This reading plan is provided by Brian Hardin from Daily Audio Bible (NIV)
)Song of Songs 5-8
5 I have come to my garden—my sister, my bride.
I gather[a] my myrrh with my spices.
I eat my honeycomb with my honey.
I drink my wine with my milk.
Drink, be intoxicated with caresses![b]
2 I was sleeping, but my heart was awake.
A sound! My love was knocking!
Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my perfect one.
For my head is drenched with dew,
my hair with droplets of the night.
3 I have taken off my clothing.
How can I put it back on?
I have washed my feet.
How can I get them dirty?
4 My love thrust his hand through the opening,
and my feelings were stirred for him.
5 I rose to open for my love.
My hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with flowing myrrh
on the handles of the bolt.
6 I opened to my love,
but my love had turned and gone away.
My heart sank[c] because he had left.[d]
I sought him, but did not find him.
I called him, but he did not answer.
7 The guards who go about the city found me.
They beat and wounded me;
they took my cloak[e] from me—
the guardians of the walls.
8 Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you,
if you find my love,
tell him that I am lovesick.
9 What makes the one you love better than another,
most beautiful of women?
What makes him better than another,
that you would give us this charge?
10 My love is fit and strong,[f]
notable among ten thousand.
11 His head is purest gold.
His hair is wavy[g]
and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
beside flowing streams,
washed in milk
and set like jewels.[h]
13 His cheeks are like beds of spice,
mounds of[i] perfume.
His lips are lilies,
dripping with flowing myrrh.
14 His arms[j] are rods of gold
set[k] with beryl.
His body[l] is an ivory panel
covered with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are alabaster pillars
set on pedestals of pure gold.
His presence is like Lebanon,
as majestic as the cedars.
16 His mouth is sweetness.
He is absolutely desirable.
This is my love, and this is my friend,
young women of Jerusalem.
6 Where has your love gone,
most beautiful of women?
Which way has he[m] turned?
We will seek him with you.
2 My love has gone down to his garden,
to beds of spice,
to feed in the gardens
and gather lilies.
3 I am my love’s and my love is mine;
he feeds among the lilies.
4 You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,
lovely as Jerusalem,
awe-inspiring as an army with banners.
5 Turn your eyes away from me,
for they captivate me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
streaming down from Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
coming up from washing,
each one having a twin,
and not one missing.[n]
7 Behind your veil,
your brow[o] is like a slice of pomegranate.
8 There are sixty queens
and eighty concubines
and young women[p] without number.
9 But my dove, my virtuous one, is unique;
she is the favorite of her mother,
perfect to the one who gave her birth.
Women see her and declare her fortunate;
queens and concubines also, and they sing her praises:
10 Who is this who shines like the dawn,
as beautiful as the moon,
bright as the sun,
awe-inspiring as an army with banners?
11 I came down to the walnut grove
to see the blossoms of the valley,
to see if the vines were budding
and the pomegranates blooming.
12 I didn’t know what was happening to me.
I felt like I was
in a chariot with a nobleman.[q]
13 Come back, come back, Shulammite![r]
Come back, come back, that we may look at you!
How you gaze at the Shulammite,
as you look at the dance of the two camps![s]
7 How beautiful are your sandaled feet, princess![t]
The curves of your thighs are like jewelry,
the handiwork of a master.
2 Your navel is a rounded bowl;
it never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a mound of wheat
surrounded by lilies.
3 Your breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like a tower of ivory,
your eyes like pools in Heshbon
by Bath-rabbim’s gate.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
looking toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you[u] like Mount Carmel,
the hair of your head like purple cloth—
a king could be held captive in your tresses.
6 How beautiful you are and how pleasant,
my love, with such delights!
7 Your stature is like a palm tree;
your breasts are clusters of fruit.
8 I said, “I will climb the palm tree
and take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes,
and the fragrance of your breath like apricots.
9 Your mouth[v] is like fine wine—
flowing smoothly for my love,
gliding past my lips and teeth![w]
10 I am my love’s,
and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my love,
let’s go to the field;
let’s spend the night among the henna blossoms.[x]
12 Let’s go early to the vineyards;
let’s see if the vine has budded,
if the blossom has opened,
if the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my caresses.
13 The mandrakes give off a fragrance,
and at our doors is every delicacy,
both new and old.
I have treasured them up for you, my love.
8 If only I could treat you like my brother,[y]
one who nursed at my mother’s breasts,
I would find you in public and kiss you,
and no one would scorn me.
2 I would lead you, I would take you,
to the house of my mother who taught me.[z]
I would give you spiced wine to drink
from the juice of my pomegranate.
3 May his left hand be under my head,
and his right arm embrace me.
4 Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you,
do not stir up or awaken love
until the appropriate time.
5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
leaning on the one she loves?
I awakened you under the apricot tree.
There your mother conceived you;
there she conceived and gave you birth.
6 Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death;
jealousy is as unrelenting as Sheol.
Love’s flames are fiery flames—
an almighty flame![aa]
7 A huge torrent cannot extinguish love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If a man were to give all his wealth[ab] for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
8 Our sister is young;
she has no breasts.
What will we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build a silver barricade on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with cedar planks.
11 Solomon owned a vineyard in Baal-hamon.
He leased the vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for his fruit
one thousand pieces of silver.
12 I have my own vineyard.[af]
The one thousand are for you, Solomon,
but two hundred for those who take care of its fruits.
13 You[ag] who dwell in the gardens,
companions are listening for your voice;
let me hear you!
14 Run away with me,[ah] my love,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices.
- 5:1 Lit pluck
- 5:1 Or Drink your fill, lovers
- 5:6 Lit My soul went out
- 5:6 Or spoken
- 5:7 Or veil, or shawl
- 5:10 Or is radiant and ruddy
- 5:11 Or is like palm leaves; Hb obscure
- 5:12 Lit milk sitting in fullness
- 5:13 LXX, Vg read spice, yielding
- 5:14 Lit hands
- 5:14 Lit filled; Sg 5:2,12
- 5:14 Lit abdomen
- 6:1 Lit your love
- 6:6 Lit and no one bereaved among them
- 6:7 Or temple, or cheek, or lips
- 6:8 Or and virgins; Sg 1:3
- 6:12 Hb obscure
- 6:13 Or the perfect one, or the peaceable one
- 6:13 Or dance of Mahanaim
- 7:1 Lit daughter of a nobleman, or prince
- 7:5 Lit head upon you is
- 7:9 Lit palate
- 7:9 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads past lips of sleepers
- 7:11 Or the villages
- 8:1 Lit Would that you were like a brother to me
- 8:2 LXX adds and into the chamber of the one who bore me
- 8:6 Or the blaze of the Lord
- 8:7 Lit all the wealth of his house
- 8:10 Or was
- 8:10 Or brings
- 8:10 In Hb, the word for peace sounds similar to Solomon and Shulammite.
- 8:12 Lit My vineyard, which is mine, is before me; Sg 1:6
- 8:13 In Hb, the word for You is feminine.
- 8:14 Lit Flee
2 Corinthians 9
Motivations for Giving
9 Now concerning the ministry to the saints, it is unnecessary for me to write to you. 2 For I know your eagerness, and I boast about you to the Macedonians, “Achaia has been ready since last year,” and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you in this matter would not prove empty, and so that you would be ready just as I said. 4 Otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we, not to mention you, would be put to shame in that situation.[a] 5 Therefore I considered it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance the generous gift you promised, so that it will be ready as a gift and not as an extortion.
6 The point is this:[b] The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 9 As it is written:
He distributed freely;
he gave to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.[c]
10 Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
A Prayer for Restoration
For the choir director. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.
1 Be gracious to me, God,
according to your faithful love;
according to your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
2 Completely wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you—you alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in your sight.
So you are right when you pass sentence;
you are blameless when you judge.
5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
6 Surely you desire integrity in the inner self,
and you teach me wisdom deep within.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Turn your face away[a] from my sins
and blot out all my guilt.
10 God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast[b] spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me,
and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach the rebellious your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God—
God of my salvation—
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is[c] a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.
18 In your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;
build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
24 Don’t make friends with an angry person,[a]
and don’t be a companion of a hot-tempered one,
25 or you will learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
- 22:24 Lit with a master of anger
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
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