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1 Samuel 17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

The Challenge of Goliath. The Philistines rallied their forces for battle at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. Saul and the Israelites rallied and camped in the valley of the Elah, drawing up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines were stationed on one hill and the Israelites on an opposite hill, with a valley between them.

A champion named Goliath of Gath came out from the Philistine camp; he was six cubits and a span[a] tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a bronze breastplate of scale armor weighing five thousand shekels, bronze greaves, and had a bronze scimitar slung from his shoulders. The shaft of his javelin was like a weaver’s beam, and its iron head weighed six hundred shekels.[b] His shield-bearer went ahead of him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel: “Why come out in battle formation? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants. Choose one of your men, and have him come down to me. If he beats me in combat and kills me, we will be your vassals; but if I beat him and kill him, you shall be our vassals and serve us.” 10 The Philistine continued: “I defy the ranks of Israel today. Give me a man and let us fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard this challenge of the Philistine, they were stunned and terrified.

David Comes to the Camp.[c] 12 David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse from Bethlehem in Judah who had eight sons. In the days of Saul Jesse was old and well on in years. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to war; the names of these three sons who had gone off to war were Eliab the firstborn; Abinadab the second; and Shammah the third. 14 David was the youngest. While the three oldest had joined Saul, 15 David would come and go from Saul’s presence to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

16 Meanwhile the Philistine came forward and took his stand morning and evening for forty days.

17 Now Jesse said to his son David: “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves for your brothers, and bring them quickly to your brothers in the camp. 18 Also take these ten cheeses for the field officer. Greet your brothers and bring home some token from them. 19 Saul and your brothers, together with all Israel, are at war with the Philistines in the valley of the Elah.” 20 Early the next morning, having left the flock with a shepherd, David packed up and set out, as Jesse had commanded him. He reached the barricade of the camp just as the army, on their way to the battleground, were shouting their battle cry. 21 The Israelites and the Philistines drew up opposite each other in battle array. 22 David entrusted what he had brought to the keeper of the baggage and hastened to the battle line, where he greeted his brothers. 23 While he was talking with them, the Philistine champion, by name Goliath of Gath, came up from the ranks of the Philistines and spoke as before, and David listened. 24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all retreated before him, terrified. 25 The Israelites had been saying: “Do you see this man coming up? He comes up to insult Israel. The king will make whoever kills him a very wealthy man. He will give his daughter to him and declare his father’s family exempt from taxes in Israel.” 26 David now said to the men standing near him: “How will the man who kills this Philistine and frees Israel from disgrace be rewarded? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should insult the armies of the living God?” 27 They repeated the same words to him and said, “That is how the man who kills him will be rewarded.” 28 When Eliab, his oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he grew angry with David and said: “Why did you come down? With whom have you left those sheep in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and dishonest heart. You came down to enjoy the battle!” 29 David protested, “What have I done now? I was only talking.” 30 He turned from him to another and asked the same question; and everyone gave him the same answer as before. 31 The words that David had spoken were overheard and reported to Saul, who sent for him.

David Challenges Goliath. 32 Then David spoke to Saul: “My lord should not lose heart. Let your servant go and fight this Philistine.” 33 But Saul answered David, “You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 Then David told Saul: “Your servant used to tend his father’s sheep, and whenever a lion or bear came to carry off a sheep from the flock, 35 I would chase after it, attack it, and snatch the prey from its mouth. If it attacked me, I would seize it by the throat, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both a lion and a bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be as one of them, because he has insulted the armies of the living God.”

37 David continued: “The same Lord who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul answered David, “Go! the Lord will be with you.”

Preparation for the Encounter. 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic, putting a bronze helmet on his head and arming him with a coat of mail. 39 David also fastened Saul’s sword over the tunic. He walked with difficulty, however, since he had never worn armor before. He said to Saul, “I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. With his sling in hand, he approached the Philistine.

David’s Victory. 41 [d]With his shield-bearer marching before him, the Philistine advanced closer and closer to David. 42 When he sized David up and saw that he was youthful, ruddy, and handsome in appearance, he began to deride him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods 44 and said to him, “Come here to me, and I will feed your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.” 45 David answered him: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted. 46 Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will feed your dead body and the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. 47 All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle belongs to the Lord, who shall deliver you into our hands.”

48 The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine dead, and did it without a sword in his hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath he killed him, and cut off his head.

Flight of the Philistines. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah sprang up with a battle cry and pursued them to the approaches of Gath and to the gates of Ekron, and Philistines fell wounded along the road from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 When they returned from their pursuit of the Philistines, the Israelites looted their camp. 54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he kept Goliath’s armor in his own tent.[e]

David Presented to Saul. 55 As Saul watched David go out to meet the Philistine, he asked his general Abner, “Abner, whose son is that young man?” Abner replied, “On your life, O king, I have no idea.” 56 And the king said, “Find out whose son the lad is.” 57 So when David returned from slaying the Philistine, Abner escorted him into Saul’s presence. David was still holding the Philistine’s head. 58 Saul then asked him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David replied, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

Footnotes:

  1. 17:4 Six cubits and a span: about nine feet nine inches (a cubit equals about eighteen inches; a span equals about eight inches). The Greek text and 4QSama read: “four cubits and a span” (six feet nine inches). The description of the Philistine’s might and his powerful weapons contrasts with the picture of the youthful David who trusts in God.
  2. 17:7 Six hundred shekels: over fifteen pounds.
  3. 17:12–31 Here the final editor begins an alternative account of David’s encounter with the Philistine hero, which continues in vv. 50–51 and concludes in 17:55–18:5.
  4. 17:41–47 The two combatants trade theological taunts. God uses the most unlikely opponent to destroy Goliath.
  5. 17:54 Jerusalem was a Jebusite city; it came under Israelite control only at the beginning of David’s rule. As a young shepherd, David would not have had a military tent. In 21:10, Goliath’s sword is in the Nob temple.
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 124 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 124[a]

God, the Rescuer of the People

A song of ascents. Of David.

Had not the Lord been with us,
    let Israel say,
Had not the Lord been with us,
    when people rose against us,
Then they would have swallowed us alive,
    for their fury blazed against us.
Then the waters would have engulfed us,
    the torrent overwhelmed us;
    then seething water would have drowned us.
Blessed is the Lord, who did not leave us
    to be torn by their teeth.
We escaped with our lives like a bird
    from the fowler’s snare;
    the snare was broken,
    and we escaped.
[b]Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 124 A thanksgiving which teaches that Israel’s very existence is owed to God who rescues them. In the first part Israel’s enemies are compared to the mythic sea dragon (Ps 124:2b–3a; cf. Jer 51:34) and Flood (Ps 124:3b–5; cf. Is 51:9–10). The Psalm heightens the malice of human enemies by linking them to the primordial enemies of God’s creation. Israel is a bird freed from the trapper’s snare (Ps 124:6–8)—freed originally from Pharaoh and now from the current danger.
  2. 124:8 Our help is in the name: for the idiom, see Ex 18:4.
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 8:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

The Feeding of the Four Thousand.[a] In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied. [b]He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets. There were about four thousand people.

He dismissed them 10 and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

The Demand for a Sign. 11 [c]The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

The Leaven of the Pharisees. 14 They had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 [d]He enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. 17 When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, 19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” 20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?” They answered [him], “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

The Blind Man of Bethsaida.[e]

Footnotes:

  1. 8:1–10 The two accounts of the multiplication of loaves and fishes (Mk 8:1–10; 6:31–44) have eucharistic significance. Their similarity of structure and themes but dissimilarity of detail are considered by many to refer to a single event that, however, developed in two distinct traditions, one Jewish Christian and the other Gentile Christian, since Jesus in Mark’s presentation (Mk 7:24–37) has extended his saving mission to the Gentiles.
  2. 8:6 See note on Mk 6:41.
  3. 8:11–12 The objection of the Pharisees that Jesus’ miracles are unsatisfactory for proving the arrival of God’s kingdom is comparable to the request of the crowd for a sign in Jn 6:30–31. Jesus’ response shows that a sign originating in human demand will not be provided; cf. Nm 14:11, 22.
  4. 8:15 The leaven of the Pharisees…of Herod: the corruptive action of leaven (1 Cor 5:6–8; Gal 5:9) was an apt symbol of the evil dispositions both of the Pharisees (Mk 8:11–13; 7:5–13) and of Herod (Mk 6:14–29) toward Jesus. The disciples of Jesus are warned against sharing such rebellious attitudes toward Jesus; cf. Mk 8:17, 21.
  5. 8:22–26 Jesus’ actions and the gradual cure of the blind man probably have the same purpose as in the case of the deaf man (Mk 7:31–37). Some commentators regard the cure as an intended symbol of the gradual enlightenment of the disciples concerning Jesus’ messiahship.
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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