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1 Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth.
2 Give ear, you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations.
3 For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High, who will search out your works and inquire into your plans.
4 Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, nor keep the law, nor walk according to the purpose of God,
5 he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgment falls on those in high places.
6 For the lowliest man may be pardoned in mercy, but mighty men will be mightily tested.
7 For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of any one, nor show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike.
8 But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty.
9 To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed, that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.
10 For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness, and those who have been taught them will find a defense.
11 Therefore set your desire on my words; long for them, and you will be instructed.