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1 Maccabees 6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

As King Antiochus passed through the eastern provinces, he heard that in Persia there was a city, Elam,[a] famous for its wealth in silver and gold, and that its temple was very rich, containing gold helmets, breastplates, and weapons left there by the first king of the Greeks, Alexander, son of Philip, king of Macedon. He went therefore and tried to capture and loot the city. But he could not do so, because his plan became known to the people of the city who rose up in battle against him. So he fled and in great dismay withdrew from there to return to Babylon.

While he was in Persia, a messenger brought him news that the armies that had gone into the land of Judah had been routed; that Lysias had gone at first with a strong army and been driven back; that the people of Judah had grown strong by reason of the arms, wealth, and abundant spoils taken from the armies they had cut down; that they had pulled down the abomination which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded with high walls both the sanctuary, as it had been before, and his city of Beth-zur.

When the king heard this news, he was astonished and very much shaken. Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed. There he remained many days, assailed by waves of grief, for he thought he was going to die. 10 So he called in all his Friends and said to them: “Sleep has departed from my eyes, and my heart sinks from anxiety. 11 I said to myself: ‘Into what tribulation have I come, and in what floods of sorrow am I now! Yet I was kindly and beloved in my rule.’ 12 But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem, when I carried away all the vessels of silver and gold that were in it, and for no cause gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed. 13 I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me; and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land.”

14 Then he summoned Philip, one of his Friends, and put him in charge of his whole kingdom. 15 He gave him his diadem, his robe, and his signet ring, so that he might guide the king’s son Antiochus and bring him up to be king. 16 So King Antiochus died there in the one hundred and forty-ninth year.[b] 17 When Lysias learned that the king was dead, he set up the king’s son Antiochus,[c] whom he had reared as a child, to be king in his place; and he gave him the title Eupator.

Siege of the Citadel. 18 Those in the citadel were hemming Israel in around the sanctuary, continually trying to harm them and to strengthen the Gentiles. 19 And so Judas planned to destroy them, and assembled the people to besiege them. 20 So in the one hundred and fiftieth year[d] they assembled and besieged the citadel, for which purpose he constructed platforms and siege engines. 21 But some of the besieged escaped, and some renegade Israelites joined them. 22 They went to the king and said: “How long will you fail to do justice and to avenge our kindred? 23 We agreed to serve your father and to follow his orders and obey his edicts. 24 And for this our own people have become our enemies; they have put to death as many of us as they could find and have seized our inheritances. 25 They have acted aggressively not only against us, but throughout their whole territory. 26 Look! Today they have besieged the citadel in Jerusalem in order to capture it, and they have fortified the sanctuary and Beth-zur. 27 Unless you act quickly to prevent them, they will do even worse things than these, and you will not be able to stop them.”

28 When the king heard this he was enraged, and he called together all his Friends, the officers of his army, and the commanders of the cavalry. 29 Mercenary forces also came to him from other kingdoms and from the islands of the seas. 30 His army numbered a hundred thousand footsoldiers, twenty thousand cavalry, and thirty-two elephants trained for war. 31 They passed through Idumea and camped before Beth-zur. For many days they attacked it; they constructed siege engines, but the besieged made a sortie and burned these, and they fought bravely.

Battle of Beth-zechariah. 32 Then Judas marched away from the citadel and moved his camp to Beth-zechariah,[e] opposite the king’s camp. 33 The king, rising before dawn, moved his force hastily along the road to Beth-zechariah; and the troops prepared for battle and sounded the trumpet. 34 They made the elephants drunk on the juice of grapes and mulberries to get them ready to fight. 35 The beasts were distributed along the phalanxes, each elephant having assigned to it a thousand men in coats of mail, with bronze helmets on their heads, and five hundred picked cavalry. 36 These accompanied the beast wherever it was; wherever it moved, they moved too and never left it. 37 Each elephant was outfitted with a strong wooden tower, fastened to it by a harness; each tower held three soldiers who fought from it, besides the Indian driver. 38 The remaining cavalry were stationed on one or the other of the two flanks of the army, to harass the enemy and to be protected by the phalanxes. 39 When the sun shone on the gold and bronze shields, the mountains gleamed with their brightness and blazed like flaming torches. 40 Part of the king’s army spread out along the heights, while some were on low ground, and they marched forward steadily in good order. 41 All who heard the noise of their numbers, the tramp of their marching, and the clanging of the arms, trembled; for the army was very great and strong.

42 Judas with his army advanced to fight, and six hundred men of the king’s army fell. 43 Eleazar, called Avaran, saw one of the beasts covered with royal armor and bigger than any of the others, and so he thought the king was on it. 44 He gave up his life to save his people and win an everlasting name for himself. 45 He dashed courageously up to it in the middle of the phalanx, killing men right and left, so that they parted before him. 46 He ran under the elephant, stabbed it and killed it. The beast fell to the ground on top of him, and he died there. 47 But when Judas’ troops saw the strength of the royal army and the ardor of its forces, they retreated from them.

The Siege of Jerusalem. 48 Some of the king’s army went up to Jerusalem to attack them, and the king established camps in Judea and at Mount Zion. 49 He made peace with the people of Beth-zur, and they evacuated the city, because they had no food there to enable them to withstand a siege, for that was a sabbath year in the land.[f] 50 The king took Beth-zur and stationed a garrison there to hold it. 51 For many days he besieged the sanctuary, setting up platforms and siege engines, fire-throwers, catapults and mechanical bows for shooting arrows and projectiles. 52 The defenders countered by setting up siege engines of their own, and kept up the fight a long time. 53 But there were no provisions in the storerooms, because it was the seventh year, and the reserves had been eaten up by those who had been rescued from the Gentiles and brought to Judea. 54 Few men remained in the sanctuary because the famine was too much for them; the rest scattered, each to his own home.

Peace Treaty. 55 Lysias heard that Philip, whom King Antiochus, before his death, had appointed to train his son Antiochus to be king, 56 had returned from Persia and Media with the army that accompanied the king, and that he was seeking to take over the government. 57 So he hastily decided to withdraw. He said to the king, the leaders of the army, and the soldiers: “We are growing weaker every day, our provisions are scanty, the place we are besieging is strong, and it is our duty to take care of the affairs of the kingdom. 58 Therefore let us now come to terms with these people and make peace with them and all their nation. 59 Let us grant them freedom to live according to their own laws as formerly; it was on account of their laws, which we abolished, that they became enraged and did all these things.”

60 The proposal pleased the king and the leaders; he sent peace terms to the Jews, and they accepted. 61 So the king and the leaders swore an oath to them, and on these terms the Jews evacuated the fortification. 62 But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw how the place was fortified, he broke the oath he had sworn and gave orders to tear down the encircling wall. 63 Then he departed in haste and returned to Antioch, where he found Philip in control of the city. He fought against him and took the city by force.


  1. 6:1 Elam: in fact, the mountainous region north of the Persian Gulf, rather than a city. The city may have been Persepolis. This section continues the story from 3:37 and pertains to events preceding those in 4:37–39.
  2. 6:16 The one hundred and forty-ninth year: September 22, 164, to October 9, 163 B.C. A Babylonian list of the Seleucid kings indicates that Antiochus died in November or early December of 164, about the same time as the rededication of the Temple.
  3. 6:17 The king’s son Antiochus: Antiochus V Eupator (“of a good father”), then about nine years old. He was in Antioch, still in the charge of Lysias, who proceeded to govern and wage wars in his name. Both were put to death two years later, when Demetrius, brother of Antiochus IV, arrived to claim the kingship; cf. 7:1–3.
  4. 6:20 The one hundred and fiftieth year: October, 163, to September, 162 B.C.
  5. 6:32 Beth-zechariah: south of Jerusalem, and six miles north of Beth-zur.
  6. 6:49 A sabbath year in the land: when sowing and reaping were prohibited (Ex 23:10–11; Lv 25:2–7). The year without a harvest (autumn of 164 to autumn of 163) was followed by a food shortage.
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 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

The Song of Songs,[a] which is Solomon’s.

The Woman Speaks of Her Lover

W[b] Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth,
    for your love is better than wine,[c]
    better than the fragrance of your perfumes.[d]
Your name is a flowing perfume—
therefore young women love you.
Draw me after you! Let us run![e]
    The king has brought me to his bed chambers.
Let us exult and rejoice in you;
    let us celebrate your love: it is beyond wine!
    Rightly do they love you!

Love’s Boast

W I am black and beautiful,
    Daughters of Jerusalem[f]
Like the tents of Qedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not stare at me because I am so black,[g]
    because the sun has burned me.
The sons of my mother were angry with me;
    they charged me with the care of the vineyards:
    my own vineyard I did not take care of.

Love’s Inquiry

W Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
    where you shepherd,[h] where you give rest at midday.
Why should I be like one wandering
    after the flocks of your companions?
M If you do not know,
    most beautiful among women,
Follow the tracks of the flock
    and pasture your lambs[i]
    near the shepherds’ tents.

Love’s Vision

M To a mare among Pharaoh’s chariotry[j]
    I compare you, my friend:
10 Your cheeks lovely in pendants,
    your neck in jewels.
11 We will make pendants of gold for you,
    and ornaments of silver.

How Near Is Love!

12 W While the king was upon his couch,
    my spikenard[k] gave forth its fragrance.
13 My lover[l] is to me a sachet of myrrh;
    between my breasts he lies.
14 My lover is to me a cluster of henna[m]
    from the vineyards of En-gedi.
15 M How beautiful you are, my friend,
    how beautiful! your eyes are doves![n]
16 W How beautiful you are, my lover—
    handsome indeed!
Verdant indeed is our couch;[o]
17     the beams of our house are cedars,
    our rafters, cypresses.


  1. 1:1 Song of Songs: in Hebrew and Aramaic the idiom “the X of Xs” denotes the superlative (e.g., “king of kings” = “the highest king”; cf. Dt 10:17; Eccl 1:2; 12:8; Ezr 7:12; Dn 2:37). The ascription of authorship to Solomon is traditional. The heading may also mean “for Solomon” or “about Solomon.”
  2. 1:2–8:14 This translation augments the canonical text of the Song with the letters W, M, and D, placed in the margin, to indicate which of the characters in the Song is speaking: the woman, the man, or the “Daughters of Jerusalem.” This interpretive gloss follows an early Christian scribal practice, attested in some Septuagint manuscripts from the first half of the first millennium A.D.
  3. 1:2–7 The woman and her female chorus address the man, here viewed as king and shepherd (both are familiar metaphors for God; cf. Ps 23:1; Is 40:11; Jn 10:1–16). There is a wordplay between “kiss” (Hebrew nashaq) and “drink” (shaqah), anticipating 8:1–2. The change from third person (“let him kiss…”) to second person (“…for your love…”) is not uncommon in the Song and elsewhere (1:4; 2:4; etc.; Ps 23:1–3, 4–5, 6; etc.) and reflects the woman’s move from interior monologue to direct address to her partner.
  4. 1:3 Your perfumes: shemen (perfume) is a play on shem (name).
  5. 1:4 Another change, but from second to third person (cf. 1:2). The “king” metaphor recurs in 1:12; 3:5–11; 7:6. Let us exult: perhaps she is addressing young women, calling on them to join in the praise of her lover.
  6. 1:5 Daughters of Jerusalem: the woman contrasts herself with the elite city women, who act as her female “chorus” (5:9; 6:1). Qedar: a Syrian desert region whose name suggests darkness; tents were often made of black goat hair. Curtains: tent coverings, or tapestries. Solomon: it could also be read Salma, a region close to Qedar.
  7. 1:6 So black: tanned from working outdoors in her brothers’ vineyards, unlike the city women she addresses. My own vineyard: perhaps the woman herself; see 8:8–10 for her relationship to her brothers.
  8. 1:7 Shepherd: a common metaphor for kings. Here and elsewhere in the Song (3:1; 5:8; 6:1), the woman expresses her desire to be in the company of her lover. The search for the lover and her failure to find him create a degree of tension. Only at the end (8:5–14) do the lovers finally possess each other.
  9. 1:8 Pasture your lambs: both the woman and the man act as shepherds in the Song.
  10. 1:9–11 The man compares the woman’s beauty to the rich adornment of the royal chariot of Pharaoh. My friend: a special feminine form of the word “friend,” appearing only in the Song (1:15; 2:2, 10, 13; 4:1, 7; 5:2; 6:4) and used to express endearment and equality in love. Cf. Hos 3:1 for the use of the masculine form of the term in a context with sexual overtones.
  11. 1:12 Spikenard: a precious perfumed ointment from India; in 4:13–14, a metaphor for the woman herself.
  12. 1:13 My lover: the woman’s favorite term for her partner (used twenty-seven times). Myrrh: an aromatic resin of balsam or roses used in cosmetics, incense, and medicines.
  13. 1:14 Henna: a plant which bears white scented flowers, used in cosmetics and medicines. En-gedi: a Judean desert oasis overlooking the Dead Sea.
  14. 1:15 Doves: doves are pictured in the ancient world as messengers of love.
  15. 1:16–17 Continuing the royal metaphor, the meeting place of the lovers, a shepherd’s hut of green branches, becomes a palace with beams of cedar and rafters of cypress when adorned with their love.
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 8:1-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

Galilean Women Follow Jesus.[a] Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

The Parable of the Sower. [b]When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to him, he spoke in a parable.[c] “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

The Purpose of the Parables. Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. 10 He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that ‘they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.’

The Parable of the Sower Explained.[d] 11 “This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. 12 Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. 14 As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. 15 But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.

The Parable of the Lamp.[e] 16 “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”

Jesus and His Family. 19 Then his mother and his brothers[f] came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. 20 He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” 21 He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”[g]

The Calming of a Storm at Sea. 22 [h]One day he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let us cross to the other side of the lake.” So they set sail, 23 and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A squall blew over the lake, and they were taking in water and were in danger. 24 They came and woke him saying, “Master, master, we are perishing!” He awakened, rebuked the wind and the waves, and they subsided and there was a calm. 25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” But they were filled with awe and amazed and said to one another, “Who then is this, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey him?”

The Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac.


  1. 8:1–3 Luke presents Jesus as an itinerant preacher traveling in the company of the Twelve and of the Galilean women who are sustaining them out of their means. These Galilean women will later accompany Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem and become witnesses to his death (Lk 23:49) and resurrection (Lk 24:9–11, where Mary Magdalene and Joanna are specifically mentioned; cf. also Acts 1:14). The association of women with the ministry of Jesus is most unusual in the light of the attitude of first-century Palestinian Judaism toward women. The more common attitude is expressed in Jn 4:27, and early rabbinic documents caution against speaking with women in public.
  2. 8:4–21 The focus in this section is on how one should hear the word of God and act on it. It includes the parable of the sower and its explanation (Lk 8:4–15), a collection of sayings on how one should act on the word that is heard (Lk 8:16–18), and the identification of the mother and brothers of Jesus as the ones who hear the word and act on it (Lk 8:19–21). See also notes on Mt 13:1–53 and Mk 4:1–34.
  3. 8:4–8 See note on Mt 13:3–8.
  4. 8:11–15 On the interpretation of the parable of the sower, see note on Mt 13:18–23.
  5. 8:16–18 These sayings continue the theme of responding to the word of God. Those who hear the word must become a light to others (Lk 8:16); even the mysteries of the kingdom that have been made known to the disciples (Lk 8:9–10) must come to light (Lk 8:17); a generous and persevering response to the word of God leads to a still more perfect response to the word.
  6. 8:19 His brothers: see note on Mk 6:3.
  7. 8:21 The family of Jesus is not constituted by physical relationship with him but by obedience to the word of God. In this, Luke agrees with the Marcan parallel (Mk 3:31–35), although by omitting Mk 3:33 and especially Mk 3:20–21 Luke has softened the Marcan picture of Jesus’ natural family. Probably he did this because Mary has already been presented in Lk 1:38 as the obedient handmaid of the Lord who fulfills the requirement for belonging to the eschatological family of Jesus; cf. also Lk 11:27–28.
  8. 8:22–56 This section records four miracles of Jesus that manifest his power and authority: (1) the calming of a storm on the lake (Lk 8:22–25); (2) the exorcism of a demoniac (Lk 8:26–39); (3) the cure of a hemorrhaging woman (Lk 8:40–48); (4) the raising of Jairus’s daughter to life (Lk 8:49–56). They parallel the same sequence of stories at Mk 4:35–5:43.
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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