To the elders of the church
To the elders of the church
Consider your high calling, brothers, and remember the noble task at hand. You are called to be shepherds of God's flock and overseers of God's people. You are tasked with building up the members of God's household into a holy temple in the Lord. You must therefore be diligent and keep watch over their souls to protect them from being led astray. Your assignment is a laborious one, filled with much toil and strife. Therefore do not be discouraged when you grow weary from seasons of fruitless labor. Rather, rejoice and be all the more vigilant to faithfully preach the word in every season. For you will receive the reward for your work at the proper time. For consider how the Lord gives children as a heritage. There is much painful and tiresome work to bring them into the world, as well as to feed, protect and teach them so that they grow into maturity. And yet when they are fully grown, they bring honor to the parents who raised them! As it is written, "Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame." In the same way, the people under your care shall bring honor to you when they are fully mature in Christ. At the same time, do not be anxious about your ministry, but humble yourselves and trust in the Lord to provide for every need. Though there is much work to do, there is also much to receive in resting in his grace. For it is written, "he gives to his beloved even in his sleep." Know then that God himself will see to the completion of his house and the well-being of his flock. You are merely his appointed servants to carry out his work. For as it is written, "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain."
Unless the Lord builds the house,
Unless Yahweh works in constructing the house
those who build it labor in vain.
then the people's work will be of no value.
Unless the Lord x watches over the city,
Similarly , unless Yahweh works to protect the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
then having the city guards stay up at night will be of no value.
It is in vain that you rise up early
Therefore , it is useless for you to wake up early in the morning
and go late to rest,
and then go to bed late at night
eating the bread of anxious y toil;
by constantly worrying about your work
for he gives to his z beloved a sleep.
because God blesses his beloved children while they sleep.
Behold, b children are a heritage from the Lord,
Moreover , know that children are a gift from Yahweh
c the fruit of the womb a reward.
that is, the fruit of a mother's intense labor is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of d a warrior
because just as a skilled archer is armed with arrows protect himself from his enemies
are the children 1 of one’s youth.
so too is a wise man who has raised children from his youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
Therefore , the man who arms himself with many children is blessed by God!
He shall not be put to shame
Because he will be bold and unashamed as he is protected by his grown children
when he speaks with his enemies e in the gate. 1
when he confronts his enemies at the city gates.