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

Chapter 34

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1 VAIN hopes delude the senseless, and dreams give wings to a fool's fancy. 2Paying heed to dreams is like clutching a shadow or chasing the wind. 3What you see in a dream is nothing but a reflection, the image of a face in a mirror. 4Truth can no more come from illusion than purity can come from impurity. 5Divination, omens, and dreams are all futile, mere fantasies, like those of a woman in labour. 6Unless they are sent by intervention from the Most High, pay no attention to them. 7Dreams have led many astray and disappointed those who built their hopes on them. 8The law is perfect without such illusions; wisdom spoken by those faithful to the law is complete.

9He who is well travelled knows much, and a person of experience understands what he is talking about. 10He who has little experience knows little, but travel increases a person's resources. 11In the course of my own journeyings I have seen much and understand more than I can put into words. 12I have often been in deadly danger but escaped, thanks to the experience I had gained.

13 THOSE who fear the Lord will live, for their trust is in him who can keep them safe. 14Fear the Lord and have nothing else to fear; he whose trust is in him will never be daunted. 15How happy is he who fears the Lord! He knows where to look for support. 16The Lord keeps watch over those who love him; he is their strong shield and firm support, a shelter from scorching wind and noonday heat, a safeguard against stumbling, a help against falling. 17He raises the spirits and makes the eyes sparkle; he gives healing and life and blessing.

18A sacrifice from ill-gotten gains is tainted, and the gifts of the wicked win no approval. 19The Most High has no pleasure in the offerings of the godless, nor do countless sacrifices win his forgiveness. 20To offer a sacrifice from the possessions of the poor is like killing a son before his father's eyes. 21Bread is life to the destitute, and to deprive them of it is murder. 22To rob your neighbour of his livelihood is to kill him, and he who defrauds a worker of his wages sheds blood.

23 WHEN one builds and another pulls down, what have they gained except hard work? 24When one prays and another curses, which is the Lord to listen to? 25Bathe after touching a corpse and then touch it again, and what have you gained by your washing? 26So it is with the one who fasts for his sins and goes and repeats his offence; who will listen to his prayer? What has he gained by his penance?

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