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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 1

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1 LOVE justice, you rulers of the earth; set your mind upon the Lord in the right way, and seek him in singleness of heart; 2for he is to be found by those who trust him without question, and he makes himself known to those who never doubt him. 3Dishonest thinking cuts people off from God, and if fools take liberties with his power he shows them up for what they are. 4Wisdom will not enter a shifty soul, nor make her home in a body that is mortgaged to sin. 5This holy spirit of discipline will shun falsehood; she cannot stay in the presence of unreason, and will withdraw at the approach of injustice.

6The spirit of wisdom is kindly towards mortals, but she will not hold a blasphemer blameless for his words, because God, who sees clearly into his heart and hears every word he speaks, is a witness of his inmost being. 7For the spirit of the Lord fills the whole earth, and that which holds all things together knows well everything that is said. 8Hence no one can utter injustice and not be found out, nor will justice overlook him when she passes sentence. 9The devices of a godless person will be brought to account, and a report of his words will come before the Lord as proof of his iniquity; 10no muttered syllable escapes that vigilant ear. 11Beware, then, of futile grumbling, and avoid all bitter talk; for even a secret whisper will not go unheeded, and a lying tongue brings destruction on its owner.

12Do not court death by a crooked life; do not draw disaster on yourselves by your own actions. 13For God did not make death, and takes no pleasure in the destruction of any living thing; 14he created all things that they might have being. The creative forces of the world make for life; there is no deadly poison in them. Death has no sovereignty on earth, 15for justice is immortal; 16but the godless by their deeds and words have asked death for his company. Thinking him their friend and pining for him, they have made a pact with him because they are fit members of his party.

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