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1 Kings 13-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

A man of God came from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, while Jeroboam was standing at the altar to burn incense. He cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord: “Altar, altar, thus says the Lord: A child shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, who shall slaughter upon you the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and they shall burn human bones upon you.” He also gave a sign that same day and said: “This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: The altar shall be torn apart and the ashes on it shall be scattered.” When the king heard the word of the man of God which he was crying out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam stretched forth his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched forth against him withered, so that he could not draw it back. (The altar was torn apart and the ashes from the altar were scattered, in accordance with the sign the man of God gave by the word of the Lord.)

Then the king said to the man of God, “Entreat the Lord, your God, and intercede for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored as it was before. The king told the man of God, “Come with me to the house for some refreshment so that I may give you a present.” The man of God said to the king, “If you gave me half your palace, I would not go with you, nor eat bread or drink water in this place. For I was instructed by the word of the Lord: Do not eat bread or drink water, and do not return by the way you came.” 10 So he departed by another road and did not go back the way he had come to Bethel.

Prophetic Disunity.[a] 11 There was an old prophet living in Bethel, whose son came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. When his sons repeated to their father the words the man of God had spoken to the king, 12 the father asked them, “Which way did he go?” So his sons pointed out to him the road taken by the man of God who had come from Judah. 13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” When they had saddled it, he mounted 14 and followed the man of God, whom he found seated under a terebinth. When he asked him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” he answered, “Yes.” 15 Then he said, “Come home with me and have some bread.” 16 “I cannot return with you or go with you, and I cannot eat bread or drink water with you in this place,” he answered, 17 “for I was told by the word of the Lord: You shall not eat bread or drink water there, and do not go back the way you came.” 18 But he said to him, “I, too, am a prophet like you, and an angel told me by the word of the Lord: Bring him back with you to your house to eat bread and drink water.” But he was lying to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate bread and drank water in his house. 20 But while they were sitting at table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back, 21 and he cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah: “Thus says the Lord: Because you rebelled against the charge of the Lord and did not keep the command which the Lord, your God, gave you, 22 but returned and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you, Do not eat bread or drink water, your corpse shall not be brought to the grave of your ancestors.” 23 After he had eaten bread and drunk, they saddled for him the donkey that belonged to the prophet who had brought him back, 24 and he set out. But a lion met him on the road, and killed him. His body lay sprawled on the road, and the donkey remained standing by it, and so did the lion.

25 Some passersby saw the body lying in the road, with the lion standing beside it, and carried the news to the city where the old prophet lived. 26 On hearing it, the prophet who had brought him back from his journey said: “It is the man of God who rebelled against the charge of the Lord. The Lord has delivered him to a lion, which mangled and killed him, according to the word which the Lord had spoken to him.” 27 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they saddled it. 28 He went off and found the body sprawled on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had not eaten the body nor had it harmed the donkey. 29 The prophet lifted up the body of the man of God and put it on the donkey, and brought him back to the city to mourn and to bury him. 30 He laid the man’s body in his own grave, and they mourned over it: “Alas, my brother!” 31 After he had buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried. Lay my bones beside his. 32 For the word which he proclaimed by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the temples on the high places in the cities of Samaria shall certainly come to pass.”

33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again made priests for the high places from among the common people. Whoever desired it was installed as a priest of the high places. 34 This is the account of the sin of the house of Jeroboam for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the face of the earth.

Chapter 14

Ahijah Announces Jeroboam’s Downfall.[b] At that time Abijah, son of Jeroboam, took sick. So Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go and disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you as Jeroboam’s wife. Then go to Shiloh, where you will find Ahijah the prophet. It was he who spoke the word that made me king over this people. Take along ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the child.” The wife of Jeroboam did so. She left and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah.

Now Ahijah could not see because age had dimmed his sight. But the Lord said to Ahijah: Jeroboam’s wife is coming to consult you about her son, for he is sick. Thus and so you must tell her. When she comes, she will be in disguise. So Ahijah, hearing the sound of her footsteps as she entered the door, said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why are you in disguise? For my part, I have been commissioned to give you bitter news. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I exalted you from among the people and made you ruler of my people Israel. I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you. Yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with his whole heart, doing only what is right in my sight. You have done more evil than all who were before you: you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molten images to provoke me; but me you have cast behind your back. 10 Therefore, I am bringing evil upon the house of Jeroboam:

I will cut off from Jeroboam’s line every male
    —bond or free—in Israel;
I will burn up what is left of the house of Jeroboam
    as dung is burned, completely.
11 Anyone of Jeroboam’s line who dies in the city,
    dogs will devour;
anyone who dies in the field,
    the birds of the sky will devour.

For the Lord has spoken!’ 12 As for you, leave, and go home! As you step inside the city, the child will die, 13 and all Israel will mourn him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s line will be laid in the grave, since in him alone of Jeroboam’s house has something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, been found. 14 The Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam—today, at this very moment! 15 The Lord will strike Israel like a reed tossed about in the water and will pluck out Israel from this good land which he gave their ancestors, and will scatter them beyond the River,[c] because they made asherahs for themselves, provoking the Lord. 16 He will give up Israel because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and caused Israel to commit.” 17 So Jeroboam’s wife left and went back; when she came to Tirzah and crossed the threshold of her house, the child died. 18 He was buried and all Israel mourned him, according to the word of the Lord spoken through his servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 The rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he fought and how he reigned, these are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 20 The length of Jeroboam’s reign was twenty-two years. He rested with his ancestors, and Nadab his son succeeded him as king.

III. Kings of Judah and Israel[d]

Reign of Rehoboam. 21 [e]Rehoboam, son of Solomon, became king in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city in which, out of all the tribes of Israel, the Lord chose to set his name. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite.

22 Judah did evil in the Lord’s sight and they angered him even more than their ancestors had done. 23 They, too, built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and asherahs,[f] upon every high hill and under every green tree. 24 There were also pagan priests in the land. Judah imitated all the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out of the Israelites’ way. 25 [g]In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem. 26 He took everything, including the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the house of the king, even the gold shields Solomon had made. 27 To replace them, King Rehoboam made bronze shields, which he entrusted to the officers of the guard on duty at the entrance of the royal house. 28 Whenever the king visited the house of the Lord, those on duty would carry the shields, and then return them to the guardroom.

29 The rest of the acts of Rehoboam, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 30 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 31 Rehoboam rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. His son Abijam succeeded him as king.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:11–34 The next major unit illustrates how Jeroboam’s cultic innovations begin to alienate prophetic figures of the two kingdoms. Nevertheless, the Lord’s word is stronger than any human attempt to thwart it. The two prophets also foreshadow the destinies of their respective kingdoms. Israel’s experiment with idolatry can tempt Judah to abandon its faithfulness to the Lord. If Judah succumbs, and no longer speaks the word that can call Israel back to the true God, then the only hope for reuniting the two kingdoms will be when they have both died the death of exile.
  2. 14:1–20 The last major unit of the Jeroboam story recounts the story of Ahijah of Shiloh’s oracle condemning the entire house of Jeroboam; this is followed by a formulaic notice of Jeroboam’s death and the succession of his son. Compare the first unit of the Jeroboam story, 11:26–43, which recounted Ahijah’s oracle proclaiming Jeroboam’s kingship, followed by the formulaic notice of the death of Solomon.
  3. 14:15 The River: the Euphrates; see note on 5:1.
  4. 14:21–16:34 The treatment of the events of Jeroboam’s reign shows that the author believes that the political division of the kingdoms embodies the Lord’s will, but that their religious separation is undesirable. The Israelites are, in effect, one people of God under two royal administrations. This complex arrangement is reflected in the way 1–2 Kings organizes the history of the divided kingdoms. Each reign is treated as a unity: the kings, whether of Israel or Judah, are legitimate rulers. But the accounts of northern and southern kings are interwoven in the order in which each came to the throne, without regard to which kingdom they ruled: the people of God is one.
  5. 14:21 The account of each king’s reign follows the same basic pattern: a formulaic introduction, a theological evaluation based on religious fidelity, a brief account of an event from the king’s reign, and a formulaic conclusion.
  6. 14:23 Asherahs: see note on Ex 34:13.
  7. 14:25–28, 30 The narrator recounts Shishak’s campaign here to imply that it was punishment for Judah’s evil, and perhaps to cast him as supporting Jeroboam in his constant warfare with Rehoboam. (Shishak was named as Jeroboam’s protector and patron in 11:40.) Egyptian records of the campaign list one hundred fifty cities conquered in Israel as well as Judah, but Jerusalem is not one of them. Chronicles has a parallel version of this account in 2 Chr 12:9–11.
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.

Proverbs 1:1-19 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Title and Introduction

Chapter 1

Purpose of the Proverbs of Solomon[a]

The proverbs[b] of Solomon, the son of David,
    king of Israel:
That people may know wisdom and discipline,[c]
    may understand intelligent sayings;
May receive instruction in wise conduct,
    in what is right, just and fair;
That resourcefulness may be imparted to the naive,[d]
    knowledge and discretion to the young.
The wise by hearing them will advance in learning,
    the intelligent will gain sound guidance,
To comprehend proverb and byword,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.
Fear of the Lord[e] is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and discipline.

II. Instructions of Parents and of Woman Wisdom

The Path of the Wicked: Greed and Violence[f]

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
    and reject not your mother’s teaching;
A graceful diadem will they be for your head;
    a pendant for your neck.
10 My son, should sinners entice you,
11     do not go if they say, “Come along with us!
Let us lie in wait for blood,
    unprovoked, let us trap the innocent;
12 Let us swallow them alive, like Sheol,
    whole, like those who go down to the pit!
13 All kinds of precious wealth shall we gain,
    we shall fill our houses with booty;
14 Cast in your lot with us,
    we shall all have one purse!”
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
    hold back your foot from their path!
16 [For their feet run to evil,
    they hasten to shed blood.]
17 In vain a net is spread[g]
    right under the eyes of any bird—
18 They lie in wait for their own blood,
    they set a trap for their own lives.
19 This is the way of everyone greedy for loot:
    it takes away their lives.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–7 The prologue explains the purpose of the book. The book has a sapiential, ethical, and religious dimension: to bring the inexperienced to knowledge and right conduct, to increase the facility of those already wise for interpreting proverbs, parables and riddles, and to encourage the fulfillment of one’s duties to God.
  2. 1:1 Proverbs: the Hebrew word mashal is broader than English “proverb,” embracing the instructions of chaps. 1–9 and the sayings, observations, and comparisons of chaps. 10–31.
  3. 1:2 Discipline: education or formation which dispels ignorance and corrects vice. Note the reprise of v. 2a in v. 7b.
  4. 1:4 Naive: immature, inexperienced, sometimes the young, hence easily influenced for good or evil.
  5. 1:7 Fear of the Lord: primarily a disposition rather than the emotion of fear; reverential awe and respect toward God combined with obedience to God’s will.
  6. 1:8–19 A parental warning to a young person leaving home, for them to avoid the company of the greedy and violent. Two ways lie before the hearer, a way that leads to death and a way that leads to life. The trap which the wicked set for the innocent (v. 11) in the end takes away the lives of the wicked themselves (v. 19). This theme will recur especially in chaps. 1–9. A second theme introduced here is that of founding (or managing) a household and choosing a spouse. A third theme is the human obstacles to attaining wisdom. Here (and in 2:12–15 and 4:10–19), the obstacle is men (always in the plural); in 2:16–19; 5:1–6; 6:20–35; chap. 7; 9:13–18, the obstacle to the quest is the “foreign” woman (always in the singular).
  7. 1:17 A difficult verse. The most probable interpretation is that no fowler lifts up the net so the bird can see it. The verse might be paraphrased: God does not let those who walk on evil paths see the net that will entrap them. The passive construction (“a net is spread”) is sometimes used to express divine activity. Verse 16 is a later attempt to add clarity. It is a quotation from Is 59:7 and is not in the best Greek manuscripts.
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.

1 Corinthians 7:25-40 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Advice to Virgins and Widows. 25 Now in regard to virgins I have no commandment from the Lord,[a] but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. 28 If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.

29 [b]I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, 30 those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, 31 those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.

32 I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. 33 But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

36 [c]If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if a critical moment has come[d] and so it has to be, let him do as he wishes. He is committing no sin; let them get married. 37 The one who stands firm in his resolve, however, who is not under compulsion but has power over his own will, and has made up his mind to keep his virgin, will be doing well. 38 So then, the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better.

39 [e]A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whomever she wishes, provided that it be in the Lord. 40 She is more blessed, though, in my opinion, if she remains as she is, and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:25–28 Paul is careful to explain that the principle of 1 Cor 7:17 does not bind under sin but that present earthly conditions make it advantageous for the unmarried to remain as they are (1 Cor 7:28). These remarks must be complemented by the statement about “particular gifts” from 1 Cor 7:7.
  2. 7:29–31 The world…is passing away: Paul advises Christians to go about the ordinary activities of life in a manner different from those who are totally immersed in them and unaware of their transitoriness.
  3. 7:36–38 The passage is difficult to interpret, because it is unclear whether Paul is thinking of a father and his unmarried daughter (or slave), or of a couple engaged in a betrothal or spiritual marriage. The general principles already enunciated apply: there is no question of sin, even if they should marry, but staying as they are is “better” (for the reasons mentioned in 1 Cor 7:28–35). Once again the charisma of 1 Cor 7:7 which applies also to the unmarried (1 Cor 7:8–9), is to be presupposed.
  4. 7:36 A critical moment has come: either because the woman will soon be beyond marriageable age, or because their passions are becoming uncontrollable (cf. 1 Cor 7:9).
  5. 7:39–40 Application of the principles to the case of widows. If they do choose to remarry, they ought to prefer Christian husbands.
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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