise and am unable to come down; why should the work stop, while I leave it to come down to you?" Four times they sent me this same proposal, and each time I gave the same reply. Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent me the same message by one of his servants, who bore an unsealed letter containing this text: "Among the nations it has been reported - Geshem is witness to this - that you and the Jews are planning a rebellion; that for this reason you are rebuilding the wall; and that you are to be their king" - and so on. "Also, that you have set up prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim you king of Judah. Now, since matters like these must reach the ear of the king, come, let us hold council together." I sent him this answer: "Nothing of what you report has taken place; rather, it is the invention of your own mind." They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will slacken in the work, and it will never be completed." But instead, I now redoubled my efforts. [NEH 6:1-9]

The wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul; it had taken fifty-two days. When all our enemies had heard of this, and all the nations round about had taken note of it, our enemies lost much face in the eyes of the nations, for they knew that it was with our God's help that this work had been completed. [NEH 6:15-16]

At that time my wife Anna worked for hire at weaving cloth [Taken from TOBIT 2:11]

"Do not keep with you overnight the wages of any man who works for you, but pay him immediately. If you thus behave as God's servant, you will receive your reward. Keep a close watch on yourself, my son, in everything you do, and discipline yourself in all your conduct." [TOBIT 4:14]

Tobiah went to look for someone acquainted with the roads who would travel with him to Media. As soon as he went out, he found the angel Raphael standing before him, though he did not know that this was an angel of God. Tobiah said to him, "Who are you, young man?" He replied "I am an Israelite, one of your kinsmen. I have come here to work." Tobiah said, "Do you know the way to Media?" The other replied: "Yes, I have been there many times. I know the place well and I know all the routes. I have often traveled to Media; I used to stay with our kinsman Gabael, who lives at Rages in Media. It is a good two days' travel from Ecbatana to Rages, for Rages is situated at the mountains, Ecbatana out on the plateau." Tobiah said to him, "Wait for me, young man, till I go back and tell my father; for I need you to make the journey with me. I will, of course, pay you." [TOBIT 5:4-7]

Then Mordecai said: "This is the work of God. I recall the dream I had about these very things, and not a single detail has been left unfulfilled" [Taken from ESTH F:1-2]

Mattathias and his friends went about and tore down the pagan altars; they also enforced circumcision for any uncircumcised boys whom they found in the territory of Israel. They put to flight the arrogant, and the work prospered in their hands. They saved the law from the hands of the Gentiles and of the kings and did not let the sinner triumph. [1MACC 2:45-48]

They also put loaves on the table and hung up curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken. [1MACC 4:51]

In the year one hundred and fifty-three, in the second month, Alcimus ordered the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary to be torn down, thus destroying the work of the prophets. But he only began to tear it down. Just at that time he had a stroke, and his work was interrupted; his mouth was closed and he was paralyzed, so that he could no longer utter a word to give orders concerning his house. Finally he died in great agony. [1MACC 9:54-56]

When Jonathan returned, he assembled the elders of the people, and with them he made plans for building strongholds in Judea, for making the walls of Jerusalem still higher, and for erecting a high barrier between the citadel and the city, that would isolate the citadel and so prevent its garrison from commerce with the city. The people therefore worked together on building up the city, for part of the east wall above the ravine had collapsed. The quarter called Chaphenatha was also repaired. [1MACC 12:35-37]

When this man arrived in Jerusalem, he pretended to be peacefully disposed and waited until the holy day of the sabbath; then, finding the Jews refraining from work, he ordered his men to parade fully armed. [2MACC 5:25]

And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?" But Satan answered the LORD and said, "Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face." And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand upon his person." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. [JOB 1:8-12]

Can an enemy of justice indeed be in control, or will you condemn the supreme Just One, Who says to a king, "You are worthless!" and to nobles, "You are wicked!" Who neither favors the person of princes, nor respects the rich more than the poor? For they are all the work of his hands; in a moment they die, even at midnight. He brings on nobles, and takes them away, removing the powerful without lifting a hand; For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he beholds all his steps. [JOB 34:17-21]

Behold, God is sublime in his power. What teacher is there like him? Who prescribes for him his conduct, or who can say, "You have done wrong"? Remember, you should extol his work, which men have praised in song. All men contemplate it; man beholds it from afar. Lo, God is great beyond our knowledge; the number of his years is past searching out. He holds in check the water drops that filter in rain through his mists, Till the skies run with them and the showers rain down on mankind. For by these he nourishes the nations, and gives them food in abundance. [JOB 36:22-28,31]

Do you know how the clouds are banked, the wondrous work of him who is perfect in knowledge? [JOB 37:16]

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place - What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet [Taken from PS 8:4-7]

Do not drag me off with the wicked, with those who do wrong, Who speak peace to their neighbors though evil is in their hearts. Repay them for their deeds, for the evil that they do. For the work of their hands repay them; give them what they deserve. They pay no heed to the LORD'S works, to the deeds of God's hands. God will tear them down, never to be rebuilt. [PS 28:3-5]

From heaven the LORD looks down and observes the whole human race, Surveying from the royal throne all who dwell on earth. The one who fashioned the hearts of them all knows all their works. [PS 33:13-15]

May the favor of the Lord our God be ours. Prosper the work of our hands! Prosper the work of our hands! [PS 90:17]

Of old you laid the earth's foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands. They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; Like clothing you change them and they are changed, but you are the same, your years have no end. May the children of your servants live on; may their descendants live in your presence. [PS 102:26-29]

People go forth to their work, to their labor till evening falls. [PS 104:23]

Majestic and glorious is your work, your wise design endures forever. [PS 111:3]

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell. They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk, and no sound rises from their throats. Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them. [PS 115:4-8]

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; They have ears but hear not; no breath is in their mouths. Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them. [PS 135:15-18]

The LORD is with me to the end. LORD, your love endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands! [PS 138:8]

Your reign is a reign for all ages, your dominion for all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in every word, and faithful in every work. [PS 145:13]

From the fruit of his words a man has his fill of good things, and the work of his hands comes back to reward him. [PROV 12:14]

Entrust your works to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. [PROV 16:3]

The man who is slack in his work is own brother to the man who is destructive. [PROV 18:9]

The sluggard's propensity slays him, for his hands refuse to work. [PROV 21:25]

You see a man skilled at his work? He will stand in the presence of kings; he will not stand in the presence of obscure men. [PROV 22:29]

Complete your outdoor tasks, and arrange your work in the field; afterward you can establish your house. [PROV 24:27]

I undertook great works; I built myself houses and planted vineyards; I made gardens and parks, and set out in them fruit trees of all sorts. And I constructed for myself reservoirs to water a flourishing woodland. I amassed for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of kings and provinces. I got for myself male and female singers and all human luxuries. I became great, and I stored up more than all others before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom, too, stayed with me. Nothing that my eyes desired did I deny them, nor did I deprive myself of any joy, but my heart rejoiced in the fruit of all my toil. This was my share for all my toil. But when I turned to all the works that my hands had wrought, and to the toil at which I had taken such pains, behold! all was vanity and a chase after wind, with nothing gained under the sun. For what will the man do who is to come after the king? What men have already done! I went on to the consideration of wisdom, madness and folly. [Taken from ECCL 2:4-6,8-12]

Neither of the wise man nor of the fool will there be an abiding remembrance, for in days to come both will have been forgotten. How is it that the wise man dies as well as the fool! Therefore I loathed life, since for me the work that is done under the sun is evil; for all is vanity and a chase after wind. And I detested all the fruits of my labor under the sun, because I must leave them to a man who is to come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruits of my wise labor under the sun. This also is vanity. So my feelings turned to despair of all the fruits of my labor under the sun. For here is a man who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and to another, who has not labored over it, he must leave his property. This also is vanity and a great misfortune. For what profit comes to a man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun? All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity. There is nothing better for man than to eat and drink and provide himself with good things by his labors. Even this, I realized, is from the hand of God. For who can eat or drink apart from him? For to whatever man he sees fit he gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering possessions to be given to whatever man God sees fit. This also is vanity and a chase after wind. [ECCL 2:16-26]

What advantage has the worker from his toil? I have considered the task which God has appointed for men to be busied about. He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men's ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to be glad and to do well during life. For every man, moreover, to eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of all his labor is a gift of God. I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. What now is has already been; what is to be, already is; and God restores what would otherwise be displaced. And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and in the seat of justice, iniquity. And I said to myself, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since there is a time for every affair and on every work a judgment. I said to myself: As for the children of men, it is God's way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts. For the lot of man and of beast is one lot; the one dies as well as the other. Both have the same life-breath, and man has no advantage over the beast; but all is vanity. Both go to the same place; both were made from the dust, and to the dust they both return. Who knows if the life-breath of the children of men goes upward and the life-breath of beasts goes earthward? And I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to rejoice in his work; for this is his lot. Who will let him see what is to come after him? [ECCL 3:9-22]

Then I saw that all toil and skillful work is the rivalry of one man for another. This also is vanity and a chase after wind. [ECCL 4:4]

Be not hasty in your utterance and let not your heart be quick to make a promise in God's presence. God is in heaven and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few. For nightmares come with many cares, and a fool's utterance with many words. When you make a vow to God, delay not its fulfillment. For God has no pleasure in fools; fulfill what you have vowed. You had better not make a vow than make it and not fulfill it. Let not your utterances make you guilty, and say not before his representative, "It was a mistake," lest God be angered by such words and destroy the works of your hands. [ECCL 5:1-5]

Consider the work of God. Who can make straight what he has made crooked? [ECCL 7:13]

There is no man who is master of the breath of life so as to retain it, and none has mastery of the day of death. There is no exemption from the struggle, nor are the wicked saved by their wickedness. All these things I considered and I applied my mind to every work that is done under the sun, while one man tyrannizes over another to his hurt. [ECCL 8:8-9]

When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to observe what is done on earth, I recognized that man is unable to find out all God's work that is done under the sun, even though neither by day nor by night do his eyes find rest in sleep. However much man toils in searching, he does not find it out; and even if the wise man says that he knows, he is unable to find it out. [ECCL 8:16-17]

Just as you know not how the breath of life fashions the human frame in the mother's womb, So you know not the work of God which he is accomplishing in the universe. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening let not your hand be idle: For you know not which of the two will be successful, or whether both alike will turn out well. [ECCL 11:5-6]

The last word, when all is heard: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man's all; because God will bring to judgment every work, with all its hidden qualities, whether good or bad. [ECCL 12:13-14]

His arms are rods of gold adorned with chrysolites. His body is a work of ivory covered with sapphires. [SONG 5:14]

Court not death by your erring way of life, nor draw to yourselves destruction by the works of your hands. [WISDOM 1:12]

For he who despises wisdom and instruction is doomed. Vain is their hope, fruitless are their labors, and worthless are their works. [WISDOM 3:11]

Now with you is Wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world; Who understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what is conformable with your commands. Send her forth from your holy heavens and from your glorious throne dispatch her That she may be with me and work with me, that I may know what is your pleasure. For she knows and understands all things, and will guide me discreetly in my affairs and safeguard me by her glory; Thus my deeds will be acceptable, and I shall judge your people justly and be worthy of my father's throne. [WISDOM 9:9-12]

But Wisdom delivered from tribulations those who served her. She, when the just man fled from his brother's anger, guided him in direct ways, Showed him the kingdom of God and gave him knowledge of holy things; She prospered him in his labors and made abundant the fruit of his works, Stood by him against the greed of his defrauders, and enriched him; She preserved him from foes, and secured him against ambush, And she gave him the prize for his stern struggle that he might know that devotion to God is mightier than all else. [WISDOM 10:9-12]

But doomed are they, and in dead things are their hopes, who termed gods things made by human hands: Gold and silver, the product of art, and likenesses of beasts, or useless stone, the work of an ancient hand. [WISDOM 13:10]

For truly the potter, laboriously working the soft earth, molds for our service each several article: Both the vessels that serve for clean purposes and their opposites, all alike; As to what shall be the use of each vessel of either class the worker in clay is the judge. [WISDOM 15:7]

Be not a lion at home, nor sly and suspicious at work. [SIRACH 4:30]

Better the worker who has plenty of everything than the boaster who is without bread. [SIRACH 10:26]

All man's works will perish in decay, and his handiwork will follow after him. [SIRACH 14:19]

He who works his land has abundant crops, he who pleases the great is pardoned his faults. [SIRACH 20:27]

As the furnace probes the work of the smith, so does wine the hearts of the insolent. [SIRACH 31:26]

Speak not to a woman about her rival, nor to a coward about war, to a merchant about business, to a buyer about value, to a miser about generosity, to a cruel man about mercy, to a lazy man about work, to a seasonal laborer about the harvest... pay no attention to any advice they give. [Taken from SIRACH 37:11]

He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works, Through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. [SIRACH 38:6-8]

So with every engraver and designer who, laboring night and day, Fashions carved seals, and whose concern is to vary the pattern. His care is to produce a vivid impression, and he keeps watch till he finishes his design. So with the smith standing near his anvil, forging crude iron. The heat from the fire sears his flesh, yet he toils away in the furnace heat. The clang of the hammer deafens his ears, His eyes are fixed on the tool he is shaping. His care is to finish his work, and he keeps watch till he perfects it in detail. So with the potter sitting at his labor, revolving the wheel with his feet. He is always concerned for his products, and turns them out in quantity. With his hands he molds the clay, and with his feet softens it. His care is for proper coloring, and he keeps watch on the fire of his kiln. All these men are skilled with their hands, each one an expert at his own task; Without them no city could be lived in, and wherever they stay, they need not hunger. They do not occupy the judge's bench, nor are they prominent in the assembly; They set forth no decisions or judgments, nor are they found among the rulers; Yet they maintain God's ancient handiwork, and their concern is for exercise of their skill. [SIRACH 38:27-34]

The works of all mankind are present to him; not a thing escapes his eye. His gaze spans all the ages; to him there is nothing unexpected. [SIRACH 39:19-20]

The orb of the sun, resplendent at its rising: what a wonderful work of the Most High! [SIRACH 43:2]

Work at your tasks in due season, and in his own time God will give you your reward. [SIRACH 51:30]

Rebels and sinners alike shall be crushed, those who desert the LORD shall be consumed. You shall be ashamed of the terebinths which you prized, and blush for the groves which you chose. You shall become like a tree with falling leaves, like a garden that has no water. The strong man shall turn to tow, and his work shall become a spark [Taken from ISA 1:28-31]

Their land is full of idols; they worship the works of their hands, that which their fingers have made. [ISA 2:8]

Happy the just, for it will be well with them, the fruit of their works they will eat. Woe to the wicked man! All goes ill, with the work of his hands he will be repaid. [ISA 3:10-11]

Woe to those who demand strong drink as soon as they rise in the morning, And linger into the night while wine inflames them! With harp and lyre, timbrel and flute, they feast on wine; But what the LORD does, they regard not, the work of his hands they see not. [ISA 5:11-12]

Woe to those who tug at guilt with cords of perversity, and at sin as if with cart ropes! To those who say, "Let him make haste and speed his work, that we may see it; On with the plan of the Holy One of Israel! let it come to pass, that we may know it!" [ISA 5:18-19]

The princes of Zoan have become fools, the princes of Memphis have been deceived. The chiefs of her tribes have led Egypt astray. The LORD has prepared among them a spirit of dizziness, And they have made Egypt stagger in whatever she does, as a drunkard staggers in his vomit. Egypt shall have no work to do for head or tail, palm branch or reed. [ISA 19:13-15]

For the LORD shall rise up as on Mount Perazim, bestir himself as in the Valley of Gibeon, To carry out his work, his singular work, to perform his deed, his strange deed. [ISA 28:21]

Woe to those who would hide their plans too deep for the LORD! Who work in the dark, saying, "Who sees us, or who knows us?" Your perversity is as though the potter were taken to be the clay: As though what is made should say of its maker, "He made me not!" Or the vessel should say of the potter, "He does not understand." [ISA 29:15-16]

Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. [ISA 29:22-23]

Idol makers all amount to nothing, and their precious works are of no avail, as they themselves give witness. To their shame, they neither see nor know anything; and they are more deaf than men are. Indeed, all the associates of anyone who forms a god, or casts an idol to no purpose, will be put to shame; they will all assemble and stand forth, to be reduced to fear and shame. [ISA 44:9-11]

Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, his maker: You question me about my children, or prescribe the work of my hands for me! It was I who made the earth and created mankind upon it; It was my hands that stretched out the heavens; I gave the order to all their host. [ISA 45:11-12]

Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful; all of us have become like unclean men, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; We have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind. There is none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; For you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. Yet, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands. Be not so very angry, LORD, keep not our guilt forever in mind; look upon us, who are all your people. [ISA 64:4-8]

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