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1 Maccabees 14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Capture of Demetrius II. In the one hundred and seventy-second year,[a] King Demetrius assembled his army and marched into Media to obtain help so that he could fight Trypho. When Arsaces,[b] king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius had entered his territory, he sent one of his generals to take him alive. The general went forth and attacked the army of Demetrius; he captured him and brought him to Arsaces, who put him under guard.

Praise of Simon

The land was at rest all the days of Simon,
    who sought the good of his nation.
His rule delighted his people
    and his glory all his days.
As his crowning glory he took Joppa for a port
    and made it a gateway to the isles of the sea.
He enlarged the borders of his nation
    and gained control of the country.
He took many prisoners of war
    and made himself master of Gazara, Beth-zur, and the citadel.
He cleansed the citadel of its impurities;
    there was no one to withstand him.
The people cultivated their land in peace;
    the land yielded its produce,
    the trees of the field their fruit.
Old men sat in the squares,
    all talking about the good times,
    while the young men put on the glorious raiment of war.
10 He supplied the cities with food
    and equipped them with means of defense,
    till his glorious name reached the ends of the earth.
11 He brought peace to the land,
    and Israel was filled with great joy.
12 Every one sat under his vine and fig tree,
    with no one to disturb them.
13 No attacker was left in the land;
    the kings in those days were crushed.
14 He strengthened all the lowly among his people
    and was zealous for the law;
    he destroyed the lawless and the wicked.
15 The sanctuary he made splendid
    and multiplied its furnishings.

Alliance with Rome and Sparta. 16 When people in Rome and even in Sparta heard that Jonathan had died, they were deeply grieved.[c] 17 But when they heard that his brother Simon had become high priest in his place and was master of the territory and its cities, 18 they sent him inscribed tablets of bronze to renew with him the friendship and alliance that they had established with his brothers Judas and Jonathan. 19 These were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.

20 This is a copy of the letter that the Spartans sent: “The rulers and the city of the Spartans send greetings to Simon the high priest, the elders, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people, our brothers. 21 The ambassadors sent to our people have informed us of your glory and renown, and we rejoiced at their coming. 22 In accordance with what they said we have recorded the following in the public decrees: Numenius, son of Antiochus, and Antipater, son of Jason, ambassadors of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us. 23 The people have resolved to receive these men with honor, and to deposit a copy of their words in the public archives, so that the people of Sparta may have a record of them. A copy of this decree has been made for Simon the high priest.”

24 After this, Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas, to confirm the alliance with the Romans.

Official Honors for Simon. 25 When the people heard of these things, they said, “How shall we thank Simon and his sons? 26 He and his brothers and his father’s house have stood firm and repulsed Israel’s enemies, and so have established its freedom.” So they made an inscription on bronze tablets, which they affixed to pillars on Mount Zion.

27 The following is a copy of the inscription: “On the eighteenth day of Elul,[d] in the one hundred and seventy-second year, that is, the third year under Simon the great high priest in Asaramel, 28 in a great assembly of priests, people, rulers of the nation, and elders of the region, the following proclamation was made to us:

29 “‘Since there have often been wars in our country, Simon, son of the priest Mattathias, descendant of Joarib, and his brothers have put themselves in danger and resisted the enemies of their nation, so that their sanctuary and law might be maintained, and they have thus brought great glory to their nation. 30 Jonathan rallied the nation, became their high priest, and was gathered to his people. 31 When their enemies sought to invade and ravage their country and to violate their sanctuary, 32 Simon rose up and fought for his nation, spending large sums of his own money to equip his nation’s forces and give them their pay. 33 He fortified the cities of Judea, especially the border city of Beth-zur, formerly the site of the enemy’s weaponry, and he stationed there a garrison of Jewish soldiers. 34 He also fortified Joppa by the sea and Gazara on the border of Azotus, a place previously occupied by the enemy; these cities he settled with Jews and furnished them with all that was necessary for their restoration. 35 When the people saw Simon’s fidelity and the glory he planned to bring to his nation, they made him their leader and high priest because of all he had accomplished and the justice and fidelity he had shown his nation. In every way he sought to exalt his people.

36 “‘In his time and under his guidance they succeeded in driving the Gentiles out of their country and those in the City of David in Jerusalem, who had built for themselves a citadel from which they used to sally forth to defile the environs of the sanctuary and inflict grave injury on its purity. 37 In this citadel he stationed Jewish soldiers, and he strengthened its fortifications for the security of the land and the city, while he also built up the wall of Jerusalem to a greater height. 38 Consequently, King Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood, 39 made him one of his Friends, and conferred great honor on him. 40 This was because he had heard that the Romans had addressed the Jews as friends, allies, and brothers, that they had received Simon’s envoys with honor, 41 and that the Jewish people and their priests had decided the following: Simon shall be their leader and high priest forever until a trustworthy prophet arises. 42 He shall act as governor over them, and shall have charge of the sanctuary, to make regulations concerning its functions and concerning the country, its weapons and strongholds. 43 He shall be obeyed by all. All contracts in the country shall be written in his name, and he shall be clothed in purple and gold. 44 It shall not be lawful for any of the people or priests to nullify any of these decisions, or to contradict the orders given by him, or to convene an assembly in the country without his consent, to be clothed in purple or wear a gold buckle. 45 Whoever acts otherwise or violates any of these prescriptions shall be liable to punishment.

46 “‘Thus all the people approved of granting Simon the right to act in accord with these decisions, 47 and Simon accepted and agreed to be high priest, governor, and ethnarch[e] of the Jewish people and priests, and to have authority over all.’”

48 It was decreed that this inscription should be engraved on bronze tablets, to be set up in a conspicuous place in the precincts of the sanctuary, 49 and that copies of it should be deposited in the treasury, where they would be available to Simon and his sons.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1 The one hundred and seventy-second year: 141/140 B.C. The expedition began most probably in the spring of 140.
  2. 14:2 Arsaces: Arsaces VI, also called Mithridates I, the Parthian king (171–138 B.C.). Parthians had overrun Persia and now held Babylonia, both of which had hitherto belonged to the Seleucid empire. The Greeks and Macedonians in these countries had appealed to Demetrius for help.
  3. 14:16 The embassy to Rome and Sparta was sent soon after Simon’s accession to power, and the replies were received before Demetrius’ expedition (vv. 1–3), probably in 142 B.C.
  4. 14:27 Eighteenth day of Elul: September 13, 140 B.C. Asaramel: perhaps a Hebrew name meaning “court of the people of God.”
  5. 14:47 Ethnarch: a subordinate ruler over an ethnic group whose office needed confirmation by a higher authority within the empire.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Song of Songs 8 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

Would that you were a brother to me,
    nursed at my mother’s breasts!
If I met you out of doors, I would kiss you
    and none would despise me.
I would lead you, bring you to my mother’s house,
    where you would teach me,
Where I would give you to drink
    spiced wine, my pomegranate[a] juice.
His left hand is under my head,
    and his right arm embraces me.
I adjure you, Daughters of Jerusalem,
    do not awaken or stir up love
    until it is ready!

The Return from the Desert

D? Who is this coming up from the desert,
    leaning upon her lover?
W Beneath the apple tree I awakened you;[b]
    there your mother conceived you;
    there she who bore you conceived.

True Love

Set me as a seal[c] upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm;
For Love is strong as Death,
    longing is fierce as Sheol.
Its arrows are arrows of fire,
    flames of the divine.
Deep waters[d] cannot quench love,
    nor rivers sweep it away.
Were one to offer all the wealth of his house for love,
    he would be utterly despised.

An Answer to the Brothers

W “We have a little sister;[e]
    she has no breasts as yet.
What shall we do for our sister
    on the day she is spoken for?
If she is a wall,
    we will build upon her a silver turret;
But if she is a door,
    we will board her up with cedar planks.”
10 I am a wall,[f]
    and my breasts are like towers.
I became in his eyes
    as one who brings peace.

A Boast

11 M? Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;[g]
    he gave over the vineyard to caretakers.
For its fruit one would have to pay
    a thousand silver pieces.
12 My vineyard is at my own disposal;
    the thousand pieces are for you, Solomon,
    and two hundred for the caretakers of its fruit.

The Lovers’ Yearnings

13 M You who dwell in the gardens,[h]
    my companions are listening for your voice—
    let me hear it!
14 W Swiftly, my lover,
    be like a gazelle or a young stag
    upon the mountains of spices.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:2 Wine…pomegranate: sexual connotations are implied, since the root “drink” (shaqah) is a wordplay on “kiss” (nashaq) in v. 1; cf. 1:2.
  2. 8:5 Awakened you: the speakers in this verse are difficult to identify. Someone (the poet? Daughters?) hails the couple in v. 5a. According to the Masoretic vocalization, the woman is the speaker in v. 5b.
  3. 8:6 Seal: this could be worn bound to the arm, as here, or suspended at the neck, or as a ring (Jer 22:24). It was used for identification and signatures. Strong…fierce: in human experience, Death and Sheol are inevitable, unrelenting; in the end they always triumph. Love, which is just as certain of its victory, matches its strength against the natural enemies of life; waters cannot extinguish it nor floods carry it away. It is more priceless than all riches. Flames of the divine: the Hebrew is difficult: the short form (-Yah) of the divine name Yhwh found here may associate love with the Lord, or it may be acting as a superlative—i.e., god-sized flames.
  4. 8:7 Deep waters: often used to designate chaos (Ps 93:4; 144:7; Is 17:12–13; Hb 3:15). The fires of love cannot be extinguished, even by waters of chaos. Wealth: love cannot be bought.
  5. 8:8–9 The woman quotes the course of action her elder brothers had decided on. While she is yet immature, they will shelter her in view of eventual marriage. Wall…door: if she is virtuous, she will be honored; if she is not, she will be kept under strict vigilance. Silver turret: a precious ornament.
  6. 8:10 In reply to the officious and meddling attitude of the brothers, she answers with their terms: she is mature (“wall,” “towers”). Brings peace: or, “finds peace.”
  7. 8:11–12 These enigmatic verses have been variously interpreted, depending on who is taken to be the speaker. In v. 11, if the woman, she boasts that she is a vineyard of great value. If the man, he boasts over his possession of her.
  8. 8:13–14 As in 2:14, her lover asks for a word or a song and she replies in words similar to those found in 2:17.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Luke 11:1-26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 11

The Lord’s Prayer. [a]He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”[b] [c]He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come.
    Give us each day our daily bread[d]
    and forgive us our sins
    for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
    and do not subject us to the final test.”

Further Teachings on Prayer. And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

The Answer to Prayer. “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12 Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit[e] to those who ask him?”

Jesus and Beelzebul. 14 He was driving out a demon [that was] mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute person spoke and the crowds were amazed. 15 Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” 16 Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. 17 But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. 18 And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. 19 If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people[f] drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that [I] drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. 22 But when one stronger[g] than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

The Return of the Unclean Spirit. 24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ 25 But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”

True Blessedness.[h]

Footnotes:

  1. 11:1–13 Luke presents three episodes concerned with prayer. The first (Lk 11:1–4) recounts Jesus teaching his disciples the Christian communal prayer, the “Our Father”; the second (Lk 11:5–8), the importance of persistence in prayer; the third (Lk 11:9–13), the effectiveness of prayer.
  2. 11:1–4 The Matthean form of the “Our Father” occurs in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 6:9–15); the shorter Lucan version is presented while Jesus is at prayer (see note on Lk 3:21) and his disciples ask him to teach them to pray just as John taught his disciples to pray. In answer to their question, Jesus presents them with an example of a Christian communal prayer that stresses the fatherhood of God and acknowledges him as the one to whom the Christian disciple owes daily sustenance (Lk 11:3), forgiveness (Lk 11:4), and deliverance from the final trial (Lk 11:4). See also notes on Mt 6:9–13.
  3. 11:2 Your kingdom come: in place of this petition, some early church Fathers record: “May your holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us,” a petition that may reflect the use of the “Our Father” in a baptismal liturgy.
  4. 11:3–4 Daily bread: see note on Mt 6:11. The final test: see note on Mt 6:13.
  5. 11:13 The holy Spirit: this is a Lucan editorial alteration of a traditional saying of Jesus (see Mt 7:11). Luke presents the gift of the holy Spirit as the response of the Father to the prayer of the Christian disciple.
  6. 11:19 Your own people: the Greek reads “your sons.” Other Jewish exorcists (see Acts 19:13–20), who recognize that the power of God is active in the exorcism, would themselves convict the accusers of Jesus. See also note on Mt 12:27.
  7. 11:22 One stronger: i.e., Jesus. Cf. Lk 3:16 where John the Baptist identifies Jesus as “mightier than I.”
  8. 11:27–28 The beatitude in Lk 11:28 should not be interpreted as a rebuke of the mother of Jesus; see note on Lk 8:21. Rather, it emphasizes (like Lk 2:35) that attentiveness to God’s word is more important than biological relationship to Jesus.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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