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1 Maccabees 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

Mattathias and His Sons. In those days Mattathias, son of John, son of Simeon, a priest of the family of Joarib, left Jerusalem and settled in Modein.[a] He had five sons: John, who was called Gaddi; Simon, who was called Thassi; Judas, who was called Maccabeus; Eleazar, who was called Avaran; and Jonathan, who was called Apphus. When he saw the sacrileges that were being committed in Judah and in Jerusalem, he said:

“Woe is me! Why was I born
    to see the ruin of my people,
    the ruin of the holy city—
To dwell there
    as it was given into the hands of enemies,
    the sanctuary into the hands of strangers?
Her temple has become like a man disgraced,
    her glorious vessels carried off as spoils,
Her infants murdered in her streets,
    her youths by the sword of the enemy.
10 What nation has not taken its share of her realm,
    and laid its hand on her spoils?
11 All her adornment has been taken away.
    Once free, she has become a slave.
12 We see our sanctuary laid waste,
    our beauty, our glory.
The Gentiles have defiled them!
13     Why are we still alive?”

14 Then Mattathias and his sons tore their garments, put on sackcloth, and mourned bitterly.

Pagan Worship Refused and Resisted. 15 The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them sacrifice. 16 Many of Israel joined them, but Mattathias and his sons drew together. 17 Then the officers of the king addressed Mattathias: “You are a leader, an honorable and great man in this city, supported by sons and kindred. 18 Come now, be the first to obey the king’s command, as all the Gentiles and Judeans and those who are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons shall be numbered among the King’s Friends,[b] and you and your sons shall be honored with silver and gold and many gifts.”

19 But Mattathias answered in a loud voice: “Although all the Gentiles in the king’s realm obey him, so that they forsake the religion of their ancestors and consent to the king’s orders, 20 yet I and my sons and my kindred will keep to the covenant of our ancestors. 21 Heaven forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments. 22 We will not obey the words of the king by departing from our religion in the slightest degree.”

23 As he finished saying these words, a certain Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein according to the king’s order. 24 When Mattathias saw him, he was filled with zeal; his heart was moved and his just fury was aroused; he sprang forward and killed him upon the altar. 25 At the same time, he also killed the messenger of the king who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. 26 Thus he showed his zeal for the law, just as Phinehas did with Zimri, son of Salu.

27 Then Mattathias cried out in the city, “Let everyone who is zealous for the law and who stands by the covenant follow me!” 28 Then he and his sons fled to the mountains, leaving behind in the city all their possessions.

29 At that time many who sought righteousness and justice went out into the wilderness[c] to settle there, 30 they and their children, their wives and their animals, because misfortunes pressed so hard on them. 31 It was reported to the officers and soldiers of the king who were in the City of David, in Jerusalem, that those who had flouted the king’s order had gone out to secret refuges in the wilderness. 32 Many hurried out after them, and having caught up with them, camped opposite and prepared to attack them on the sabbath. 33 The pursuers said to them, “Enough of this! Come out and obey the king’s command, and you will live.” 34 But they replied, “We will not come out, nor will we obey the king’s command to profane the sabbath.” 35 Then the enemy attacked them at once. 36 But they did not retaliate; they neither threw stones, nor blocked up their secret refuges. 37 They said, “Let us all die in innocence; heaven and earth are our witnesses that you destroy us unjustly.” 38 So the officers and soldiers attacked them on the sabbath, and they died with their wives, their children and their animals, to the number of a thousand persons.

39 When Mattathias and his friends heard of it, they mourned deeply for them. 40 They said to one another, “If we all do as our kindred have done, and do not fight against the Gentiles for our lives and our laws, they will soon destroy us from the earth.” 41 So on that day they came to this decision: “Let us fight against anyone who attacks us on the sabbath, so that we may not all die as our kindred died in their secret refuges.”

42 Then they were joined by a group of Hasideans,[d] mighty warriors of Israel, all of them devoted to the law. 43 And all those who were fleeing from the persecutions joined them and supported them. 44 They gathered an army and struck down sinners in their wrath and the lawless in their anger, and the survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety. 45 Mattathias and his friends went about and tore down the pagan altars; 46 they also forcibly circumcised any uncircumcised boys whom they found in the territory of Israel. 47 They put to flight the arrogant, and the work prospered in their hands. 48 They saved the law from the hands of the Gentiles and of the kings and did not let the sinner triumph.

Farewell of Mattathias. 49 When the time came for Mattathias to die, he said to his sons: “Arrogance and scorn have now grown strong; it is a time of disaster and violent wrath. 50 Therefore, my children, be zealous for the law and give your lives for the covenant of our ancestors.

51 “Remember the deeds that our ancestors did in their times,
    and you shall win great honor and an everlasting name.
52 Was not Abraham found faithful in trial,
    and it was credited to him as righteousness?
53 Joseph, when in distress, kept the commandment,
    and he became master of Egypt.
54 Phinehas our ancestor, for his burning zeal,
    received the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.
55 Joshua, for executing his commission,
    became a judge in Israel.
56 Caleb, for bearing witness before the assembly,
    received an inheritance in the land.
57 David, for his loyalty,
    received as a heritage a throne of eternal kingship.
58 Elijah, for his burning zeal for the law,
    was taken up to heaven.
59 Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, for their faith,
    were saved from the fire.
60 Daniel, for his innocence,
    was delivered from the mouths of lions.
61 And so, consider this from generation to generation,
    that none who hope in Heaven shall fail in strength.
62 Do not fear the words of sinners,
    for their glory ends in corruption and worms.
63 Today exalted, tomorrow not to be found,
    they have returned to dust,
    their schemes have perished.
64 Children! be courageous and strong in keeping the law,
    for by it you shall be honored.

65 “Here is your brother Simeon who I know is a wise counselor; listen to him always, and he will be a father to you. 66 And Judas Maccabeus, a mighty warrior from his youth, shall be the leader of your army and wage the war against the nations. 67 Gather about you all who observe the law, and avenge your people. 68 Pay back the Gentiles what they deserve, and observe the precepts of the law.”

69 Then he blessed them, and he was gathered to his ancestors. 70 He died in the year one hundred and forty-six,[e] and was buried in the tombs of his ancestors in Modein, and all Israel mourned him greatly.


  1. 2:1 Modein: a village about twenty miles northwest of Jerusalem, the family’s ancestral home (see 2:70; 9:19).
  2. 2:18 The King’s Friends: a regular order of nobility at Hellenistic courts (see 10:65; 11:27).
  3. 2:29 The wilderness: the sparsely inhabited mountain country southward from Jerusalem and west of the Dead Sea, in the region where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
  4. 2:42 Hasideans: in Hebrew hasidim, “pious ones,” a militant religious group devoted to the strict observance of the law. They first supported the Maccabean movement, but subsequently opposed it, regarding it as too political (see 7:12–18).
  5. 2:70 In the year one hundred and forty-six: 166 B.C.
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.

Ecclesiastes 9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

B. No One Knows the Future

Chapter 9

All this I have kept in my heart and all this I examined: The just, the wise, and their deeds are in the hand of God. Love from hatred[a] mortals cannot tell; both are before them. Everything is the same for everybody: the same lot for the just and the wicked, for the good, for the clean and the unclean, for the one who offers sacrifice and the one who does not. As it is for the good, so it is for the sinner; as it is for the one who takes an oath, so it is for the one who fears an oath. Among all the things that are done under the sun, this is the worst, that there is one lot for all. Hence the hearts of human beings are filled with evil, and madness is in their hearts during life; and afterward—to the dead!

For whoever is chosen among all the living has hope: “A live dog[b] is better off than a dead lion.” For the living know that they are to die, but the dead no longer know anything. There is no further recompense for them, because all memory of them is lost. For them, love and hatred and rivalry have long since perished. Never again will they have part in anything that is done under the sun.

Go, eat your bread[c] with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, because it is now that God favors your works. At all times let your garments be white, and spare not the perfume for your head. Enjoy life with the wife you love, all the days of the vain life granted you under the sun. This is your lot in life, for the toil of your labors under the sun. 10 Anything you can turn your hand to, do with what power you have; for there will be no work, no planning, no knowledge, no wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

The Time of Misfortune Is Not Known. 11 Again I saw under the sun that the race is not won by the swift, nor the battle by the valiant, nor a livelihood by the wise, nor riches by the shrewd, nor favor by the experts; for a time of misfortune comes to all alike. 12 Human beings no more know their own time than fish taken in the fatal net or birds trapped in the snare; like these, mortals are caught when an evil time suddenly falls upon them.

The Uncertain Future and the Sages. 13 On the other hand I saw this wise deed under the sun, which I thought magnificent. 14 Against a small city with few inhabitants advanced a mighty king, who surrounded it and threw up great siegeworks about it. 15 But in the city lived a man who, though poor, was wise, and he delivered it through his wisdom. Yet no one remembered this poor man. 16 Though I had said, “Wisdom is better than force,” yet the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words go unheeded.

17 The quiet words of the wise are better heeded
    than the shout of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
    but one bungler destroys much good.


  1. 9:1–3 Love from hatred…everything is the same: God seems to bestow divine favor or disfavor (love or hatred) indiscriminately on the just and wicked alike. More ominously, the arbitrariness and inevitability of death and adversity confront every human being, whether good or bad.
  2. 9:4–6 A live dog…no further recompense: human reason and experience persuaded Qoheleth that death with its finality and annihilating power cruelly negates the supreme value—life, and with it, all possibilities (cf. v. 10). Faith in eternal life has its foundation only in hope and trust in God’s promise and in God’s love.
  3. 9:7–10 Go, eat your bread…enjoy life: the author confesses his inability to imprison God in a fixed and predictable way of acting. Thus he ponders a practical and pragmatic solution: Seize whatever opportunity one has to find joy, if God grants it.
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 6:1-36 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

Debates About the Sabbath.[a] While he was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you not read what David did when he and those [who were] with him were hungry? [How] he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering,[b] which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

On another sabbath he went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” 10 Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. 11 But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

The Mission of the Twelve.[c] 12 In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer[d] to God. 13 When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve,[e] whom he also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter,[f] and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot,[g] 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot,[h] who became a traitor.

Ministering to a Great Multitude. 17 [i]And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon 18 came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. 19 Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Sermon on the Plain. 20 [j]And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,[k]
    for the kingdom of God is yours.
21 Blessed are you who are now hungry,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
    for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    and when they exclude and insult you,
    and denounce your name as evil
    on account of the Son of Man.

23 Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.

24 But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
25 But woe to you who are filled now,
    for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
    for you will grieve and weep.
26 Woe to you when all speak well of you,
    for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.

Love of Enemies.[l] 27 “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit [is] that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. 35 But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful.

Judging Others.[m]


  1. 6:1–11 The two episodes recounted here deal with gathering grain and healing, both of which were forbidden on the sabbath. In his defense of his disciples’ conduct and his own charitable deed, Jesus argues that satisfying human needs such as hunger and performing works of mercy take precedence even over the sacred sabbath rest. See also notes on Mt 12:1–14 and Mk 2:25–26.
  2. 6:4 The bread of offering: see note on Mt 12:5–6.
  3. 6:12–16 See notes on Mt 10:1–11:1 and Mk 3:14–15.
  4. 6:12 Spent the night in prayer: see note on Lk 3:21.
  5. 6:13 He chose Twelve: the identification of this group as the Twelve is a part of early Christian tradition (see 1 Cor 15:5), and in Matthew and Luke, the Twelve are associated with the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk 22:29–30; Mt 19:28). After the fall of Judas from his position among the Twelve, the need is felt on the part of the early community to reconstitute this group before the Christian mission begins at Pentecost (Acts 1:15–26). From Luke’s perspective, they are an important group who because of their association with Jesus from the time of his baptism to his ascension (Acts 1:21–22) provide the continuity between the historical Jesus and the church of Luke’s day and who as the original eyewitnesses guarantee the fidelity of the church’s beliefs and practices to the teachings of Jesus (Lk 1:1–4). Whom he also named apostles: only Luke among the gospel writers attributes to Jesus the bestowal of the name apostles upon the Twelve. See note on Mt 10:2–4. “Apostle” becomes a technical term in early Christianity for a missionary sent out to preach the word of God. Although Luke seems to want to restrict the title to the Twelve (only in Acts 4:4, 14 are Paul and Barnabas termed apostles), other places in the New Testament show an awareness that the term was more widely applied (1 Cor 15:5–7; Gal 1:19; 1 Cor 1:1; 9:1; Rom 16:7).
  6. 6:14 Simon, whom he named Peter: see note on Mk 3:16.
  7. 6:15 Simon who was called a Zealot: the Zealots were the instigators of the First Revolt of Palestinian Jews against Rome in A.D. 66–70. Because the existence of the Zealots as a distinct group during the lifetime of Jesus is the subject of debate, the meaning of the identification of Simon as a Zealot is unclear.
  8. 6:16 Judas Iscariot: the name Iscariot may mean “man from Kerioth.”
  9. 6:17 The coastal region of Tyre and Sidon: not only Jews from Judea and Jerusalem, but even Gentiles from outside Palestine come to hear Jesus (see Lk 2:31–32; 3:6; 4:24–27).
  10. 6:20–49 Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain” is the counterpart to Matthew’s “Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 5:1–7:27). It is addressed to the disciples of Jesus, and, like the sermon in Matthew, it begins with beatitudes (Lk 6:20–22) and ends with the parable of the two houses (Lk 6:46–49). Almost all the words of Jesus reported by Luke are found in Matthew’s version, but because Matthew includes sayings that were related to specifically Jewish Christian problems (e.g., Mt 5:17–20; 6:1–8, 16–18) that Luke did not find appropriate for his predominantly Gentile Christian audience, the “Sermon on the Mount” is considerably longer. Luke’s sermon may be outlined as follows: an introduction consisting of blessings and woes (Lk 6:20–26); the love of one’s enemies (Lk 6:27–36); the demands of loving one’s neighbor (Lk 6:37–42); good deeds as proof of one’s goodness (Lk 6:43–45); a parable illustrating the result of listening to and acting on the words of Jesus (Lk 6:46–49). At the core of the sermon is Jesus’ teaching on the love of one’s enemies (Lk 6:27–36) that has as its source of motivation God’s graciousness and compassion for all humanity (Lk 6:35–36) and Jesus’ teaching on the love of one’s neighbor (Lk 6:37–42) that is characterized by forgiveness and generosity.
  11. 6:20–26 The introductory portion of the sermon consists of blessings and woes that address the real economic and social conditions of humanity (the poor—the rich; the hungry—the satisfied; those grieving—those laughing; the outcast—the socially acceptable). By contrast, Matthew emphasizes the religious and spiritual values of disciples in the kingdom inaugurated by Jesus (“poor in spirit,” Mt 5:3; “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” Mt 5:6). In the sermon, blessed extols the fortunate condition of persons who are favored with the blessings of God; the woes, addressed as they are to the disciples of Jesus, threaten God’s profound displeasure on those so blinded by their present fortunate situation that they do not recognize and appreciate the real values of God’s kingdom. In all the blessings and woes, the present condition of the persons addressed will be reversed in the future.
  12. 6:27–36 See notes on Mt 5:43–48 and Mt 5:48.
  13. 6:37–42 See notes on Mt 7:1–12; 7:1; 7:5.
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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