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

Chapter 15[a]

Disobedience of Saul. Samuel said to Saul: “It was I the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel. Now, therefore, listen to the message of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will punish what Amalek did to the Israelites when he barred their way as they came up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and put under the ban[b] everything he has. Do not spare him; kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

Saul alerted the army, and at Telaim reviewed two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah.[c] Saul went to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the wadi. He warned the Kenites: “Leave Amalek, turn aside and come down so I will not have to destroy you with them, for you were loyal to the Israelites when they came up from Egypt.”[d] After the Kenites left, Saul routed Amalek from Havilah to the approaches of Shur, on the frontier of Egypt. He took Agag, king of Amalek, alive, but the rest of the people he destroyed by the sword, putting them under the ban. He and his troops spared Agag and the best of the fat sheep and oxen, and the lambs. They refused to put under the ban anything that was worthwhile, destroying only what was worthless and of no account.

Samuel Rebukes Saul. 10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 I regret having made Saul king, for he has turned from me and has not kept my command. At this Samuel grew angry and cried out to the Lord all night. 12 Early in the morning he went to meet Saul, but was informed that Saul had gone to Carmel, where he set up a monument in his own honor, and that on his return he had gone down to Gilgal. 13 When Samuel came to him, Saul greeted him: “The Lord bless you! I have kept the command of the Lord.” 14 But Samuel asked, “What, then, is this bleating of sheep that comes to my ears, the lowing of oxen that I hear?” 15 Saul replied: “They were brought from Amalek. The people spared the best sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord, your God; but the rest we destroyed, putting them under the ban.” 16 Samuel said to Saul: “Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Speak!” he replied. 17 Samuel then said: “Though little in your own eyes, are you not chief of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king of Israel 18 and sent you on a mission, saying: Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them. 19 Why then have you disobeyed the Lord? You have pounced on the spoil, thus doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight.” 20 Saul explained to Samuel: “I did indeed obey the Lord and fulfill the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought back Agag, the king of Amalek, and, carrying out the ban, I have destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But from the spoil the army took sheep and oxen, the best of what had been banned, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 But Samuel said:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obedience to the Lord’s command?
Obedience is better than sacrifice,
    to listen, better than the fat of rams.[e]
23 For a sin of divination is rebellion,
    and arrogance, the crime of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    the Lord in turn has rejected you as king.”

Rejection of Saul. 24 Saul admitted to Samuel: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the command of the Lord and your instructions. I feared the people and obeyed them. 25 Now forgive my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, because you rejected the word of the Lord and the Lord has rejected you as king of Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized a loose end of his garment, and it tore off. 28 So Samuel said to him: “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 The Glory of Israel neither deceives nor repents,[f] for he is not a mortal who repents.” 30 But Saul answered: “I have sinned, yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Return with me that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 And so Samuel returned with him, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

Samuel Executes Agag. 32 Afterward Samuel commanded, “Bring Agag, king of Amalek, to me.” Agag came to him struggling and saying, “So it is bitter death!” 33 And Samuel said,

“As your sword has made women childless,
    so shall your mother be childless among women.”

Then he cut Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. 34 Samuel departed for Ramah, while Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Never again, as long as he lived, did Samuel see Saul. Yet he grieved over Saul, because the Lord repented that he had made him king of Israel.

Chapter 16

Samuel Is Sent to Bethlehem. The Lord said to Samuel: How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for from among his sons I have decided on a king.[g] But Samuel replied: “How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me.” To this the Lord answered: Take a heifer along and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.

Samuel Anoints David. Samuel did as the Lord had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and asked, “Is your visit peaceful, O seer?” He replied: “Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. So purify yourselves and celebrate with me today.” He also had Jesse and his sons purify themselves and invited them to the sacrifice. As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the anointed is here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, “The Lord has not chosen him.” Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 10 In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any one of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he arrives here.” 12 Jesse had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth with beautiful eyes, and good looking. The Lord said: There—anoint him, for this is the one! 13 Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David. Then Samuel set out for Ramah.

David Wins Saul’s Approval. 14 [h]The spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and he was tormented by an evil spirit from the Lord. 15 So the servants of Saul said to him: “Look! An evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 If your lordship will order it, we, your servants here attending to you, will look for a man skilled in playing the harp. When the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he will play and you will feel better.” 17 Saul then told his servants, “Find me a good harpist and bring him to me.” 18 One of the servants spoke up: “I have observed that a son of Jesse of Bethlehem is a skillful harpist. He is also a brave warrior, an able speaker, and a handsome young man. The Lord is certainly with him.”

David Made Armor-Bearer. 19 Accordingly, Saul dispatched messengers to ask Jesse to send him his son David, who was with the flock. 20 Then Jesse took five loaves of bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them to Saul with his son David. 21 Thus David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul became very fond of him and made him his armor-bearer. 22 Saul sent Jesse the message, “Let David stay in my service, for he meets with my approval.” 23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take the harp and play, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, for the evil spirit would leave him.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:1–35 The rejection of Saul sets the stage for the remainder of 1 Samuel. The audience knows that, in the ensuing struggle between David and Saul, David will triumph as king.
  2. 15:3 Put under the ban: this terminology mandates that all traces of the Amalekites (people, cities, animals, etc.) be exterminated. No plunder could be seized for personal use. In the light of Dt 20:16–18, this injunction would eliminate any tendency toward syncretism. The focus of this chapter is that Saul fails to execute this order.
  3. 15:4 The numbers here are not realistic; compare 14:2.
  4. 15:6 The Kenites honored the terms of an alliance with Israel.
  5. 15:22 Samuel’s reprimand echoes that of the prophets. Cultic practice is meaningless, even hypocritical, unless accompanied by an attentiveness to God’s will.
  6. 15:29 Nor repents: the apparent contradiction between this verse and vv. 11, 35 leads some scholars to consider it a gloss (cf. Nm 23:19). However, this phrase can be understood to underscore the definitive character of Samuel’s declaration that Saul has lost the kingship.
  7. 16:1 David is anointed two more times after Saul’s death (2 Sm 2:4; 5:3). In 17:28, his brother Eliab is not aware of David’s selection. These repetitions and inconsistencies reflect the final editor’s use of multiple sources.
  8. 16:14–23 These verses explain Saul’s loss of divine favor and David’s rise to power. By approving the young man, Saul identifies David as his legitimate successor. Of the two traditions in the Hebrew text about David’s entry into Saul’s service, the Greek translation retains only the one found in vv. 14–23; 17:1–11, 32–54. An evil spirit from the Lord: Saul’s erratic behavior is attributed to a change in the Lord’s relationship with him. Cf. Jgs 9:23, where the Lord puts an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.
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.

Psalm 123 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 123[a]

Reliance on the Lord

A song of ascents.

To you I raise my eyes,
    to you enthroned in heaven.
Yes, like the eyes of servants
    on the hand of their masters,
Like the eyes of a maid
    on the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes are on the Lord our God,
    till we are shown favor.
Show us favor, Lord, show us favor,
    for we have our fill of contempt.
Our souls are more than sated
    with mockery from the insolent,
    with contempt from the arrogant.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 123 A lament that begins as a prayer of an individual (Ps 123:1), who expresses by a touching comparison exemplary confidence in God (Ps 123:2). The Psalm ends in prayer that God relieve the people’s humiliation at the hands of the arrogant (Ps 123:3–4).
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.

Mark 7:24-37 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith. 24 From that place he went off to the district of Tyre.[a] He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. 25 Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.[b] For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” 28 She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” 29 Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

The Healing of a Deaf Man. 31 Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. 32 And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) 35 And [immediately] the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. 36 [c]He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. 37 They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and [the] mute speak.”

Footnotes:

  1. 7:24–37 The withdrawal of Jesus to the district of Tyre may have been for a respite (Mk 7:24), but he soon moved onward to Sidon and, by way of the Sea of Galilee, to the Decapolis. These districts provided a Gentile setting for the extension of his ministry of healing because the people there acknowledged his power (Mk 7:29, 37). The actions attributed to Jesus (Mk 7:33–35) were also used by healers of the time.
  2. 7:27–28 The figure of a household in which children at table are fed first and then their leftover food is given to the dogs under the table is used effectively to acknowledge the prior claim of the Jews to the ministry of Jesus; however, Jesus accedes to the Gentile woman’s plea for the cure of her afflicted daughter because of her faith.
  3. 7:36 The more they proclaimed it: the same verb proclaim attributed here to the crowd in relation to the miracles of Jesus is elsewhere used in Mark for the preaching of the gospel on the part of Jesus, of his disciples, and of the Christian community (Mk 1:14; 13:10; 14:9). Implied in the action of the crowd is a recognition of the salvific mission of Jesus; see note on Mt 11:5–6.
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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