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1 Samuel 18-19 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 18

David and Jonathan. By the time David finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan’s life became bound up with David’s life; he loved him as his very self. Saul retained David on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. Jonathan and David made a covenant, because Jonathan loved him as his very self. Jonathan took off[a] the cloak he was wearing and handed it over to David, along with his military dress, even his sword, bow, and belt. David then carried out successfully every mission on which Saul sent him. So Saul put him in charge of his soldiers; this met with the approval of the whole army, even Saul’s officers.

Saul’s Jealousy. At the approach of Saul and David, on David’s return after striking down the Philistine, women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet Saul the king, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and stringed instruments.[b] The women played and sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
    David his tens of thousands.”

Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David tens of thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” From that day on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raged in his house. David was in attendance, playing the harp as at other times, while Saul was holding his spear. 11 Saul poised the spear, thinking, “I will nail David to the wall!” But twice David escaped him. 12 Saul then began to fear David because the Lord was with him but had turned away from Saul. 13 Saul sent him out of his presence and appointed him a field officer. So David led the people on their military expeditions 14 and prospered in all his ways, for the Lord was with him. 15 Seeing how he prospered, Saul feared David. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, since he led them on their expeditions.[c]

Saul Plots Against David. 17 Saul said to David, “Look, I will give you my older daughter, Merob, in marriage if you become my warrior and fight the battles of the Lord.” Saul thought, “I will not lay a hand on him. Let the hand of the Philistines strike him.” 18 But David answered Saul: “Who am I? And who are my kindred or my father’s clan in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 But when the time came for Saul’s daughter Merob to be given to David, she was given as wife to Adriel the Meholathite instead.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. When this was reported to Saul, he was pleased. 21 He thought, “I will offer her to him as a trap, so that the hand of the Philistines may strike him.” So for the second time Saul said to David, “You shall become my son-in-law today.” 22 Saul then ordered his servants, “Speak to David privately and say: The king favors you, and all his officers love you. You should become son-in-law to the king.” 23 But when Saul’s servants mentioned this to David, he said: “Is becoming the king’s son-in-law a trivial matter in your eyes? I am poor and insignificant.” 24 When his servants reported David’s answer to him, 25 Saul commanded them, “Say this to David: The king desires no other price for the bride than the foreskins of one hundred Philistines, that he may thus take vengeance on his enemies.” Saul intended to have David fall into the hands of the Philistines. 26 When the servants reported this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the king’s son-in-law. Before the year was up, 27 David arose and went with his men and slew two hundred Philistines. He brought back their foreskins and counted them out before the king that he might become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him his daughter Michal as wife. 28 Then Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his own daughter Michal loved David. 29 So Saul feared David all the more and was his enemy ever after.

30 The Philistine chiefs continued to make forays, but each time they took the field, David was more successful against them than any of Saul’s other officers, and his name was held in great esteem.

Chapter 19

Persecution of David. Saul discussed his intention to kill David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants. But Saul’s son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him: “My father Saul is trying to kill you. Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning; stay out of sight and remain in hiding. I, however, will go out and stand beside my father in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you. If I learn anything, I will let you know.”

Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, telling him: “The king should not harm his servant David. He has not harmed you, but has helped you very much by his deeds.[d] When he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord won a great victory for all Israel, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?” Saul heeded Jonathan’s plea and swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed.” So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him. He then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.

David Escapes from Saul. When war broke out again, David went out to fight against the Philistines and inflicted such a great defeat upon them that they fled from him. Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with spear in hand while David was playing the harp nearby. 10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David eluded Saul, and the spear struck only the wall, while David got away safely.

11 The same night, Saul sent messengers to David’s house to guard it, planning to kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michal informed him, “Unless you run for your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.”[e] 12 Then Michal let David down through a window, and he made his escape in safety. 13 Michal took the teraphim[f] and laid it in the bed, putting a tangle of goat’s hair at its head and covering it with a blanket. 14 When Saul sent officers to arrest David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Saul, however, sent the officers back to see David and commanded them, “Bring him up to me in his bed, that I may kill him.” 16 But when the messengers entered, they found the teraphim in the bed, with the tangle of goat’s hair at its head. 17 Saul asked Michal: “Why did you lie to me like this? You have helped my enemy to get away!” Michal explained to Saul: “He threatened me, saying ‘Let me go or I will kill you.’”

David and Saul in Ramah. 18 When David got safely away, he went to Samuel in Ramah, informing him of all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to stay in Naioth.[g] 19 When Saul was told that David was at Naioth in Ramah, 20 he sent officers to arrest David. But when they saw the band of prophets presided over by Samuel in a prophetic state, the spirit of God came upon them and they too fell into the prophetic ecstasy. 21 Informed of this, Saul sent other messengers, who also fell into the prophetic ecstasy. For the third time Saul sent messengers, but they too fell into a prophetic ecstasy.

Saul Among the Prophets. 22 Finally Saul went to Ramah himself. Arriving at the large cistern in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” Someone answered, “At Naioth in Ramah.” 23 As he walked from there to Naioth in Ramah, the spirit of God came upon him also, and he continued on, acting like a prophet until he reached Naioth in Ramah. 24 Then he, too, stripped himself of his garments and remained in a prophetic state in the presence of Samuel;[h] all that day and night he lay naked. That is why they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:4 Jonathan took off: with the details in this verse, the narrator identifies David as Jonathan’s replacement and Saul’s heir to the throne. Cf. 23:17 and Gn 41:39–43.
  2. 18:6 Stringed instruments: perhaps a lute-like instrument with three strings; the Hebrew word, shalshim, perhaps related to the root shlsh (“three”), occurs only here in the Old Testament.
  3. 18:16 Led them on their expeditions: lit., “go out and come in,” i.e., through the city gates; an idiom for military victory.
  4. 19:4 Jonathan reminds Saul that David has served him loyally and done nothing to earn a traitor’s death. Cf. 24:18–20.
  5. 19:11 This story may have originally followed 18:29, placing the episode of David’s escape on the night of his marriage with Michal.
  6. 19:13 Teraphim: a life-sized image of a household god in human form; cf. also note on Gn 31:19. Elsewhere in the Deuteronomistic History, use of teraphim is condemned (15:23; 2 Kgs 23:24).
  7. 19:18 Naioth: meaning “the pastures.” This place appears only in chaps. 19–20 and is associated with Ramah.
  8. 19:24 In the presence of Samuel: this verse, which disagrees with 15:35, is further evidence of the diverse origins of these accounts. “Is Saul also among the prophets?”: although similar to the story of Saul’s prophetic ecstasy in 10:10–13, this account offers a more disparaging portrait of Saul.
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 125 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 125[a]

Israel’s Protector

A song of ascents.

Those trusting in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
    unshakable, forever enduring.
As mountains surround Jerusalem,
    the Lord surrounds his people
    both now and forever.

The scepter of the wicked will not prevail
    in the land allotted to the just,[b]
Lest the just themselves
    turn their hands to evil.

Do good, Lord, to the good,
    to those who are upright of heart.
But those who turn aside to crooked ways
    may the Lord send down with the evildoers.
Peace upon Israel!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 125 In response to exilic anxieties about the ancient promises of restoration, the Psalm expresses confidence that God will surround the people as the mountains surround Zion (Ps 125:1–2). The just will not be contaminated by the wicked (Ps 125:3). May God judge between the two groups (Ps 125:4–5).
  2. 125:3 The land allotted to the just: lit., “the lot of the righteous.” The promised land was divided among the tribes of Israel by lot (Nm 26:55; Jos 18). The righteous are the members of the people who are obedient to God. If the domination of the wicked were to continue in the land, even the just would be infected by their evil attitudes.
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 8:22-38 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” 25 Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. 26 Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”

III. The Mystery Begins to Be Revealed

Peter’s Confession About Jesus.[a] 27 Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

The First Prediction of the Passion. 31 He began to teach them that the Son of Man[b] must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. 32 He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

The Conditions of Discipleship. 34 He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said[c] to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel[d] will save it. 36 What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 What could one give in exchange for his life? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Footnotes:

  1. 8:27–30 This episode is the turning point in Mark’s account of Jesus in his public ministry. Popular opinions concur in regarding him as a prophet. The disciples by contrast believe him to be the Messiah. Jesus acknowledges this identification but prohibits them from making his messianic office known to avoid confusing it with ambiguous contemporary ideas on the nature of that office. See further the notes on Mt 16:13–20.
  2. 8:31 Son of Man: an enigmatic title. It is used in Dn 7:13–14 as a symbol of “the saints of the Most High,” the faithful Israelites who receive the everlasting kingdom from the Ancient One (God). They are represented by a human figure that contrasts with the various beasts who represent the previous kingdoms of the earth. In the Jewish apocryphal books of 1 Enoch and 4 Ezra the “Son of Man” is not, as in Daniel, a group, but a unique figure of extraordinary spiritual endowments, who will be revealed as the one through whom the everlasting kingdom decreed by God will be established. It is possible though doubtful that this individualization of the Son of Man figure had been made in Jesus’ time, and therefore his use of the title in that sense is questionable. Of itself, this expression means simply a human being, or, indefinitely, someone, and there are evidences of this use in pre-Christian times. Its use in the New Testament is probably due to Jesus’ speaking of himself in that way, “a human being,” and the later church’s taking this in the sense of the Jewish apocrypha and applying it to him with that meaning. Rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes: the supreme council called the Sanhedrin was made up of seventy-one members of these three groups and presided over by the high priest. It exercised authority over the Jews in religious matters. See note on Mt 8:20.
  3. 8:34–35 This utterance of Jesus challenges all believers to authentic discipleship and total commitment to himself through self-renunciation and acceptance of the cross of suffering, even to the sacrifice of life itself. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it…will save it: an expression of the ambivalence of life and its contrasting destiny. Life seen as mere self-centered earthly existence and lived in denial of Christ ends in destruction, but when lived in loyalty to Christ, despite earthly death, it arrives at fullness of life.
  4. 8:35 For my sake and that of the gospel: Mark here, as at Mk 10:29 equates Jesus with the gospel.
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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