4 Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gateand sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer[a] he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.
2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. 3 Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you[b] will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”
“I will redeem it,” he said.
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani,one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fastedand prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,
The Evils of Oppression
4 Then I looked again at all the acts ofoppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. 2 So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. 3 But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.
4 I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is [a]vanity and striving after wind.This is a copy of the letter that Jeremiah sent to those who would be taken captive into Babylon by the king of Babylon, so as to prophesy to them according to the warning he had received about them from God. "Because of the sins which you have sinned before God, you will be carried away into the captivity of Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.
2 And so, having been taken into Babylon, you will be there many years and for a long time, even to seven generations, yet after this, I will lead you away from there with peace.
3 But now, you will see in Babylon gods of gold and of silver, and of stone and of wood, carried upon shoulders, an awful display for the peoples.
4 See to it, then, that you do not in effect become like these strangers and become afraid, so that in awe you would be carried away into their midst.
5 And so, seeing the turmoil, behind you and in front of you, as they are worshiping, say in your hearts, You ought to be adored, O Lord.
6 For my angel is with you. And I myself will examine your souls.
7 For their tongue is polished by the craftsman, and they themselves are even inlaid with gold and silver, yet they are false and unable to speak.b