30 episodes

Just Read
In this online version of the popular tract, each day includes a reading from the Old Testament and New Testament. Starting in Genesis and Matthew, the readings continue sequentially. Over the course of a year, you will never read the same passage twice.

© 2005 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

ESV: Read through the Bible Crossway

    • Christianity
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Just Read
In this online version of the popular tract, each day includes a reading from the Old Testament and New Testament. Starting in Genesis and Matthew, the readings continue sequentially. Over the course of a year, you will never read the same passage twice.

© 2005 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

    September 23: Song of Solomon 6–8; Galatians 1

    September 23: Song of Solomon 6–8; Galatians 1


    Song of Solomon 6–8

    Song of Solomon 6–8 (Listen)

    6   Where has your beloved gone,
        O most beautiful among women?
      Where has your beloved turned,
        that we may seek him with you?

    Together in the Garden of Love

    2   My beloved has gone down to his garden
        to the beds of spices,
      to graze1 in the gardens
        and to gather lilies.
    3   I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
        he grazes among the lilies.

    Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

    4   You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
        lovely as Jerusalem,
        awesome as an army with banners.
    5   Turn away your eyes from me,
        for they overwhelm me—
      Your hair is like a flock of goats
        leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
    6   Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
        that have come up from the washing;
      all of them bear twins;
        not one among them has lost its young.
    7   Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
        behind your veil.
    8   There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
        and virgins without number.
    9   My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
        the only one of her mother,
        pure to her who bore her.
      The young women saw her and called her blessed;
        the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.

    10   “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
        beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
        awesome as an army with banners?”


    11   I went down to the nut orchard
        to look at the blossoms of the valley,
      to see whether the vines had budded,
        whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
    12   Before I was aware, my desire set me
        among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince.2


    13   3 Return, return, O Shulammite,
        return, return, that we may look upon you.


      Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
        as upon a dance before two armies?4

      7 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
        O noble daughter!
      Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
        the work of a master hand.
    2   Your navel is a rounded bowl
        that never lacks mixed wine.
      Your belly is a heap of wheat,
        encircled with lilies.
    3   Your two breasts are like two fawns,
        twins of a gazelle.
    4   Your neck is like an ivory tower.
      Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
        by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
      Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
        which looks toward Damascus.
    5   Your head crowns you like Carmel,
        and your flowing locks are like purple;
        a king is held captive in the tresses.

    6   How beautiful and pleasant you are,
        O loved one, with all your delights!5
    7   Your stature is like a palm tree,
        and your breasts are like its clusters.
    8   I say I will climb the palm tree
        and lay hold of its fruit.
      Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
        and the scent of your breath like apples,
    9   and your mouth6 like the best wine.


      It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
        gliding over lips and teeth.7

    10   I am my beloved’s,
        and his desire is for me.

    The Bride Gives Her Love

    11   Come, my beloved,
        let us go out into the fields
        and lodge in the villages;8
    12   let us go out early to the vineyards
        and see whether the vines have budded,
      whether the grape blossoms have opened
        and the pomegranates are in bloom.
      There I will give you my love.
    13   The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
        and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
      new as well as old,
        which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

    Longing for Her Beloved

    8   Oh that you were like a bro

    • 8 min
    September 22: Song of Solomon 4–5; 2 Corinthians 13

    September 22: Song of Solomon 4–5; 2 Corinthians 13


    Song of Solomon 4–5

    Song of Solomon 4–5 (Listen)
    Solomon Admires His Bride’s Beauty

    4   Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
        behold, you are beautiful!
      Your eyes are doves
        behind your veil.
      Your hair is like a flock of goats
        leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
    2   Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
        that have come up from the washing,
      all of which bear twins,
        and not one among them has lost its young.
    3   Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
        and your mouth is lovely.
      Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
        behind your veil.
    4   Your neck is like the tower of David,
        built in rows of stone;1
      on it hang a thousand shields,
        all of them shields of warriors.
    5   Your two breasts are like two fawns,
        twins of a gazelle,
        that graze among the lilies.
    6   Until the day breathes
        and the shadows flee,
      I will go away to the mountain of myrrh
        and the hill of frankincense.
    7   You are altogether beautiful, my love;
        there is no flaw in you.
    8   Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
        come with me from Lebanon.
      Depart2 from the peak of Amana,
        from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
      from the dens of lions,
        from the mountains of leopards.

    9   You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
        you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,
        with one jewel of your necklace.
    10   How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
        How much better is your love than wine,
        and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
    11   Your lips drip nectar, my bride;
        honey and milk are under your tongue;
        the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
    12   A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
        a spring locked, a fountain sealed.
    13   Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
        with all choicest fruits,
        henna with nard,
    14   nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
        with all trees of frankincense,
      myrrh and aloes,
        with all choice spices—
    15   a garden fountain, a well of living water,
        and flowing streams from Lebanon.

    16   Awake, O north wind,
        and come, O south wind!
      Blow upon my garden,
        let its spices flow.

    Together in the Garden of Love

      Let my beloved come to his garden,
        and eat its choicest fruits.


    5   I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
        I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
        I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
        I drank my wine with my milk.


      Eat, friends, drink,
        and be drunk with love!

    The Bride Searches for Her Beloved

    2   I slept, but my heart was awake.
      A sound! My beloved is knocking.
      “Open to me, my sister, my love,
        my dove, my perfect one,
      for my head is wet with dew,
        my locks with the drops of the night.”
    3   I had put off my garment;
        how could I put it on?
      I had bathed my feet;
        how could I soil them?
    4   My beloved put his hand to the latch,
        and my heart was thrilled within me.
    5   I arose to open to my beloved,
        and my hands dripped with myrrh,
      my fingers with liquid myrrh,
        on the handles of the bolt.
    6   I opened to my beloved,
        but my beloved had turned and gone.
      My soul failed me when he spoke.
      I sought him, but found him not;
        I called him, but he gave no answer.
    7   The watchmen found me
        as they went about in the city;
      they beat me, they bruised me,
        they took away my veil,
        those watchmen of the walls.
    8   I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

    • 7 min
    September 21: Song of Solomon 1–3; 2 Corinthians 12

    September 21: Song of Solomon 1–3; 2 Corinthians 12


    Song of Solomon 1–3

    Song of Solomon 1–3 (Listen)

    1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

    The Bride Confesses Her Love

    2   Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
      For your love is better than wine;
    3     your anointing oils are fragrant;
      your name is oil poured out;
        therefore virgins love you.
    4   Draw me after you; let us run.
        The king has brought me into his chambers.


      We will exult and rejoice in you;
        we will extol your love more than wine;
        rightly do they love you.


    5   I am very dark, but lovely,
        O daughters of Jerusalem,
      like the tents of Kedar,
        like the curtains of Solomon.
    6   Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
        because the sun has looked upon me.
      My mother’s sons were angry with me;
        they made me keeper of the vineyards,
        but my own vineyard I have not kept!
    7   Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
        where you pasture your flock,
        where you make it lie down at noon;
      for why should I be like one who veils herself
        beside the flocks of your companions?

    Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

    8   If you do not know,
        O most beautiful among women,
      follow in the tracks of the flock,
        and pasture your young goats
        beside the shepherds’ tents.

    9   I compare you, my love,
        to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
    10   Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
        your neck with strings of jewels.


    11   We will make for you2 ornaments of gold,
        studded with silver.


    12   While the king was on his couch,
        my nard gave forth its fragrance.
    13   My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
        that lies between my breasts.
    14   My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
        in the vineyards of Engedi.


    15   Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
        behold, you are beautiful;
        your eyes are doves.


    16   Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
      Our couch is green;
    17     the beams of our house are cedar;
        our rafters are pine.

    2   I am a rose3 of Sharon,
        a lily of the valleys.


    2   As a lily among brambles,
        so is my love among the young women.


    3   As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
        so is my beloved among the young men.
      With great delight I sat in his shadow,
        and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
    4   He brought me to the banqueting house,4
        and his banner over me was love.
    5   Sustain me with raisins;
        refresh me with apples,
        for I am sick with love.
    6   His left hand is under my head,
        and his right hand embraces me!
    7   I adjure you,5 O daughters of Jerusalem,
        by the gazelles or the does of the field,
      that you not stir up or awaken love
        until it pleases.

    The Bride Adores Her Beloved

    8   The voice of my beloved!
        Behold, he comes,
      leaping over the mountains,
        bounding over the hills.
    9   My beloved is like a gazelle
        or a young stag.
      Behold, there he stands
        behind our wall,
      gazing through the windows,
        looking through the lattice.
    10   My beloved speaks and says to me:
      “Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
        and come away,
    11   for behold, the winter is past;
        the rain is over and gone.
    12   The flowers appear on the earth,
        the time of singing6 has come,
      and the voice of the turtledove
        is heard in our land.
    13   The fig tree ripens its figs,
        and the vines are in blossom;
        they give forth fragrance.
      Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
        and come away.

    • 9 min
    September 20: Ecclesiastes 10–12; 2 Corinthians 11:16–33

    September 20: Ecclesiastes 10–12; 2 Corinthians 11:16–33


    Ecclesiastes 10–12

    Ecclesiastes 10–12 (Listen)

    10   Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench;
        so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
    2   A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right,
        but a fool’s heart to the left.
    3   Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,
        and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
    4   If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place,
        for calmness1 will lay great offenses to rest.

    5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: 6 folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

    8   He who digs a pit will fall into it,
        and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
    9   He who quarries stones is hurt by them,
        and he who splits logs is endangered by them.
    10   If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,
        he must use more strength,
        but wisdom helps one to succeed.2
    11   If the serpent bites before it is charmed,
        there is no advantage to the charmer.

    12   The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor,3
        but the lips of a fool consume him.
    13   The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
        and the end of his talk is evil madness.
    14   A fool multiplies words,
        though no man knows what is to be,
        and who can tell him what will be after him?
    15   The toil of a fool wearies him,
        for he does not know the way to the city.

    16   Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
        and your princes feast in the morning!
    17   Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,
        and your princes feast at the proper time,
        for strength, and not for drunkenness!
    18   Through sloth the roof sinks in,
        and through indolence the house leaks.
    19   Bread is made for laughter,
        and wine gladdens life,
        and money answers everything.
    20   Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king,
        nor in your bedroom curse the rich,
      for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
        or some winged creature tell the matter.

    Cast Your Bread upon the Waters

    11   Cast your bread upon the waters,
        for you will find it after many days.
    2   Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
        for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
    3   If the clouds are full of rain,
        they empty themselves on the earth,
      and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
        in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
    4   He who observes the wind will not sow,
        and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

    5 As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb4 of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

    6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

    7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

    8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.5

    9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

    10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain6 from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

    Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
    12 Remember also you

    • 8 min
    September 19: Ecclesiastes 7–9; 2 Corinthians 11:1–15

    September 19: Ecclesiastes 7–9; 2 Corinthians 11:1–15


    Ecclesiastes 7–9

    Ecclesiastes 7–9 (Listen)
    The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly

    7   A good name is better than precious ointment,
        and the day of death than the day of birth.
    2   It is better to go to the house of mourning
        than to go to the house of feasting,
      for this is the end of all mankind,
        and the living will lay it to heart.
    3   Sorrow is better than laughter,
        for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
    4   The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
        but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
    5   It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
        than to hear the song of fools.
    6   For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,
        so is the laughter of the fools;
        this also is vanity.1
    7   Surely oppression drives the wise into madness,
        and a bribe corrupts the heart.
    8   Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
        and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
    9   Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
        for anger lodges in the heart2 of fools.
    10   Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
        For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
    11   Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
        an advantage to those who see the sun.
    12   For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
        and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
    13   Consider the work of God:
        who can make straight what he has made crooked?

    14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

    15 In my vain3 life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing. 16 Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.

    19 Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.

    20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

    21 Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. 22 Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.

    23 All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. 24 That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?

    25 I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. 26 And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. 27 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things—28 which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. 29 See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

    Keep the King’s Command

    8   Who is like the wise?
        And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
      A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,
        and the hardness of his face is changed.

    2 I say:4 Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.5 3 Be not hasty to go from his pres

    • 11 min
    September 18: Ecclesiastes 4–6; 2 Corinthians 10

    September 18: Ecclesiastes 4–6; 2 Corinthians 10


    Ecclesiastes 4–6

    Ecclesiastes 4–6 (Listen)
    Evil Under the Sun
    4 Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. 3 But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

    4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity1 and a striving after wind.

    5 The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

    6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

    7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

    9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

    13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. 14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. 15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that2 youth who was to stand in the king’s3 place. 16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    4 Fear God
    5 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 5 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.

    4 When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Let not your mouth lead you6 into sin, and do not say before the messenger7 that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity;8 but9 God is the one you must fear.

    The Vanity of Wealth and Honor
    8 If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. 9 But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.10

    10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

    13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothin

    • 9 min

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