Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about.


But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like little children sitting in the marketplaces who call to their playmates, We piped to you [playing wedding], and you did not dance; we wailed dirges [playing funeral], and you did not mourn and beat your breasts and weep aloud.


They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about.


But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like little children sitting in the marketplaces who call to their playmates, We piped to you [playing wedding], and you did not dance; we wailed dirges [playing funeral], and you did not mourn and beat your breasts and weep aloud.

For behold, I will raise up a false shepherd in the land; the lost and perishing he will not miss or visit, the young and scattered he will not go to seek, the wounded and broken he will not heal, nor will he feed those that are sound and strong; but he will eat the flesh of the fat ones and break off their hoofs [to consume all the flesh]. Woe to the worthless and foolish shepherd who deserts the flock! The sword shall smite his arm and his right eye; his arm shall be utterly withered and his right eye utterly blinded.

So to what shall I compare the men of this generation? And what are they like? They are like little children sitting in the marketplace, calling to one another and saying, We piped to you [playing wedding], and you did not dance; we sang dirges and wailed [playing funeral], and you did not weep.


They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about.


And when he had brought David down, behold, the raiders were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.

Then Jephthah came to Mizpah to his home, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances! And she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

And watch; if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards and catch every man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh and go to the land of Benjamin.

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Again I will build you and you will be built, O Virgin Israel! You will again be adorned with your timbrels [small one-headed drums] and go forth in the dancing [chorus] of those who make merry.

For when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased and fascinated Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, Ask me for whatever you desire, and I will give it to you.


Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power? Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them. read more.
Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about. They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully. Yet they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?


They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord, neither do they consider the operation of His hands [in mercy and in judgment].

And the sound of harpists and minstrels and flute players and trumpeters shall never again be heard in you, and no skilled artisan of any craft shall ever again be found in you, and the sound of the millstone shall never again be heard in you.

Why did you flee secretly and cheat me and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with joy and gladness and with singing, with tambourine and lyre?

The mirth of the timbrels is stilled, the noise of those who rejoice ends, the joy of the lyre is stopped.

They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about. They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.

Take a harp, go about the city, forgotten harlot; play skillfully and make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.

And every passing stroke of the staff of punishment and doom which the Lord lays upon them shall be to the sound of [Israel's] timbrels and lyres, when in battle He attacks [Assyria] with swinging and menacing arms.

And I will cause the noise of your songs to cease, and the sound of your lyres shall be no more heard.


The earnings of the righteous (the upright, in right standing with God) lead to life, but the profit of the wicked leads to further sin.

Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power? Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them. read more.
Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about. They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully. Yet they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?


Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).

The dwellings of robbers prosper; those who provoke God are [apparently] secure; God supplies them abundantly [who have no god but their own hands and power].

A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him [the dwellings of robbers are not at peace].

That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless and defiled is but for a moment?

Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days [seemingly] are prolonged [in his wickedness], yet surely I know that it will be well with those who [reverently] fear God, who revere and worship Him, realizing His continual presence. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not [reverently] fear and worship God.

I have seen a wicked man in great power and spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil, Yet he passed away, and behold, he was not; yes, I sought and inquired for him, but he could not be found.

And now we consider the proud and arrogant to be happy and favored; evildoers are exalted and prosper; yes, and when they test God, they escape [unpunished].

Why do You show me iniquity and wrong, and Yourself look upon or cause me to see perverseness and trouble? For destruction and violence are before me; and there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is slackened and justice and a righteous sentence never go forth, for the [hostility of the] wicked surrounds the [uncompromisingly] righteous; therefore justice goes forth perverted.

I have seen the foolish taking root [and outwardly prospering], but suddenly I saw that his dwelling was cursed [for his doom was certain]. His children are far from safety; [involved in their father's ruin] they are crushed in the [court of justice in the city's] gate, and there is no one to deliver them. His harvest the hungry eat and take it even [when it grows] among the thorns; the snare opens for [his] wealth.

He wanders abroad for food, saying, Where is it? He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already close upon him.

Because he has covered his face with his fat, adding layers of fat on his loins [giving himself up to animal pleasures],

He shall not be rich, neither shall his wealth last, neither shall his produce bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth.

In the fullness of his sufficiency [in the time of his great abundance] he shall be poor and in straits; every hand of everyone who is in misery shall come upon him [he is but a wretch on every side].

Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power? Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them. read more.
Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about. They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully.

For he sees that even wise men die; the [self-confident] fool and the stupid alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands their own [apart from God] and after their own names. But man, with all his honor and pomp, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. read more.
This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident, yet after them men approve their sayings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol (the place of the dead); death shall be their shepherd. And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their form and beauty shall be consumed, for Sheol shall be their dwelling. But God will redeem me from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead); for He will receive me. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

For I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they suffer no violent pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they smitten and plagued like other men. read more.
Therefore pride is about their necks like a chain; violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe]. Their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart could wish; and the imaginations of their minds overflow [with follies]. They scoff, and wickedly utter oppression; they speak loftily [from on high, maliciously and blasphemously]. They set their mouths against and speak down from heaven, and their tongues swagger through the earth [invading even heaven with blasphemy and smearing earth with slanders]. Therefore His people return here, and waters of a full cup [offered by the wicked] are [blindly] drained by them. And they say, How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who always prosper and are at ease in the world; they increase in riches. Surely then in vain have I cleansed my heart and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been smitten and plagued, and chastened every morning. Had I spoken thus [and given expression to my feelings], I would have been untrue and have dealt treacherously against the generation of Your children. But when I considered how to understand this, it was too great an effort for me and too painful Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood [for I considered] their end. [After all] You do set the [wicked] in slippery places; You cast them down to ruin and destruction. How they become a desolation in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors! As a dream [which seems real] until one awakens, so, O Lord, when You arouse Yourself [to take note of the wicked], You will despise their outward show. For my heart was grieved, embittered, and in a state of ferment, and I was pricked in my heart [as with the sharp fang of an adder]. So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.

A man in his rude and uncultivated state knows not, neither does a [self-confident] fool understand this: That though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to be destroyed forever.

Uncompromisingly righteous and rigidly just are You, O Lord, when I complain against and contend with You. Yet let me plead and reason the case with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are all they at ease and thriving who deal very treacherously and deceitfully? You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; they grow, yes, they bring forth fruit. You are near in their mouths but far from their hearts.

You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and can not look [inactively] upon injustice. Why then do You look upon the plunderer? Why are you silent when the wicked one destroys him who is more righteous than [the Chaldean oppressor] is? Why do You make men like the fish of the sea, like reptiles and creeping things that have no ruler [and are defenseless against their foes]? [The Chaldean] brings all of them up with his hook; he catches and drags them out with his net, he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is in high spirits. read more.
Therefore he sacrifices [offerings] to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, because from them he lives luxuriously and his food is plentiful and rich. Shall he therefore continue to empty his net and mercilessly go on slaying the nations forever?


Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the flame of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his dwelling, and his lamp beside him shall be put out. The steps of his strength shall be shortened, and his own counsel and the plans in which he trusted shall bring about his downfall. read more.
For the wicked is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks upon a lattice-covered pit. A trap will catch him by the heel, and a snare will lay hold on him. A noose is hidden for him on the ground and a trap for him in the way. Terrors shall make him afraid on every side and shall chase him at his heels. The strength [of the wicked] shall be hunger-bitten, and calamity is ready at his side [if he halts]. By disease his strength and his skin shall be devoured; the firstborn of death [the worst of diseases] shall consume his limbs. He shall be rooted out of his dwelling place in which he trusted, and he shall be brought to the king of terrors [death]. There shall dwell in his tent that which is none of his [family]; sulphur shall be scattered over his dwelling [to purify it after his going]. The roots [of the wicked] shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off and wither. His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street. He shall be thrust from light into darkness and driven out of the world. He shall neither have son nor grandson among his people, nor any remaining where he sojourned. They [of the west] that come after [the wicked man] shall be astonished and appalled at his day, as they [of the east] that went before were seized with horror. Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, and such is the place of him who knows not (recognizes not and honors not) God.

Your iniquities have turned these blessings away, and your sins have kept good [harvests] from you.

This [which I am about to tell] is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage which oppressors shall receive from the Almighty: If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; and his offspring will not have sufficient bread. Those who survive him, [the pestilence] will bury, and [their] widows will make no lamentation. read more.
Though he heaps up silver like dust and piles up clothing like clay, He may prepare it, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. He builds his house like a moth or a spider, like a booth which a watchman makes [to last for a season]. [The wicked] will lie down rich, but does it not again; he opens his eyes, and [his wealth] is gone. Terrors overtake him like a [suddenly loosened] flood; a windstorm steals him away in the night. The east wind lifts him up, and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place. For [God and the storm] hurl at him without pity and unsparingly [their thunderbolts of wrath]; he flees in haste before His power. [God causes] men to clap their hands at him [in malignant joy] and hiss him out of his place.

The wicked man suffers with [self-inflicted] torment all his days, through all the years that are numbered and laid up for him, the oppressor. A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him [the dwellings of robbers are not at peace]. He believes that he will not return out of darkness, and [because of his guilt] he is waited for by the sword [of God's vengeance]. read more.
He wanders abroad for food, saying, Where is it? He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already close upon him. Distress and anguish terrify him; [he knows] they shall prevail against him, like a king ready for battle. Because he has stretched out his hand against God and bids defiance and behaves himself proudly against the Almighty, Running stubbornly against Him with a thickly ornamented shield; Because he has covered his face with his fat, adding layers of fat on his loins [giving himself up to animal pleasures], And has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities and in houses which no man should inhabit, which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; He shall not be rich, neither shall his wealth last, neither shall his produce bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth. He shall not depart out of darkness [and escape from calamity; the wrath of God] shall consume him as flame consumes a dry tree, and by the blast of His mouth he shall be swept away. Let him not deceive himself and trust in vanity (emptiness, falseness, and futility), for these shall be his recompense [for such living]. It shall be accomplished and paid in full while he still lives, and his branch shall not be green [but shall wither away]. He shall fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine and shall cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree. For the company of the godless shall be barren, and fire shall consume the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice). They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity, and their inmost soul hatches deceit.

That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless and defiled is but for a moment? Though his [proud] height mounts up to the heavens and his head reaches to the clouds, Yet he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, Where is he? read more.
He will fly away like a dream and will not be found; yes, he will be chased away as a vision of the night. The eye which saw him will see him no more, neither will his [accustomed] place any more behold him. The poor will oppress his children, and his hands will give back his [ill-gotten] wealth. His bones are full of youthful energy, but it will lie down with him in the dust. Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hides it under his tongue, Though he is loath to let it go but keeps it still within his mouth, Yet his food turns [to poison] in his stomach; it is the venom of asps within him. He has swallowed down [his ill-gotten] riches, and he shall vomit them up again; God will cast them out of his belly. He shall suck the poison of asps [which ill-gotten wealth contains]; the viper's tongue shall slay him. He shall not look upon the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter [to enjoy his wealth]. That which he labored for shall he give back and shall not swallow it down [to enjoy it]; according to his wealth shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice in it. For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor; he has violently taken away a house which he did not build. Because his desire and greed knew no quietness within him, he will not save anything of that in which he delights. There was nothing left that he did not devour; therefore his prosperity will not endure. In the fullness of his sufficiency [in the time of his great abundance] he shall be poor and in straits; every hand of everyone who is in misery shall come upon him [he is but a wretch on every side]. When he is about to fill his belly [as in the wilderness when God sent the quails], God will cast the fierceness of His wrath upon him and will rain it upon him while he is eating. He will flee from the iron weapon, but the bow of bronze shall strike him through. [The arrow] is drawn forth and it comes out after passing through his body; yes, the glittering point comes out of his gall. Terrors march in upon him; Every misfortune is laid up for his treasures. A fire not blown by man shall devour him; it shall consume what is left in his tent [and it shall go ill with him who remains there]. The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him. The produce and increase of his house will go into exile [with the victors], dragged away in the day of [God's] wrath. This is the wicked man's portion from God, and the heritage appointed to him by God.

Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power? Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them. read more.
Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about. They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully. Yet they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him? But notice, [you say] the prosperity of the wicked is not in their power; the mystery [of God's dealings] with the ungodly is far from my comprehension. How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains and sorrows to them in His anger? That they are like stubble before the wind and like chaff that the storm steals and carries away? You say, God lays up [the punishment of the wicked man's] iniquity for his children. Let Him recompense it to the man himself, that he may know and feel it. Let his own eyes see his destruction, and let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what pleasure or interest has a man in his house and family after he is dead, when the number of his months is cut off? Shall any teach God knowledge, seeing that He judges those who are on high? One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet; His pails are full of milk [his veins are filled with nourishment], and the marrow of his bones is fresh and moist, Whereas another man dies in bitterness of soul and never tastes of pleasure or good fortune. They lie down alike in the dust, and the worm spreads a covering over them. Behold, I know your thoughts and plans and the devices with which you would wrong me. For you say, Where is the house of the rich and liberal prince [meaning me]? And where is the tent in which the wicked [Job] dwelt? Have you not asked those who travel this way, and do you not accept their testimony and evidences -- " That the evil man is [now] spared in the day of calamity and destruction, and they are led forth and away on the day of [God's] wrath? But who declares [a man's] way [and rebukes] him to his face? And who pays him back for what he has done? When he is borne to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb. The clods of the valley are sweet to him, and every man shall follow him to a grave, as innumerable people [have gone] before him.

Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks and pasture them [appropriating land and flocks openly]. They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow's ox for a pledge. They crowd the poor and needy off the road; the poor and meek of the earth all hide themselves. read more.
Behold, as wild asses in the desert, [the poor] go forth to their work, seeking diligently for prey and food; the wilderness yields them bread for their children [in roots and herbage]. They reap each one his fodder in a field [that is not his own], and they glean the vintage of the wicked man. They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold. They are wet with the showers of the mountains and cling to the rock for want of shelter. [The violent men whose wickedness seems unnoticed] pluck the fatherless infants from the breast [to sell or make them slaves], and take [the clothing on] the poor for a pledge, So that the needy go about naked for lack of clothing, and though hungry, they must carry [but not eat from] the sheaves. Among the olive rows [of the wicked, the poor] make oil; they tread [the fresh juice of the grape from] the presses, but suffer thirst. From out of the populous city men groan, and the very life of the wounded cries for help; yet God [seemingly] regards not the wrong done them. These wrongdoers are of those who rebel against the light; they know not its ways nor stay in its paths. The murderer rises with the light; he kills the poor and the needy, and in the night he becomes as a thief. The eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me, and he puts a disguise upon his face. In the dark, they dig through [the penetrable walls of] houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the sunlight. For midnight is morning to all of them; for they are familiar with the terrors of deep darkness. [You say] Swiftly such men pass away on the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth; [no treader] turns into their vineyards. Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so does Sheol (the place of the dead) those who have sinned. The womb shall forget him, the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered, and unrighteousness shall be broken like a tree [which cannot be healed]. [The evil man] preys upon the barren, childless woman and does no good to the widow. Yet [God] prolongs the life of the [wicked] mighty by His power; they rise up when they had despaired of life. God gives them security, and they rest on it; and His eyes are upon their ways. They are exalted for a little while, and then are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all others are and are cut off as the tops of the ears of grain.

You shall fall by the sword; I will judge and punish you [before your neighbors] at the border or outside the land of Israel, and you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord.

And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness and drink water with dismay, for their land will be stripped and plundered of all its fullness, because of the violence of all those who dwell in it. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be deserted and become a desolation; and you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord.

And it shall be that whoso of the families of the earth shall not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, upon them there shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt does not go up to Jerusalem and present themselves, upon them there shall be no rain, but there shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite the nations that go not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the consequent punishment of the sin of Egypt and the consequent punishment of the sin of all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.