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1 Maccabees 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

Victory over Gorgias. Now Gorgias took five thousand infantry and a thousand picked cavalry, and this detachment set out at night in order to fall upon the camp of the Jews in a surprise attack. Some from the citadel were his guides. Judas heard of it and himself set out with his soldiers to attack the king’s army at Emmaus while these forces were still scattered away from the camp. During the night Gorgias came into the camp of Judas, and found no one there; so he sought them in the mountains, saying, “They are fleeing from us.”

But at daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men; furthermore they lacked the helmets and swords they wanted. They saw the army of the Gentiles,[a] strong, breastplated, and flanked with cavalry, and made up of experienced soldiers. Judas said to the men with him: “Do not fear their numbers or dread their attack. Remember how our ancestors were saved in the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army. 10 So now let us cry to Heaven in the hope that he will favor us, remember the covenant with our ancestors, and destroy this army before us today. 11 All the Gentiles shall know that there is One who redeems and delivers Israel.”

12 When the foreigners looked up and saw them marching toward them, 13 they came out of their camp for battle. The men with Judas blew the trumpet, and 14 joined the battle. They crushed the Gentiles, who fled toward the plain. 15 Their whole rear guard fell by the sword, and they were pursued as far as Gazara[b] and the plains of Idumaea, to Azotus and Jamnia. About three thousand of their men fell.

16 When Judas and the army returned from the pursuit, 17 he said to the people: “Do not be greedy for plunder; for there is a fight ahead of us, 18 and Gorgias and his army are near us on the mountain. But now stand firm against our enemies and fight them. Afterward you can freely take the plunder.”

19 As Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment[c] appeared, looking down from the mountain. 20 They saw that their army had been put to flight and their camp was burning. The smoke they saw revealed what had happened. 21 When they realized this, they completely lost heart; and when they also saw the army of Judas in the plain ready to attack, 22 they all fled to the land of the foreigners.[d]

23 Then Judas went back to plunder the camp, and they took much gold and silver, cloth dyed blue and marine purple, and great treasure. 24 As they returned, they were singing hymns and glorifying Heaven, “who is good, whose mercy endures forever.” 25 Thus Israel experienced a great deliverance that day.

Victory over Lysias. 26 But those of the foreigners who had escaped went and told Lysias all that had occurred. 27 When he heard it he was disturbed and discouraged, because things had not turned out in Israel as he intended and as the king had ordered.

28 So the following year he gathered together sixty thousand picked men and five thousand cavalry, to fight them. 29 They came into Idumea and camped at Beth-zur,[e] and Judas met them with ten thousand men. 30 Seeing that the army was strong, he prayed thus:

“Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who crushed the attack of the mighty one by the hand of your servant David and delivered the foreign camp into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor-bearer. 31 Give this army into the hands of your people Israel; make them ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. 32 Strike them with cowardice, weaken the boldness of their strength, and let them tremble at their own destruction. 33 Strike them down by the sword of those who love you, that all who know your name may sing your praise.”

34 Then they engaged in battle, and about five thousand of Lysias’ army fell in hand-to-hand fighting. 35 [f]When Lysias saw the tide of the battle turning, and the increased boldness of Judas, whose men were ready either to live or to die nobly, he withdrew to Antioch and began to recruit mercenaries so as to return to Judea with greater numbers.

Purification and Rededication of the Temple. 36 Then Judas and his brothers said, “Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary[g] and rededicate it.” 37 So the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion. 38 They found the sanctuary desolate, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt, weeds growing in the courts as in a thicket or on some mountain, and the priests’ chambers demolished. 39 Then they tore their garments and made great lamentation; they sprinkled their heads with ashes 40 and prostrated themselves. And when the signal was given with trumpets, they cried out to Heaven.

41 Judas appointed men to attack those in the citadel, while he purified the sanctuary. 42 He chose blameless priests, devoted to the law; 43 these purified the sanctuary and carried away the stones of the defilement to an unclean place. 44 They deliberated what ought to be done with the altar for burnt offerings that had been desecrated. 45 They decided it best to tear it down, lest it be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it; so they tore down the altar. 46 They stored the stones in a suitable place on the temple mount, until the coming of a prophet who could determine what to do with them. 47 Then they took uncut stones, according to the law, and built a new altar like the former one. 48 They also repaired the sanctuary and the interior of the temple and consecrated the courts. 49 They made new sacred vessels and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. 50 Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these illuminated the temple. 51 They also put loaves on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.

52 They rose early on the morning of the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of Kislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight,[h] 53 and offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar for burnt offerings that they had made. 54 On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had desecrated it, on that very day it was rededicated with songs, harps, lyres, and cymbals. 55 All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success.

56 For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered burnt offerings and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. 57 They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests’ chambers and furnished them with doors. 58 There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed. 59 Then Judas and his brothers and the entire assembly of Israel decreed that every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Kislev, the days of the dedication[i] of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary.

60 At that time they built high walls and strong towers around Mount Zion, to prevent the Gentiles from coming and trampling it as they had done before. 61 Judas also placed a garrison there to protect it, and likewise fortified Beth-zur, that the people might have a stronghold facing Idumea.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:7 Army of the Gentiles: the main force; cf. 3:39–40; 4:1–2.
  2. 4:15 Gazara: Gezer of the Hebrew Bible, five miles northwest of Emmaus; Azotus, Hebrew Ashdod, lay to the southwest; and Jamnia, Hebrew Jabneel (Jos 15:11) or Jabneh (2 Chr 26:6), to the west of Gazara.
  3. 4:19 A detachment: i.e., Gorgias’ force; cf. vv. 1–5.
  4. 4:22 The land of the foreigners: i.e., territory controlled by the Syrians. The Greek term used here is the same as that used throughout 1–2 Samuel in Greek for Philistine territory and intends to compare Maccabean victories to those of Saul and David.
  5. 4:29 Beth-zur: an important frontier city (between Judea and Idumea) in the mountain area, fifteen miles south of Jerusalem.
  6. 4:35 According to 2 Mc 11:13–15, peace negotiations followed between Lysias and Judas.
  7. 4:36 The sanctuary: the whole Temple area with its walls, courts and outbuildings, to be distinguished from the Temple proper, the oblong edifice with porch, main room and inner shrine.
  8. 4:52 Twenty-fifth day of the ninth month…in the year one hundred and forty-eight: December 14, 164 B.C.
  9. 4:59 Days of the dedication: institution of the feast of Hanukkah, also called the feast of Dedication (Jn 10:22). Josephus calls it the feast of Lights (Ant. 12:325).
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 11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 11

[a]Send forth your bread upon the face of the waters;
    after a long time you may find it again.
Make seven, or even eight portions;
    you know not what misfortune may come upon the earth.

No One Knows What Good Will Come

[b]When the clouds are full,
    they pour out rain upon the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    wherever it falls, there shall it lie.
One who pays heed to the wind will never sow,
    and one who watches the clouds will never reap.
Just as you do not know how the life breath
    enters the human frame in the mother’s womb,
So you do not know the work of God,
    who is working in everything.
In the morning sow your seed,
    and at evening do not let your hand be idle:
For you do not know which of the two will be successful,
    or whether both alike will turn out well.

Poem on Youth and Old Age. [c]Light is sweet! and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. However many years mortals may live, let them, as they enjoy them all, remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that is to come is vanity.

Rejoice, O youth, while you are young
    and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart,
    the vision of your eyes;
Yet understand regarding all this
    that God will bring you to judgment.
10 Banish misery from your heart
    and remove pain from your body,
    for youth and black hair are fleeting.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. 11:1–2 These two sayings can be understood against a commercial background. They acknowledge the uncertainty and risk such activity involves. At the same time they encourage action and a spirit of adventure. The first (v. 1) speaks of trade and overseas investment: Export your grain (“bread”) to foreign markets and you may be surprised at the substantial profits. The second (v. 2) encourages diversification of investment (seven, or even eight shipments of grain) to insure against heavy losses.
  2. 11:3–6 Verses 3, 4, and 6 expand on the theme of uncertainty and human inability to assess accurately every situation. Verse 4, however, comments on the disadvantages of too much caution: Only those willing to risk will enjoy success. But only the Creator knows the mystery of the “work of God” (v. 5).
  3. 11:7–10 The concluding part of the book opens with a final bittersweet homage to life and an enthusiastic encouragement to rejoice in its gifts while they are within grasp.
  4. 11:10 Fleeting: lit., “vanity.”
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 7:1-23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

The Healing of a Centurion’s Slave. [a]When he had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum.[b] A centurion[c] there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.[d] Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

Raising of the Widow’s Son.[e] 11 Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.” 17 This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.

The Messengers from John the Baptist.[f] 18 The disciples of John told him about all these things. John summoned two of his disciples 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” 20 When the men came to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” 21 At that time he cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. 22 And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. 23 And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–8:3 The episodes in this section present a series of reactions to the Galilean ministry of Jesus and reflect some of Luke’s particular interests: the faith of a Gentile (Lk 7:1–10); the prophet Jesus’ concern for a widowed mother (Lk 7:11–17); the ministry of Jesus directed to the afflicted and unfortunate of Is 61:1 (Lk 7:18–23); the relation between John and Jesus and their role in God’s plan for salvation (Lk 7:24–35); a forgiven sinner’s manifestation of love (Lk 7:36–50); the association of women with the ministry of Jesus (Lk 8:1–3).
  2. 7:1–10 This story about the faith of the centurion, a Gentile who cherishes the Jewish nation (Lk 7:5), prepares for the story in Acts of the conversion by Peter of the Roman centurion Cornelius who is similarly described as one who is generous to the Jewish nation (Acts 10:2). See also Acts 10:34–35 in the speech of Peter: “God shows no partiality…whoever fears him and acts righteously is acceptable to him.” See also notes on Mt 8:5–13 and Jn 4:43–54.
  3. 7:2 A centurion: see note on Mt 8:5.
  4. 7:6 I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof: to enter the house of a Gentile was considered unclean for a Jew; cf. Acts 10:28.
  5. 7:11–17 In the previous incident Jesus’ power was displayed for a Gentile whose servant was dying; in this episode it is displayed toward a widowed mother whose only son has already died. Jesus’ power over death prepares for his reply to John’s disciples in Lk 7:22: “the dead are raised.” This resuscitation in alluding to the prophet Elijah’s resurrection of the only son of a widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 7:8–24) leads to the reaction of the crowd: “A great prophet has arisen in our midst” (Lk 7:16).
  6. 7:18–23 In answer to John’s question, Are you the one who is to come?—a probable reference to the return of the fiery prophet of reform, Elijah, “before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day” (Mal 3:23)—Jesus responds that his role is rather to bring the blessings spoken of in Is 61:1 to the oppressed and neglected of society (Lk 7:22; cf. Lk 4:18).
  7. 7:23 Blessed is the one who takes no offense at me: this beatitude is pronounced on the person who recognizes Jesus’ true identity in spite of previous expectations of what “the one who is to come” would be like.
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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