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1 Maccabees 15-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 15

Letter of Antiochus VII. Antiochus,[a] son of King Demetrius, sent a letter from the islands of the sea to Simon, the priest and ethnarch of the Jews, and to all the nation, which read as follows:

“King Antiochus sends greetings to Simon, the high priest and ethnarch, and to the Jewish nation. Whereas certain villains have gained control of the kingdom of our ancestors, I intend to reclaim it, that I may restore it to its former state. I have recruited a large number of mercenary troops and equipped warships. I intend to make a landing in the country so that I may take revenge on those who have ruined our country and laid waste many cities in my kingdom.

“Now, therefore, I confirm to you all the tax exemptions that the kings before me granted you and whatever other privileges they conceded to you. I authorize you to coin your own money, as legal tender in your country. Jerusalem and its sanctuary shall be free. All the weapons you have prepared and all the strongholds you have built and now occupy shall remain in your possession. All debts, present or future, due to the royal treasury shall be canceled for you, now and for all time. When we establish our kingdom, we will greatly honor you and your nation and the temple, so that your glory will be manifest in all the earth.”

10 In the one hundred and seventy-fourth year[b] Antiochus invaded the land of his ancestors, and all the troops rallied to him, so that few were left with Trypho. 11 Pursued by Antiochus, Trypho fled to Dor, by the sea,[c] 12 realizing what troubles had come upon him now that his soldiers had deserted him. 13 Antiochus encamped before Dor with a hundred and twenty thousand infantry and eight thousand cavalry. 14 While he surrounded the city, his ships closed from the sea, so that he pressed it hard by land and sea and let no one go in or out.

Roman Alliance Renewed. 15 Meanwhile, Numenius and his companions came from Rome with letters containing this message to various kings and countries: 16 “Lucius,[d] Consul of the Romans, sends greetings to King Ptolemy. 17 Ambassadors of the Jews, our friends and allies, have come to us to renew their earlier friendship and alliance. They had been sent by Simon the high priest and the Jewish people, 18 and they brought with them a gold shield of a thousand minas. 19 Therefore we have decided to write to various kings and countries, that they are not to venture to harm them, or wage war against them or their cities or their country, and are not to assist those who fight against them. 20 We have also decided to accept the shield from them. 21 If, then, any troublemakers from their country take refuge with you, hand them over to Simon the high priest, so that he may punish them according to their law.”

22 The consul sent identical letters to Kings Demetrius, Attalus,[e] Ariarthes and Arsaces; 23 to all the countries—Sampsames, the Spartans, Delos, Myndos, Sicyon, Caria, Samos, Pamphylia, Lycia, Halicarnassus, Rhodes, Phaselis, Cos, Side, Aradus, Gortyna, Cnidus, Cyprus, and Cyrene. 24 A copy of the letter was also sent to Simon the high priest.

Hostility from Antiochus VII. 25 When King Antiochus encamped before Dor, he assaulted it continuously both with troops and with the siege engines he had made. He blockaded Trypho by preventing anyone from going in or out. 26 Simon sent to Antiochus’ support two thousand elite troops, together with silver and gold and much equipment. 27 But he refused to accept the aid; in fact, he broke all the agreements he had previously made with Simon and became hostile toward him.

28 He sent Athenobius, one of his Friends, to confer with Simon and say: “You are occupying Joppa and Gazara and the citadel of Jerusalem; these are cities of my kingdom. 29 You have laid waste their territories, done great harm to the land, and taken possession of many districts in my kingdom. 30 Now, therefore, give up the cities you have seized and the tribute money of the districts you control outside the territory of Judea; 31 or instead, pay me five hundred talents of silver for the devastation you have caused and five hundred talents more for the tribute money of the cities. If you do not do this, we will come and make war on you.”

32 So Athenobius, the king’s Friend, came to Jerusalem and on seeing the splendor of Simon’s court, the gold and silver plate on the sideboard, and his rich display, he was amazed. When he gave him the king’s message, 33 Simon said to him in reply: “It is not foreign land we have taken nor have we seized the property of others, but only our ancestral heritage which for a time had been unjustly held by our enemies. 34 Now that we have the opportunity, we are holding on to the heritage of our ancestors. 35 As for Joppa and Gazara, which you demand, those cities were doing great harm to our people and our country. For these we will give you a hundred talents.” Athenobius made no reply, 36 but returned to the king in anger. When he told him of Simon’s words, of his splendor, and of all he had seen, the king fell into a violent rage.

Victory over Cendebeus. 37 Trypho had boarded a ship and escaped to Orthosia.[f] 38 Then the king appointed Cendebeus commander-in-chief of the seacoast, and gave him infantry and cavalry forces. 39 He ordered him to encamp against Judea and to fortify Kedron[g] and strengthen its gates, so that he could wage war on the people. Meanwhile the king went in pursuit of Trypho. 40 When Cendebeus came to Jamnia, he began to harass the people and to make incursions into Judea, where he took people captive and massacred them. 41 As the king ordered, he fortified Kedron and stationed cavalry and infantry there, so that they could go out and patrol the roads of Judea.

Chapter 16

John then went up from Gazara and told his father Simon what Cendebeus was doing. Simon called his two oldest sons, Judas and John, and said to them: “I and my brothers and my father’s house have fought the wars of Israel from our youth until today, and many times we succeeded in saving Israel. I have now grown old, but you, by the mercy of Heaven, have come to maturity. Take my place and my brother’s, and go out and fight for our nation; and may the help of Heaven be with you!”

John then mustered in the land twenty thousand warriors and cavalry. Setting out against Cendebeus, they spent the night at Modein, rose early, and marched into the plain. There, facing them, was an immense army of foot soldiers and cavalry, and between the two armies was a wadi. John and his people took their position against the enemy. Seeing that his people were afraid to cross the wadi, John crossed first. When his men saw this, they crossed over after him. Then he divided his infantry and put his cavalry in the center, for the enemy’s cavalry were very numerous. They blew the trumpets, and Cendebeus and his army were routed; many of them fell wounded, and the rest fled toward the stronghold. It was then that John’s brother Judas fell wounded; but John pursued them until Cendebeus reached Kedron, which he had fortified. 10 Some took refuge in the towers on the plain of Azotus, but John set fire to these, and about two thousand of the enemy perished. He then returned to Judea in peace.

Murder of Simon and His Sons. 11 Ptolemy, son of Abubus, had been appointed governor of the plain of Jericho, and he had much silver and gold, 12 being the son-in-law of the high priest. 13 But his heart became proud and he was determined to get control of the country. So he made treacherous plans to do away with Simon and his sons. 14 As Simon was inspecting the cities of the country and providing for their needs, he and his sons Mattathias and Judas went down to Jericho in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month[h] (that is, the month Shebat). 15 The son of Abubus gave them a deceitful welcome in the little stronghold called Dok[i] which he had built. He served them a sumptuous banquet, but he had his men hidden there. 16 Then, when Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men sprang up, weapons in hand, rushed upon Simon in the banquet hall, and killed him, his two sons, and some of his servants. 17 By this vicious act of treachery he repaid good with evil.

18 Then Ptolemy wrote a report and sent it to the king, asking him to send troops to help him and to turn over to him their country and its cities. 19 He sent other men to Gazara to do away with John. To the army officers he sent letters inviting them to come to him so that he might present them with silver, gold, and gifts. 20 He also sent others to seize Jerusalem and the temple mount. 21 But someone ran ahead and brought word to John at Gazara that his father and his brothers had perished, and “Ptolemy has sent men to kill you also.” 22 On hearing this, John was utterly astounded. When the men came to kill him, he seized them and put them to death, for he knew that they sought to kill him.

23 [j]Now the rest of the acts of John, his wars and the brave deeds he performed, his rebuilding of the walls, and all his achievements— 24 these are recorded in the chronicle of his high priesthood, from the time that he succeeded his father as high priest.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:1 Antiochus: Antiochus VII Sidetes, son of Demetrius I, and younger brother of Demetrius II (now a prisoner of the Parthians). At the age of twenty he set out from the island of Rhodes to take his brother’s place and drive out the usurper Trypho.
  2. 15:10 The one hundred and seventy-fourth year: 138 B.C.
  3. 15:11 Dor, by the sea: a fortress on the Palestinian coast, fifteen miles south of Carmel.
  4. 15:16 Lucius: perhaps Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul in 142 B.C., or Lucius Calpurnicus Piso, consul in 140–139 B.C. This document pertains to Simon’s first years as leader.
  5. 15:22 Attalus: Attalus II of Pergamum, reigned 159–138 B.C. Ariarthes: Ariarthes V of Cappadocia, reigned 162–130 B.C. Arsaces: see note on 14:2.
  6. 15:37 Orthosia: a port between Tripoli and the Eleutherus River.
  7. 15:39 Kedron: a few miles southeast of Jamnia and facing the fortress of Gazara held by John Hyrcanus (13:53; 16:1).
  8. 16:14 In the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month: January–February, 134 B.C., by the Temple calendar.
  9. 16:15 Dok: a fortress built on a cliff three miles northwest of Jericho, near modern Ain Duq.
  10. 16:23–24 John Hyrcanus was ruler and high priest from 134 B.C. till his death in 104 B.C. These verses suggest that the book was written, or at least completed, only after he died.
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.

Wisdom 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. The Reward of Righteousness[a]

Chapter 1

Exhortation to Righteousness, the Key to Life

Love righteousness,[b] you who judge the earth;
    think of the Lord in goodness,
    and seek him in integrity of heart;
Because he is found by those who do not test him,
    and manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.
For perverse counsels separate people from God,
    and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy;
[c]Because into a soul that plots evil wisdom does not enter,
    nor does she dwell in a body under debt of sin.
For the holy spirit of discipline[d] flees deceit
    and withdraws from senseless counsels
    and is rebuked when unrighteousness occurs.

For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
    yet she does not acquit blasphemous lips;
Because God is the witness of the inmost self
    and the sure observer of the heart
    and the listener to the tongue.
For the spirit of the Lord fills the world,
    is all-embracing, and knows whatever is said.
Therefore those who utter wicked things will not go unnoticed,
    nor will chastising condemnation pass them by.
For the devices of the wicked shall be scrutinized,
    and the sound of their words shall reach the Lord,
    for the chastisement of their transgressions;
10 Because a jealous ear hearkens to everything,
    and discordant grumblings are not secret.
11 Therefore guard against profitless grumbling,
    and from calumny[e] withhold your tongues;
For a stealthy utterance will not go unpunished,
    and a lying mouth destroys the soul.

12 Do not court death[f] by your erring way of life,
    nor draw to yourselves destruction by the works of your hands.
13 Because God did not make death,
    nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
14 For he fashioned all things that they might have being,
    and the creatures of the world are wholesome;
There is not a destructive drug among them
    nor any domain of Hades[g] on earth,
15 For righteousness is undying.[h]

The Wicked Reject Immortality and Righteousness Alike

16 It was the wicked who with hands and words invited death,
    considered it a friend, and pined for it,
    and made a covenant with it,
Because they deserve to be allied with it.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–6:21 The reward is the gift of immortality, to the righteous (1:15; 3:1–3), but not to the wicked (5:1–13). Contrasts between these two groups dominate chaps. 1–5. The philosophy of the wicked and their persecution of the righteous are dramatically presented in 1:16–2:24. New light is shed on the suffering of the righteous (3:1–9), childlessness (3:13–15), and premature death (4:7–16)—in contrast to the fate of the wicked (3:10–12, 16–19; 4:3–6, 17–20).
  2. 1:1 Righteousness: not merely the cardinal virtue of justice (cf. 8:7), but the universal moral quality which is the application of wisdom to moral conduct. You who judge: “judges” and “kings” (cf. 6:1) are addressed in accordance with the literary customs of the times and with the putative Solomonic authorship, but the real audience is the Jewish community.
  3. 1:4 In these verses personified Wisdom is identified with the spirit of the Lord; so also in 9:17.
  4. 1:5 Discipline: here and elsewhere, another name for Wisdom.
  5. 1:11 Calumny: speech against God and divine providence is meant.
  6. 1:12 Death: as will become clear, the author is not speaking of physical death but of spiritual death, the eternal separation from God.
  7. 1:14 Hades: the Greek term for the Hebrew Sheol, the dwelling place of the dead.
  8. 1:15 Undying: immortality is not seen as an innate quality of the soul but as a gift of God to the righteous.
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 11:27-54 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

27 While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” 28 He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The Demand for a Sign.[a] 29 While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. 30 Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. 32 At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.

The Simile of Light. 33 “No one who lights a lamp hides it away or places it [under a bushel basket], but on a lampstand so that those who enter might see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is sound, then your whole body is filled with light, but when it is bad, then your body is in darkness. 35 Take care, then, that the light in you not become darkness. 36 If your whole body is full of light, and no part of it is in darkness, then it will be as full of light as a lamp illuminating you with its brightness.”

Denunciation of the Pharisees and Scholars of the Law.[b] 37 After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. 39 The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. 40 You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? 41 But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you. 42 Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! You are like unseen graves[c] over which people unknowingly walk.”

45 Then one of the scholars of the law[d] said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” 46 And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them. 47 Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. 49 Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles;[e] some of them they will kill and persecute’ 50 in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah[f] who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! 52 Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” 53 When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, 54 for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Footnotes:

  1. 11:29–32 The “sign of Jonah” in Luke is the preaching of the need for repentance by a prophet who comes from afar. Cf. Mt 12:38–42 (and see notes there) where the “sign of Jonah” is interpreted by Jesus as his death and resurrection.
  2. 11:37–54 This denunciation of the Pharisees (Lk 11:39–44) and the scholars of the law (Lk 11:45–52) is set by Luke in the context of Jesus’ dining at the home of a Pharisee. Controversies with or reprimands of Pharisees are regularly set by Luke within the context of Jesus’ eating with Pharisees (see Lk 5:29–39; 7:36–50; 14:1–24). A different compilation of similar sayings is found in Mt 23 (see also notes there).
  3. 11:44 Unseen graves: contact with the dead or with human bones or graves (see Nm 19:16) brought ritual impurity. Jesus presents the Pharisees as those who insidiously lead others astray through their seeming attention to the law.
  4. 11:45 Scholars of the law: see note on Lk 10:25.
  5. 11:49 I will send to them prophets and apostles: Jesus connects the mission of the church (apostles) with the mission of the Old Testament prophets who often suffered the rebuke of their contemporaries.
  6. 11:51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah: the murder of Abel is the first murder recounted in the Old Testament (Gn 4:8). The Zechariah mentioned here may be the Zechariah whose murder is recounted in 2 Chr 24:20–22, the last murder presented in the Hebrew canon of the Old Testament.
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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