DECEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:35-36
[Wisdom (God's wisdom personified, or speaking like a person) says]: "For whoso[ever] findeth me [Wisdom] [i.e., whoever searches for Wisdom, finds it, and does what it says] findeth life [a good, long, happy life … one that is worth living], and shall obtain favour of [blessings from] the LORD. But he [or she] that sinneth against me [refuses to follow my (Wisdom's) lead or take my advice] wrongeth his [or her] own soul: all they that hate me [Wisdom] love death."

In his Bible study on these verses, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says:

"a. … the life that listens with the ears and the heart to Lady Wisdom is the life that will be blessed by God.

"b. If we refuse to follow the way of God's wisdom… we are refusing His blessing in our life!

"c. This is all our choice."

In paragraph 1, under "Life and Favor," he goes on to say:

"h. We act on our feelings way too often. We are by nature impatient.
" Sometimes we decide and then pray.
" On other occasions, we pray and then decide… which can be just as bad!
" What God wants us to do is to pray… and wait for an answer! Don't pray… and then go ahead and do what we have already decided to do!
" That is the way of the flesh… acting on feelings and impulses.
" God is able to guide us… incline our mind and heart… to use His Word… to work IN us both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.
" The one who truly FINDS wisdom is the one who waits at the posts of Lady Wisdom's doorposts… waiting to KNOW what is the right way to go… the right thing to do… the right and wise decision to make.
" Ex. [Exodus] 29:42 - the priests waited at the door of the tabernacle to hear the word of the Lord!
" THEN we need to act and obey-even if the way seems tough… even if the way of wisdom involves suffering… crosses to bear…"

Included in the commentary are examples of ways that people "wrong their own souls" (hurt themselves--through alcoholism, sexual immorality, gambling, bad parenting, gossip, laziness, etc.) by rejecting and disobeying God's counsel and choosing, instead, to do bad things.

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_35-36/.

DECEMBER 7

Galatians 2:16
[In a letter to the churches of Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Knowing that a man [or woman or child] is not justified [considered righteous, or acceptable in God's sight] by the works of the law [by obeying the law of Moses (ceremonial, moral, and judicial)--see note below*], but by the faith of Jesus Christ [by accepting his death as full payment for our sins], even we [Jewish Christians, to whom the letter was addressed, but this applies to all other Christians, too] have believed [placed our trust] in [the Lord] Jesus Christ [as Savior], [so] that we might be justified [born again, or saved] by the faith of [in] Christ, and not by the works of the law [i.e., good works, good deeds]: for by the works of the law shall no flesh [no person, Jew or Gentile] be justified."

In other words, we are justified by faith (believing in Jesus), not by works (obeying the law).

How to be saved the Bible way:
If you believe that Jesus Christ (Son of God, Messiah) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is ask him (through prayer) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

For detailed instructions on the plan of salvation, read one or more of the tracts in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
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*The article entitled "What is the difference between the ceremonial law, the moral law, and the judicial law in the Old Testament?" explains the various parts of the law of Moses. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/ceremonial-law.html.

DECEMBER 6

1 John 4:1-3 - The Apostle John's Advice for Christians
In these verses, we're told how to recognize and avoid false teachers:

Verse 1: "Beloved [a term of endearment], believe not every spirit [don't believe or trust everyone who claims to be sent from God and led (influenced, guided) by the Holy Spirit], but try [examine, test] the spirits [to see] whether they are of [from] God [in other words, examine the person's religious doctrines (beliefs) and 'works' or 'fruit' (things that he or she has done because of those doctrines) to see if they conform to (agree with, follow) the Bible]: [the reason you must 'try the spirits' is] because many false prophets [false teachers and preachers--see note below*] are gone out [from Satan] into the world."

Verse 2: "Hereby know ye
[this is how you can recognize] the [Holy] Spirit of God: Every spirit that [makes a person] confesseth [confess or proclaim] that Jesus Christ [the Son of God] is come [to earth] in the flesh [as a human being, which means he is both God and man] is of [from] God:"

Verse 3: "And every spirit that confesseth not
[does not confess] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist [the spirit of error that exists in false teachers, who are forerunners of (or who come before) the real antichrist, who will be revealed after the rapture (the taking away to heaven) of born-again Christians], whereof ye have heard that it [the anti-Christian spirit, or 'the spirit of antichrist'] should come [to earth]; and even now [in New Testament times, when these verses were written] already is it in the world."

According to Albert Barnes, we can try the spirits by comparing "… the doctrines which they [preachers and other religious teachers] professed to hold with what was revealed, and by the fruits of their doctrines in their lives. If they taught what God had taught in his word, and if their lives corresponded with his requirements, and if their doctrines agreed with what had been inculcated [repeatedly taught] by those who were admitted to be true apostles …, they [the Christians] were to receive them [the preachers and teachers] as what they professed to be. If not, they were to reject them, and hold them to be impostors."

(Source for Barnes quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html, "Verse 1")

In his commentary, John Gill points out that "… whoever owns and declares this system of truth [referring to the person and office of Jesus Christ; i.e., that he is the Son of God (with a human nature), Messiah, Savior of mankind, prophet, priest, King, etc.], 'is of God'; not that everyone that assents unto this, or preaches it, is born of God; a man may believe, and confess all this, as the devils themselves do, and yet be destitute of [not have] the grace of God; but the spirit, or doctrine, which contains these things in it, is certainly of God, or comes from him; or whoever brings these truths with him, and preaches them, he is, so far as he does so, on the side of God and truth, and to be regarded."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-john/4-2.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")
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*For more information about false prophets, read "How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/false-teachers.html..

**A GotQuestions.org article answers the following question: "How can Jesus be both God and man at the same time?" You can read it here: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-God-man.html.

DECEMBER 5

Proverbs 5:21: "For the ways of man
[mankind] are before the eyes of the LORD [i.e., everything that we think, say, and do, both publicly and privately, is seen by God], and he [God] pondereth all [of] his ['man's'] goings [which means that God carefully considers--and eventually will judge--all of our actions]."

Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church says we should be pay attention to what we're doing because God is always watching us.

The pastor's commentary on this verse is combined with verses 18-20, on the subject of sexual immorality. If you want to read it, click on the link to the commentary (https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-5-index/proverbs-5_18-21/) and scroll down the page to verse 21, which is near the bottom. The verse itself is in fancy type and highlighted.

DECEMBER 4

Hebrews 1:13-14 - Duties of Angels

Verse 13: "But to which of the angels said he
[God] at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool [until your enemies are conquered, vanquished, brought under control or subjection]? [Answer: God said it to none of them--see note below*]

Verse 14: Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits [see note below**], sent forth to minister for [serve, help, care for, and protect] them who shall be heirs of salvation [those who will someday inherit (be given, receive) eternal life; i.e., born-again Christians, who have become part of the family of God (children of God) through adoption]?"
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*The promise in verse 13, as recorded in the Bible,

-- Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

 was made by God to his Son, Jesus Christ (the Messiah), not to the angels.


**According to Matthew Henry, angels "… are spirits, without bodies or inclination to bodies, and yet they can assume bodies, and appear in them, when God pleases …" (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/hebrews/1.html, "Verses 4-14," "v. 13, v. 14")

In his commentary on verse 14, Albert Barnes lists some of the things that angels do:

"(1) They feel a deep interest in man …
"(2) they feel a special interest in all that relates to the redemption [salvation] of man …
"(3) they appear for the defense and protection of the people of God …
"(4) angels are sent to give us strength to resist temptation …
"(5) they support us in affliction …
"(6) they attend dying saints [i.e., born-again Christians], and conduct them to glory [heaven] …"

The above points, including references to many specific Bible verses, are discussed in Mr. Barnes' commentary on verse 14. If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-1.html.

DECEMBER 1-3

Genesis 9:8-17 - God's Promise to Noah After the Flood Ended:

Verses 8-10: "And God spake unto
[spoke to] Noah, and to his sons [Shem, Ham, and Japheth] [who were] with him [in the ark], saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant [agreement] with you, and with your seed [offspring, descendants] [who come] after you; And with every living creature that is with you [in the ark], of the fowl [birds and flying insects], of the cattle [domestic animals], and of every beast of the earth [wild animal] [that is] with you [in the ark]; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth."

Verses 11-13: "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh
[living things] be cut off [destroyed] any more by the waters of a [worldwide] flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token [symbol, sign] of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual [never-ending] generations [i.e., continuing forever]; I do set my [rain]bow in the cloud, and it [the rainbow] shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth."

Verses 14-16: "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the
[rain]bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the [rain]bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth."

Verse 17: "And God said unto Noah, This
[rainbow] is the token [symbol, sign] of the covenant [agreement], which I have established between me and all flesh [all living things--people, animals, birds, insects] that is upon the earth."

NOVEMBER 29-30

Hebrews 11:24-26 - Moses Rejects a Life of Royalty
Moses was born to a Jewish family. Before he was conceived, Pharaoh had ordered that all male Hebrew children were to be drowned at birth, so when Moses was born, in an attempt to save his life, his mother hid him at home for three months and then made an ark (a small waterproof basket), placed her son in it, and hid the ark in the tall plants that were growing near the bank of the Nile river. Pharaoh's daughter eventually found the ark, adopted Moses, and raised him as an Egyptian. Then this happened:

Verses 24-25: "By faith Moses, when he was come to years [when (at 40 years old) he had grown up and become a man], refused to be called [any longer] the son of [his adopted mother,] Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction [pain and suffering, persecution] with the people of God [the Jewish people, who at this time were slaves in Egypt], than to enjoy the pleasures of sin [meaning, in this case, the sinful activities taking place in Pharaoh's house and court] for a season [temporarily, for a while];"

Verse 26: "
[Moses made this choice because he was] Esteeming [considering] the reproach of Christ [or reproaches that are endured for the sake of Christ, referring to disapproval or disappointment that is sometimes expressed by others when we decide to follow Jesus] greater riches [more valuable] than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward [because he looked forward, instead of worldly pleasures, to the rewards and true joy (great pleasure and happiness) that he would have in heaven someday]."

According to one Bible commentator:

"There are four royal persons in the Bible each of whom made a notable refusal, these being Moses, David, Daniel, and Jesus. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; David refused Saul's armor …; Daniel refused the king's meat … and Jesus refused the popular efforts to make him an earthly king …

"Profound lessons come from a study of these refusals. Christians too must forbear the world's adoption and must not be fashioned according to the world … ; they must not understand the world as other than evil …, nor allow themselves to be spotted by it …, nor be enamored with its wisdom …, nor love it …, nor become a friend of it …, for the world is crucified unto Christians … The world's adoption must be rejected by them that would receive the 'adoption of sons' through Jesus Christ …

"Like David, Christians should reject the armor of this world, preferring 'the whole armor of God' …; like Daniel, they should reject the world's dainty fare, and like Jesus, any crown the world might offer, preferring the 'incorruptible' crown …, the 'crown of righteousness' …, the crown 'of glory' …, and the 'crown of life' …"

(References have been omitted from the above quotes. You can find the references here, along with additional information: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/hebrews/11-24.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

NOVEMBER 28

Proverbs 28:6: "Better is the poor
[person] that walketh in his [or her] uprightness [integrity], than he [or she] that is perverse [morally and religiously corrupt] in his [or her] ways, [even] though he [or she] be rich."

In other words, poor people with integrity (meaning they are honest and have strong moral principles) are better than rich people without integrity (meaning they do not possess those qualities).

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. In it, we learn that it is not wrong to be rich. In fact, physical wealth is one way in which God blesses his people (e.g., Adam and Eve, Abram, Lot, King David, Job, etc.). However, the Bible contains many warnings about wealth.

In paragraph 3 in the second part of the commentary, after giving examples of the various ways in which people try to get rich, Pastor Delany says:

"h. People are willing to sacrifice, suffer, leave everything behind; to cross oceans, exert themselves, study; pay high tuitions; etc.-do almost anything to have the chance to make it in this life-to strike it rich.

"i. This proverb states that although a man may be willing to go without many things in order to be rich, a wise and godly man should NEVER be willing to give up his integrity in order to be rich.

"j. Even though poverty can be a real trial and includes suffering and grief, it is still better to be poor and walk in integrity, than to be rich and not have integrity.

"k. A man might obtain many earthly treasures that are valuable beyond description; but they are not as valuable as integrity.

"l. Ideally, everyone would prefer to be both rich and honest - like Solomon.

"m. But this proverb makes a bold statement in a proverbial and thought provoking way: integrity is better than riches."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-28-index/proverbs-28_6/.

NOVEMBER 27

Proverbs 27:1: "Boast not thyself of to morrow
[don't brag about future events]; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth [because you don't even know what will happen tomorrow]."

In other words, prepare for the future, but don't expect that everything will turn out the way you thought it would.

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has written an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of things that we tend to boast about (e.g., what will happen in the future to our sports teams, our children, our businesses and careers, our country, our Christian walk, etc.) and reasons why we shouldn't do that (i.e., because future events can be affected by things that happen unexpectedly, such as serious illnesses, wars, natural disasters, stock market crashes, death, etc.).

Near the end of his commentary (in paragraph 7), Pastor Delany summarizes the meaning of the above verse as follows: "Make the best plans you can," "Be hopeful … But also be realistic …," and "… Trust God and leave all our tomorrows in His care …"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-27-index/proverbs-27_1/.


Note to procrastinators:
"Tomorrow" may never come for some of us, so one thing we shouldn't put off is salvation, since we can't know for sure that we'll get a second chance to be saved.

If you believe that Jesus (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is ask him (through prayer) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

If you need more detailed instructions for the plan of salvation, you'll find them in most of the tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's a direct link: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

NOVEMBER 26

Proverbs 26:27: "Whoso
[whoever] diggeth a pit [to capture things like wild animals and people] shall fall therein [shall fall into it himself or herself]: and he [or she] that rolleth a stone [or large rock] [up a hill, for example], it will return [roll back down] upon him [or her]."

This is about plans that backfire. In other words, those who try to do bad things to others may get caught in their own trap.

Jim Delany is the pastor of Salem Bible Church. If you enjoy reading his commentaries on Proverbs, here's the link for this verse: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_27/.

NOVEMBER 25

1 Corinthians 3:19: "For the wisdom of this world
[in this case, referring to wisdom concerning religion and philosophy] is foolishness with [to] God. For it is written [in Job 5:13--see note below*], He [God] taketh the wise [people] in their own craftiness [dishonesty, deceitfulness] [i.e., God 'catches them in their own nets,' foils their plans (prevents them from succeeding), etc.]."
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*Job 5:13: "He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong."

NOVEMBER 24

Psalm 119:29
[King David prayed to God]: "Remove from me the way of lying [anything that may tempt me to lie or believe a lie]: and grant me thy law graciously [help me to know and obey your word]."

That should be our prayer, too.

NOVEMBER 22-23

Ephesians 5:20: "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father
[meaning we should give thanks 'especially to God the Father,' who is one of the three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who comprise (make up) the Godhead, or trinity] [and we should do this (give thanks) through the written and spoken word, song, prayer, etc.] in the name of [and by the authority of] our Lord Jesus Christ [because Jesus Christ is God the Son, Messiah, Savior of mankind, and mediator between God and us];"

Christians should be grateful to God for everything that we have, and we should remember to thank and praise him for it.

Regarding this verse, one Bible commentator wrote: "Giving thanks always rather seems to be an indication that our thanksgiving is to be a normal part of our lives. This includes when we are down, when we are poor, when we are rich, when we are sick and when we are healthy. I didn't say that it was an easy task, but it is the normal life of the believer. We can do this because we know that all that we go through is meant to allow us to honor God in every conceivable way. It is, of course our choice, we don"t have to be thankful, but that is the standard that God wishes us to follow."

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ephesians/5-20.html, Stanley Derickson's commentary, which comes after Hodge's commentary at the bottom of the page)

NOVEMBER 21

Proverbs 21:14: "A gift
[that is given to an angry person] in secret [privately] pacifieth [pacifies, soothes, defuses] anger: and a reward in the bosom [which is another way of describing a gift or present that is given to an angry person] [pacifies] strong wrath [rage, fury]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "… gifts are effective ways of influencing people." In the above verse, the gift is being used in a good way (as a peace offering) rather than in a bad way (as a bribe).

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany explains the meaning of various words and gives examples of people in the Bible who used gifts as peace offerings. At the end of the commentary, he says about peace offerings:

"6. This is the sort of gift that Solomon describes in Prov. 21:14.

"a. It is a gift that is given with the intention of INFLUENCING a person. Though it is not a gift given out of pure grace, it is also not a bribe.

"b. You are not trying to influence them to do something illegal or immoral.

"c. Rather, it is a gift designed to persuade or influence them (in a good sense) to be calm… and to put away their anger… to make up and be friends again.

"d. Solomon's point is that they WORK. They DO pacify anger and strong wrath.

"e. They worked for Jacob [when he stole his brother's birthright] and Abigail [when King David was furious with Abigail's husband, Nabal]. They have worked in countless other situations too.

"f. They might work in your house too.
" Sometimes a bouquet of roses or a box of chocolates can be used to appease the anger of a wife upset with her husband… for something dumb, mean, or thoughtless that he did or said.
" Diamonds work even better, but they are very expensive!
" Sometimes a gift is a great way to say, 'I'm sorry. I should not have said what I said… or did what I did. Will you forgive me?'

"g. Even between friends, there might be a time when a small gift will go a long way in letting someone know that you want peace… sort of like a peace offering…

"7. Of course the gift is just an immediate stop gap… a temporary solution.

"a. Once the anger has been appeased… and emotions have settled down, then we should take advantage of the temporary cease fire to discuss the issue that cause the anger in the first place!

"b. Getting to the heart of the problem is the real goal."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-21-index/proverbs-21_14/.

NOVEMBER 20

Proverbs 20:4: "The sluggard
[the habitually inactive or lazy person] will not plow by reason of the cold [weather, even though, in some parts of the world, the cold, rainy season is when the fields must be plowed so that the seeds can be planted and the crops will have time to grow into a bountiful harvest]; therefore shall he [or she; i.e., the sluggard] beg [for food] in harvest, and have nothing [to eat]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, this verse tells us that we need to "… take advantage of opportunities while the window is open… for it may soon be shut."

In paragraph 2, Sections d-e, in the second half of his commentary on the above verse, Pastor Delany said: "… Men who are willing to work but for some reason beyond their control they are unable to do so should not go hungry. … That's where Christian charity comes in. … But it is not right to feed the sluggard. That will only encourage his laziness. It is rewarding bad behavior."

To read the rest of the commentary, click here: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_4/.

NOVEMBER 19

1 John 3:19-21 - Assurance of Salvation
In a letter to Christians, the apostle John wrote:

Verse 19: "And hereby [by this, referring to the fact that we have a genuine love for others and are willing to help them if necessary] we know that we are of the truth [we are true Christians], and shall assure [persuade, make certain, reassure] our hearts [or convince ourselves] [that we are right, or acceptable,] before him [God]."

Verse 20: "For if our heart
[conscience] condemn us [accuses us--of being hypocrites (e.g., pretending to love others) or of hiding secret sins], God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things [that are in our heart; in other words, he knows the truth]."

Verse 21: "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not
[does not condemn us, or does not confirm the fact that we are not really saved and are not living a life that is pleasing to God], then have we confidence toward God [we know that our sins have been pardoned and we have been accepted by God--see note below*]."
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*Regarding the phrase then have we confidence towards God in verse 21, John Gill said:

"… those that love the brethren have confidence of their relation to God; by this they know … that they are the children of God; and can therefore draw nigh to God as their Father, and call him so; they can … tell him all their mind, pour out their souls unto him, and lay before him their case and wants; they have confidence of his power, faithfulness, and willingness to supply their need, and fulfil all his promises to them, and that their prayers will be heard, answered, and regarded by him in his own time."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-john/3-21.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

NOVEMBER 18

Romans 11:33
[Referring to the gospel and plan of salvation, the apostle Paul wrote]: "O the depth [deepness, complexity] of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge [foreknowledge, omniscience] of God! how unsearchable [unable to be investigated] are his [God's] judgments [counsels and purposes], and his ways [of carrying out his purposes concerning the gospel--see note below*] [are] past finding out [cannot be comprehended or fully understood by mankind]!"
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*Regarding this verse, one Bible commentator said: "As Paul considers the amazing nature of God's plan, to leave the Jews in unbelief so that the way might be opened to the Gentiles, and then sees how this in turn will result in the Gentiles going to the Jews with the Gospel, he cries out in amazement." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/11-33.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

NOVEMBER 17

Psalm 37:23-24 - Christians Are Guided and Protected by God

Verse 23: "The steps of a good man
[or woman or child, referring to born-again Christians, who are considered 'good' by God because they have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and, as a result, are covered by his righteousness] are ordered [directed, guided] by the LORD: and he [God] delighteth [takes pleasure] in his way [i.e., the path that the 'good person' chooses to follow in life]."

Verse 24: "Though he
[the 'good person'] [may] fall [into temptation, trouble, etc.], he [or she] shall not be utterly cast down [ruined, unable to get back up]: for the LORD upholdeth [supports] him [or her] with his hand."

In other words, God guides his people and takes care of them.

Regarding the steps of a good man being ordered by the LORD, Matthew Henry said:

"… By his providence he [God] overrules the events that concern them [good people], so as to make their way plain before them, both what they should do and what they may expect. Observe, God orders the steps of a good man; not only his way in general, by his written word, but his particular steps, by the whispers of conscience, saying, This is the way, walk in it. …"

Source for quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/37.html, "Verses 21-33," "(v. 23)"

NOVEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit
[an arrogant, conceited, stuck-up attitude] [goes] before a fall [calamity, disaster]."

In paragraph 1 of his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church says:

"a. It was because of pride in Lucifer [Satan] that sin entered the universe… He became proud of his wisdom and beauty.

"b. Pride is at the center of virtually all sin: 'I can do this myself. I don't need God. I don't have to do it God's way. I am able to act independently of God. My way is as good as His way.'"

And in paragraph 2, discussing the phrase Pride goeth before destruction, and comparing prideful people to defective pottery which must be broken and re-formed by the potter, he says:

"d. God may have to knock us down and break us if there is pride in our hearts.

"e. Sometimes He has to break our piggy bank… sometimes He has to break a bone… He may have to break our heart… God wants our heart…"

The commentary also contains examples of people in the Bible who were "destroyed" due to pride. They include Belshazzar (who lost both his kingdom and his life), Nebuchadnezzar (who became insane), and the apostle Peter (who was humiliated).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_18/.

NOVEMBER 15

Ezekiel 3:16-19:

Verses 16-17
[The prophet Ezekiel said]: "And it came to pass at the end of seven days [during which time he saw a vision], that the word of the LORD [i.e., God] came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house [nation] of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me."

Verse 18: "When I
[God] say unto the wicked [person, referring to a sinner], Thou shalt surely die [spiritually]; and thou [you (Ezekiel)] givest him not warning [don't tell him or her how to be saved], nor [do you] speakest to warn the wicked [to depart] from his [or her] wicked way, to save his [or her] life; the same wicked man [or woman or child] shall die in his [or her] iniquity [sins]; but his [or her] blood will I require at thine hand [which meant that Ezekiel would be held responsible for what happened to the wicked person]."

Verse 19: "Yet if thou
[do] warn the wicked [person] [of his/her sin and danger], and he [or she] turn not [does not turn] from his [or her] wickedness, nor from his [or her] wicked way, he [or she] shall die in his [or her] iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul [from blame, which meant that Ezekiel would not be held responsible for what happened to the wicked person]."

There is no excuse for not warning people of danger, but when people are warned of danger but choose to ignore (rather than obey) the warning, they deserve the consequences.

God chose Ezekiel to be a spiritual watchman for the Jewish people and told him to warn them to repent, be saved, and turn from their wicked ways. Christians, especially church leaders (ministers, pastors, preachers, etc.) should warn sinners to do the same.

The article entitled "What are watchmen in the Bible?" explains who watchmen are and what they do. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/watchmen-in-the-Bible.html.

NOVEMBER 14

Proverbs 14:31: "He that oppresseth the poor
[the person who abuses his or her power or authority and mistreats poor people or takes advantage of them] reproacheth [insults, or brings shame or disgrace on,] his [or her] Maker [Creator, referring to God]: but he [or she] that honoureth him [God, who is 'his (or her) Maker'] hath mercy [pity, compassion] on the poor [on poor and needy people]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "… In this proverb, Solomon shows the relationship between the way we treat people and our attitude towards God Himself … Solomon exposes the lie and the hypocrisy of the man who, on the one hand, claims to love God… and on the other hand, oppresses those made in God's image."

Pastor  Delany has two good commentaries on this verse. One discusses the entire verse (both oppression and mercy). The other focuses on mercy and tells why we should show mercy to the poor, what benefits we can gain by showing mercy to the poor, and things that we can do to show mercy to the poor.

If you want to read one or both of these commentaries, here are the links:

-- "Oppression or Mercy to the Poor"
    https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_31a/

-- "Mercy on the Poor Honors God"
     https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_31b/

NOVEMBER 13

Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning
[of time,] [out of nothing,] God created the heaven [referring to the universe, or the part of heaven that can be seen,] and the earth."

In this case, the plural form of the Hebrew word is used to describe God, which means that all three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who comprise the Godhead were involved in the creation process.

NOVEMBER 12

Proverbs 12:4: "A virtuous
[strong, hard-working, morally excellent] woman is a crown [is valuable, provides support, and brings honor and joy] to her husband: but she [the woman] that maketh [her husband] ashamed [frustrated, humiliated, disgraced] [by her bad behavior (unfaithfulness, gossiping, laziness, nagging, etc.] is as rottenness in [is like cancer eating away at] his [her husband's] bones."

Through their actions (good or bad), wives can build their husbands up or tear them down, and in the process, they will help or hurt themselves as well.

Salem Bible Church's commentary on this verse includes examples of how a wife's behavior affects her husband. Near the bottom of his commentary, under the heading "Conclusions," Pastor Delany has good advice for young men seeking a wife.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-12-index/proverbs-12_4/.

NOVEMBER 10

Isaiah 64:8
[During his prayer to God concerning the nation of Israel, the prophet Isaiah said]: "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou [you] [are] our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

God has created the Jewish people and everyone else in the world, and he is able to shape us as he sees fit (like a potter does with a lump of clay while creating a beautiful vase). This is especially true after we get saved.

NOVEMBER 9

Psalm 34:9-10: "O fear the LORD
[reverence him, honor him], ye his saints [you born-again Christians]: for there is no want [lack or deficiency of something that is needed] to them that fear him. The young lions do lack [food], and suffer hunger: but they [the people] that seek the LORD [both in prayer and as their savior and friend] shall not want [be without] any good thing."

NOVEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:13
["Lady Wisdom," or God's wisdom personified, says]: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil [see explanation below*]: pride, and arrogancy [arrogance, conceit, egotism (believing that you are better, smarter, and/or more important than other people)], and the evil way [sinning, doing bad things], and the froward [unmanageable, uncontrollable] mouth [especially when it says mean and hurtful things], do I [Lady Wisdom--and God!] hate."

Salem Bible Church has a good explanation of this verse, which is combined with the commentary on verse 14. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_13-14/.
________________________

*In the above verse, The fear of the LORD is to hate evil means that a wise person (someone with 'the fear of the LORD,' or a fear of displeasing God) will hate all evil things, including bad thoughts, bad words, bad actions, bad company (friends), bad forms of worship, and bad doctrines or beliefs.

NOVEMBER 7

James 5:13
[A message from the apostle James to Christians]: "Is any[one] among you afflicted [troubled by physical or mental pain and/or suffering (sickness, death of a loved one, disappointment, persecution, loss of property, etc.)]? let him [or her] pray [to God]. Is any[one] merry [happy]? let him [or her] sing psalms [songs of praise to God]."

Concerning the phrase let him pray in the above verse, John Gill said:

"… Times of afflictions are proper times for prayer; there is then more especially need of it; and God sometimes lays his afflicting hand upon his people, when they have been negligent of their duty, and he has not heard of them for some time, in order to bring them near to him, to seek his face, pay him a visit, and pour out a prayer before him …"

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/james/5-13.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

NOVEMBER 6

James 2:15-18 - Faith and Works:

Verses 15-16: "If a brother or sister
[if someone, especially a fellow Christian (a brother or sister in Christ)] be naked [without clothes, or dressed in 'rags'], and destitute of [lacking, without enough] daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart [go away, leave] in peace, be ye warmed and filled [properly clothed and fed]; notwithstanding ye give them not [but you don't give them] those things which are needful to [necessary for] the body; what doth it profit [what good does it do]?

Verses 17-18: "Even so faith
[in Christ for salvation], if it hath not [is not accompanied by] works [good works, charitable acts], is dead, being alone. Yea [yes], a man may say, Thou hast [you have] faith, and I have works: shew me [show me, give evidence of] thy [your] faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works [see note below*]."

If we're saved, we should gladly help people who are in need.
________________________

*Meaning of verse 18, according to Albert Barnes' commentary:

"And I will show thee my faith by my works - I will furnish in this way the best and most certain proof of the existence of faith. It is implied here that true faith is adapted to lead to a holy life, and that such a life would be the appropriate evidence of the existence of faith. By their fruits the principles held by men are known …"

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/james-2.html, "Verse 18")

NOVEMBER 5

Matthew 18:10
[Jesus told his disciples]: "Take heed [pay attention to my warning] that ye despise not [don't hate] one of these little ones [referring to born-again Christians, who are being compared to children--see note below*]; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels [ministering spirits, including guardian angels] do always behold [look upon, see] the face of my Father [God] which is in heaven."
________________________

*The phrase one of these little ones in the above verse refers to what Jesus said in Matthew 18:2-3: "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted [in your thinking], and become [humble and believing,] as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

NOVEMBER 4

Jeremiah 22:3
[A message from God, delivered to the king of Judah by the prophet Jeremiah]: "Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness [judge correctly], and deliver the spoiled [referring to people whose possessions have been stolen] out of the hand of the oppressor [i.e., rescue them from cruel and oppressive rulers (dictators, etc.)]: and do no wrong [to anyone], do no violence to the stranger [traveler, temporary resident], the fatherless [orphan], nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood [and don't harm or murder innocent and defenseless people, including babies] in this place [in your kingdom]."

This is good advice for all leaders, not just the king of Judah.

NOVEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:1-2
[King Solomon said to his son]: "My son, forget not my law [don't forget the things that I have taught you and the guidance that I have given to you throughout your life]; but let thine [your] heart keep [obey] my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee."

What Solomon said to his son is also true for born-again Christians, who are the "children of God": If we want to have a long, happy, and peaceful life, we should try to memorize scripture and obey God's word, especially the Ten Commandments.

We should memorize Bible verses because:

-- Psalm 119:11 says: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

The Bible is our best teacher because:

-- 2 Timothy 3:16 says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on these verses. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_1-2/.

NOVEMBER 2

Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God
[the Bible--see Note 1 below] is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder [cutting through and causing separation] of soul and spirit [explained in Note 2 below], and [separation] of the joints [places in the body (elbow, knee, etc.) where two bones are joined together] and marrow [a substance contained within the bones], and is a discerner of [which means that it (the word of God) can detect, discover, judge] the thoughts and intents [intentions] of the heart [mind, conscience]."

In his commentary, Albert Barnes said this verse shows "… that we cannot escape the notice of God; that all insincerity, unbelief, hypocrisy, will be detected by him; and that since our hearts are perfectly open before him, we should be sincere and should not attempt to deceive him. The sense is, that the truth of God is all-penetrating and searching, and that the real thoughts and intents of the heart will be brought to light, and that if there is insincerity and self-deception there can be no hope of escape."

(Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-4.html, "Verse 12")
________________________

Note 1: For a detailed explanation of why the Bible is called the word of God, read "Is the Bible truly God's Word?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html.

Note 2: Regarding soul and spirit: "The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable … The soul is the essence of humanity's being; it is who we are. The spirit is the immaterial part of humanity that connects with God." (Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/soul-spirit.html)

NOVEMBER 1

Psalm 7:11: "God judgeth
[does justice to, or pronounces a just judgment on behalf of,] the righteous [referring to born-again Christians, who are considered righteous because they have accepted Jesus' death on the cross as payment for their sins], and God is angry with the wicked [people, or unsaved sinners,] every day [continually, constantly, always]."

Regarding the above verse, Albert Barnes said:

"God judgeth the righteous - That is, he pronounces a just judgment on their behalf; he vindicates their character. It is true, in a general sense, that God judges all according to their character; but the particular idea here is, that God will do justice to the righteous; he will interpose to vindicate them, and he will treat them as they ought to be treated when assailed by their enemies, and when reproached and calumniated. The original phrase here is susceptible of two translations; either, 'God is a righteous judge' or, 'God is judging,' that is judges, 'the righteous.' The sense is not materially varied, whichever translation is adopted. Our common version [i.e., King James] has probably expressed the true idea; and there the design of the writer is to contrast the manner in which God regards and treats the righteous, with the manner in which he regards and treats the wicked. The one he judges, that is, he does him justice; with the other he is angry every day."

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-7.html, "Verse 11")


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DECEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:35-36
[Wisdom (God's wisdom personified, or speaking like a person) says]: "For whoso[ever] findeth me [Wisdom] [i.e., whoever searches for Wisdom, finds it, and does what it says] findeth life [a good, long, happy life … one that is worth living], and shall obtain favour of [blessings from] the LORD. But he [or she] that sinneth against me [refuses to follow my (Wisdom's) lead or take my advice] wrongeth his [or her] own soul: all they that hate me [Wisdom] love death."

In his Bible study on these verses, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says:

"a. … the life that listens with the ears and the heart to Lady Wisdom is the life that will be blessed by God.

"b. If we refuse to follow the way of God's wisdom… we are refusing His blessing in our life!

"c. This is all our choice."

In paragraph 1, under "Life and Favor," he goes on to say:

"h. We act on our feelings way too often. We are by nature impatient.
" Sometimes we decide and then pray.
" On other occasions, we pray and then decide… which can be just as bad!
" What God wants us to do is to pray… and wait for an answer! Don't pray… and then go ahead and do what we have already decided to do!
" That is the way of the flesh… acting on feelings and impulses.
" God is able to guide us… incline our mind and heart… to use His Word… to work IN us both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.
" The one who truly FINDS wisdom is the one who waits at the posts of Lady Wisdom's doorposts… waiting to KNOW what is the right way to go… the right thing to do… the right and wise decision to make.
" Ex. [Exodus] 29:42 - the priests waited at the door of the tabernacle to hear the word of the Lord!
" THEN we need to act and obey-even if the way seems tough… even if the way of wisdom involves suffering… crosses to bear…"

Included in the commentary are examples of ways that people "wrong their own souls" (hurt themselves--through alcoholism, sexual immorality, gambling, bad parenting, gossip, laziness, etc.) by rejecting and disobeying God's counsel and choosing, instead, to do bad things.

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_35-36/.

DECEMBER 7

Galatians 2:16
[In a letter to the churches of Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Knowing that a man [or woman or child] is not justified [considered righteous, or acceptable in God's sight] by the works of the law [by obeying the law of Moses (ceremonial, moral, and judicial)--see note below*], but by the faith of Jesus Christ [by accepting his death as full payment for our sins], even we [Jewish Christians, to whom the letter was addressed, but this applies to all other Christians, too] have believed [placed our trust] in [the Lord] Jesus Christ [as Savior], [so] that we might be justified [born again, or saved] by the faith of [in] Christ, and not by the works of the law [i.e., good works, good deeds]: for by the works of the law shall no flesh [no person, Jew or Gentile] be justified."

In other words, we are justified by faith (believing in Jesus), not by works (obeying the law).

How to be saved the Bible way:
If you believe that Jesus Christ (Son of God, Messiah) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is ask him (through prayer) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

For detailed instructions on the plan of salvation, read one or more of the tracts in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
_________________________

*The article entitled "What is the difference between the ceremonial law, the moral law, and the judicial law in the Old Testament?" explains the various parts of the law of Moses. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/ceremonial-law.html.

DECEMBER 6

1 John 4:1-3 - The Apostle John's Advice for Christians
In these verses, we're told how to recognize and avoid false teachers:

Verse 1: "Beloved [a term of endearment], believe not every spirit [don't believe or trust everyone who claims to be sent from God and led (influenced, guided) by the Holy Spirit], but try [examine, test] the spirits [to see] whether they are of [from] God [in other words, examine the person's religious doctrines (beliefs) and 'works' or 'fruit' (things that he or she has done because of those doctrines) to see if they conform to (agree with, follow) the Bible]: [the reason you must 'try the spirits' is] because many false prophets [false teachers and preachers--see note below*] are gone out [from Satan] into the world."

Verse 2: "Hereby know ye
[this is how you can recognize] the [Holy] Spirit of God: Every spirit that [makes a person] confesseth [confess or proclaim] that Jesus Christ [the Son of God] is come [to earth] in the flesh [as a human being, which means he is both God and man] is of [from] God:"

Verse 3: "And every spirit that confesseth not
[does not confess] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist [the spirit of error that exists in false teachers, who are forerunners of (or who come before) the real antichrist, who will be revealed after the rapture (the taking away to heaven) of born-again Christians], whereof ye have heard that it [the anti-Christian spirit, or 'the spirit of antichrist'] should come [to earth]; and even now [in New Testament times, when these verses were written] already is it in the world."

According to Albert Barnes, we can try the spirits by comparing "… the doctrines which they [preachers and other religious teachers] professed to hold with what was revealed, and by the fruits of their doctrines in their lives. If they taught what God had taught in his word, and if their lives corresponded with his requirements, and if their doctrines agreed with what had been inculcated [repeatedly taught] by those who were admitted to be true apostles …, they [the Christians] were to receive them [the preachers and teachers] as what they professed to be. If not, they were to reject them, and hold them to be impostors."

(Source for Barnes quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html, "Verse 1")

In his commentary, John Gill points out that "… whoever owns and declares this system of truth [referring to the person and office of Jesus Christ; i.e., that he is the Son of God (with a human nature), Messiah, Savior of mankind, prophet, priest, King, etc.], 'is of God'; not that everyone that assents unto this, or preaches it, is born of God; a man may believe, and confess all this, as the devils themselves do, and yet be destitute of [not have] the grace of God; but the spirit, or doctrine, which contains these things in it, is certainly of God, or comes from him; or whoever brings these truths with him, and preaches them, he is, so far as he does so, on the side of God and truth, and to be regarded."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-john/4-2.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")
_________________________

*For more information about false prophets, read "How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/false-teachers.html..

**A GotQuestions.org article answers the following question: "How can Jesus be both God and man at the same time?" You can read it here: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-God-man.html.

DECEMBER 5

Proverbs 5:21: "For the ways of man
[mankind] are before the eyes of the LORD [i.e., everything that we think, say, and do, both publicly and privately, is seen by God], and he [God] pondereth all [of] his ['man's'] goings [which means that God carefully considers--and eventually will judge--all of our actions]."

Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church says we should be pay attention to what we're doing because God is always watching us.

The pastor's commentary on this verse is combined with verses 18-20, on the subject of sexual immorality. If you want to read it, click on the link to the commentary (https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-5-index/proverbs-5_18-21/) and scroll down the page to verse 21, which is near the bottom. The verse itself is in fancy type and highlighted.

DECEMBER 4

Hebrews 1:13-14 - Duties of Angels

Verse 13: "But to which of the angels said he
[God] at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool [until your enemies are conquered, vanquished, brought under control or subjection]? [Answer: God said it to none of them--see note below*]

Verse 14: Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits [see note below**], sent forth to minister for [serve, help, care for, and protect] them who shall be heirs of salvation [those who will someday inherit (be given, receive) eternal life; i.e., born-again Christians, who have become part of the family of God (children of God) through adoption]?"
_________________________

*The promise in verse 13, as recorded in the Bible,

-- Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

 was made by God to his Son, Jesus Christ (the Messiah), not to the angels.


**According to Matthew Henry, angels "… are spirits, without bodies or inclination to bodies, and yet they can assume bodies, and appear in them, when God pleases …" (Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/hebrews/1.html, "Verses 4-14," "v. 13, v. 14")

In his commentary on verse 14, Albert Barnes lists some of the things that angels do:

"(1) They feel a deep interest in man …
"(2) they feel a special interest in all that relates to the redemption [salvation] of man …
"(3) they appear for the defense and protection of the people of God …
"(4) angels are sent to give us strength to resist temptation …
"(5) they support us in affliction …
"(6) they attend dying saints [i.e., born-again Christians], and conduct them to glory [heaven] …"

The above points, including references to many specific Bible verses, are discussed in Mr. Barnes' commentary on verse 14. If you want to read it, here's the link:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-1.html.

DECEMBER 1-3

Genesis 9:8-17 - God's Promise to Noah After the Flood Ended:

Verses 8-10: "And God spake unto
[spoke to] Noah, and to his sons [Shem, Ham, and Japheth] [who were] with him [in the ark], saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant [agreement] with you, and with your seed [offspring, descendants] [who come] after you; And with every living creature that is with you [in the ark], of the fowl [birds and flying insects], of the cattle [domestic animals], and of every beast of the earth [wild animal] [that is] with you [in the ark]; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth."

Verses 11-13: "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh
[living things] be cut off [destroyed] any more by the waters of a [worldwide] flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token [symbol, sign] of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual [never-ending] generations [i.e., continuing forever]; I do set my [rain]bow in the cloud, and it [the rainbow] shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth."

Verses 14-16: "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the
[rain]bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the [rain]bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth."

Verse 17: "And God said unto Noah, This
[rainbow] is the token [symbol, sign] of the covenant [agreement], which I have established between me and all flesh [all living things--people, animals, birds, insects] that is upon the earth."


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