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1 Samuel 1-2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. The Last Judges, Eli and Samuel

Chapter 1

Elkanah and His Family at Shiloh. There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one named Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Each year this man went up from his city to worship and offer sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were ministering as priests of the Lord. When the day came for Elkanah to offer sacrifice, he used to give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, but he would give a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival,[a] to upset her, would torment her constantly, since the Lord had closed her womb. Year after year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, Peninnah would provoke her, and Hannah would weep and refuse to eat.[b] Elkanah, her husband, would say to her: “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why are you not eating? Why are you so miserable? Am I not better for you than ten sons?”

Hannah’s Prayer. Hannah rose after one such meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the Lord; at the time Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the doorpost of the Lord’s temple. 10 In her bitterness she prayed to the Lord, weeping freely, 11 and made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if you look with pity on the hardship of your servant, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life. No razor shall ever touch his head.”[c] 12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli watched her mouth, 13 for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli, thinking she was drunk, 14 said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Sober up from your wine!” 15 “No, my lord!” Hannah answered. “I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Do not think your servant a worthless woman; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery.” 17 Eli said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have requested.” 18 She replied, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes,” and left. She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downhearted. 19 Early the next morning they worshiped before the Lord, and then returned to their home in Ramah. When they returned Elkanah had intercourse with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.

Hannah Bears a Son. 20 She conceived and, at the end of her pregnancy, bore a son whom she named Samuel.[d] “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 21 The next time her husband Elkanah was going up with the rest of his household to offer the customary sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vows, 22 Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband, “Once the child is weaned, I will take him to appear before the Lord and leave him there forever.”[e] 23 Her husband Elkanah answered her: “Do what you think best; wait until you have weaned him. Only may the Lord fulfill his word!” And so she remained at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

Hannah Presents Samuel to the Lord. 24 Once he was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah[f] of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the house of the Lord in Shiloh. 25 After they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the child to Eli. 26 Then Hannah spoke up: “Excuse me, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here near you, praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. 28 Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” Then they worshiped there before the Lord.

Chapter 2

And Hannah prayed:[g]

“My heart exults in the Lord,
    my horn is exalted by my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
    I rejoice in your victory.
There is no Holy One like the Lord;
    there is no Rock like our God.
Speak boastfully no longer,
    Do not let arrogance issue from your mouths.[h]
For an all-knowing God is the Lord,
    a God who weighs actions.

“The bows of the mighty are broken,
    while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
    while the hungry no longer have to toil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
    while the mother of many languishes.

“The Lord puts to death and gives life,
    casts down to Sheol and brings up again.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich,
    humbles, and also exalts.
He raises the needy from the dust;
    from the ash heap lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
    and make a glorious throne their heritage.

“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
    and he has set the world upon them.
He guards the footsteps of his faithful ones,
    but the wicked shall perish in the darkness;
    for not by strength does one prevail.
10 The Lord’s foes shall be shattered;
    the Most High in heaven thunders;
    the Lord judges the ends of the earth.
May he give strength to his king,
    and exalt the horn of his anointed!”

11 When Elkanah returned home to Ramah, the child remained in the service of the Lord under the priest Eli.

Wickedness of Eli’s Sons. 12 Now the sons of Eli were wicked; they had respect neither for the Lord 13 nor for the priests’ duties toward the people. When someone offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork, while the meat was still boiling, 14 and would thrust it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the priest would take for himself. They treated all the Israelites who came to the sanctuary at Shiloh in this way. 15 In fact, even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one offering the sacrifice, “Give me some meat to roast for the priest. He will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw meat.” 16 And if this one protested, “Let the fat be burned first, then take whatever you wish,” he would reply, “No, give it to me now, or else I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the young men sinned grievously in the presence of the Lord, treating the offerings to the Lord with disdain.

The Lord Rewards Hannah. 18 Meanwhile the boy Samuel, wearing a linen ephod,[i] was serving in the presence of the Lord. 19 His mother used to make a little garment for him, which she would bring him each time she went up with her husband to offer the customary sacrifice. 20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, as they were leaving for home. He would say, “May the Lord repay you with children from this woman for the gift she has made to the Lord!” 21 The Lord favored Hannah so that she conceived and gave birth to three more sons and two daughters, while young Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.

Eli’s Futile Rebuke. 22 When Eli was very old, he kept hearing how his sons were treating all Israel, and that they were behaving promiscuously[j] with the women serving at the entry of the meeting tent. 23 So he said to them: “Why are you doing such things? I hear from everyone that your behavior is depraved. 24 Stop this, my sons! The report that I hear the Lord’s people spreading is not good. 25 If someone sins against another, anyone can intercede for the sinner with the Lord; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who can intercede[k] for the sinner?” But they disregarded their father’s warning, since the Lord wanted them dead. 26 Meanwhile, young Samuel was growing in stature and in worth in the estimation of the Lord and the people.

The Fate of Eli’s House.[l] 27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: I went so far as to reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt as slaves to the house of Pharaoh. 28 I chose them out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priests, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the ephod[m] in my presence; and I assigned all the fire offerings of the Israelites to your father’s house. 29 Why do you stare greedily at my sacrifices and at the offerings that I have prescribed? Why do you honor your sons more than you honor me, fattening yourselves with the choicest part of every offering of my people Israel? 30 This, therefore, is the oracle of the Lord, the God of Israel: I said in the past that your family and your father’s house should minister in my presence forever. But now—oracle of the Lord: Far be it from me! I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me shall be cursed. 31 Yes, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that no one in your family lives to old age. 32 You shall witness, like a disappointed rival, all the benefits enjoyed by Israel, but no member of your household shall ever grow old. 33 I will leave you one man at my altar to wear out his eyes and waste his strength, but the rest of your family shall die by the sword. 34 This is a sign for you—what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Both of them will die on the same day. 35 I will choose a faithful priest who shall do what I have in heart and mind. I will establish a lasting house for him and he shall serve in the presence of my anointed forever. 36 Then whoever is left of your family will grovel before him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, saying: Please assign me a priestly function, that I may have a crust of bread to eat.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1:6 Her rival: Hebrew sara, “rival wife, co-wife”; in the Talmud, a technical term for a second or co-wife.
  2. 1:7 In biblical narrative, the social status gained by producing children, especially males, often set woman against woman; cf. e.g., Gn 16, 21, 30. Peninnah’s provocations may be the arrogant boasting mentioned in 2:3.
  3. 1:11 No razor…: the Septuagint adds “he shall drink neither wine nor liquor.” This addition is a further suggestion that Samuel is dedicated to God under a nazirite vow (Nm 6:4–5); see note on v. 22.
  4. 1:20 Samuel: Hannah’s explanation associates her son’s name with the narrative’s wordplay on the Hebrew verbs s’l (“ask,” vv. 17, 27), his’il (“hand over, dedicate,” v. 28), sa’ul (“dedicated,” v. 28), and the noun se’elah (“request,” vv. 17, 27). The name, however, is related to the Hebrew root s’l only through assonance. It means “his name is El/God,” not “the one requested of or dedicated (sa’ul) to God” (v. 28), which is the meaning of the name Saul. The author may have lifted the s’l wordplay from a narrative about Saul to portray Samuel as God’s gracious answer to Hannah’s request.
  5. 1:22 Leave him there forever: a Qumran manuscript adds “I will give him as a nazirite forever”; it interprets v. 11 to mean that Hannah dedicates Samuel under a nazirite vow (cf. Nm 6:4–5).
  6. 1:24 Ephah: see note on Is 5:10.
  7. 2:1–10 Hannah appeals to a God who maintains order by keeping human affairs in balance, reversing the fortunes of the arrogant, who, like Peninnah, boast of their good fortune (vv. 1, 3, 9) at the expense of those like Hannah who receive less from the Lord. Hannah’s admission places her among the faithful who trust that God will execute justice on their behalf. The reference “his king…his anointed” (v. 10) recalls the final sentence of the Book of Judges and introduces the kingship theme that dominates the Books of Samuel.
  8. 2:3 Speak…mouths: addressed to the enemies mentioned in v. 1.
  9. 2:18 Linen ephod: not the same as the high priest’s ephod (Ex 28:6–14) or the ephod used in divination (v. 28). Samuel wore the same kind of a ceremonial garment as the priests did (1 Sm 22:18). David also wore an ephod when he danced before the ark (2 Sm 6:14).
  10. 2:22 Behaving promiscuously: this part of the verse, which recalls Ex 38:8, is a gloss; it is lacking in the oldest Greek translation, and in 4QSama.
  11. 2:25 Who can intercede: Eli’s sons fail to understand that their crime is directly against God and that God will punish them for it. Their behavior is set in sharp contrast to Samuel’s, which meets with God’s approval.
  12. 2:27–36 These verses describe the punishment of Eli from a point of view contemporary with the reform of Josiah (2 Kgs 23:9; cf. v. 36); they hint at the events recorded in 1 Sm 22:18–23 and 1 Kgs 2:27. The older story of this divine warning occurs in 1 Sm 3:11–14. A man of God: often an anonymous figure whose speech foreshadows events in the near future. Cf. 1 Sm 9:6; 1 Kgs 13:1; 2 Kgs 23:16–17.
  13. 2:28 Ephod: a portable container, presumably of cloth, for the lots used in ritual consultation of God during the days of the Judges (Jgs 17:5; 18:14–15) and into the time of David (1 Sm 14:3; 23:6–9; 30:7–8). Attached to the ephod of the high priest described in Ex 28:6–8 is a “breastpiece of decision” which symbolized, but did not facilitate, such consultation. The Exodus text codifies a later form of the tradition.
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 119:129-144 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Pe

129 Wonderful are your testimonies;
    therefore I keep them.
130 The revelation of your words sheds light,
    gives understanding to the simple.
131 I sigh with open mouth,
    yearning for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious,
    according to your judgment for those who love your name.
133 Steady my feet in accord with your promise;
    do not let iniquity lead me.
134 Free me from human oppression,
    that I may observe your precepts.
135 Let your face shine upon your servant;
    teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears
    because your law is not observed.

Sadhe

137 You are righteous, Lord,
    and just are your judgments.
138 You have given your testimonies in righteousness
    and in surpassing faithfulness.
139 I am consumed with rage,
    because my foes forget your words.
140 Your servant loves your promise;
    it has been proved by fire.
141 Though belittled and despised,
    I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your justice is forever right,
    your law true.
143 Though distress and anguish come upon me,
    your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are forever righteous;
    give me understanding that I may live.

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 4:21-41 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Parable of the Lamp. 21 He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. 23 Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.” 24 He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. 25 To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Seed Grows of Itself. 26 He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God;[a] it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land 27 and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. 28 Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

The Mustard Seed. 30 He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. 32 [b]But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. 34 Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

The Calming of a Storm at Sea. 35 [c]On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. 38 Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”[d] The wind ceased and there was great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” 41 [e]They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

Footnotes:

  1. 4:26–29 Only Mark records the parable of the seed’s growth. Sower and harvester are the same. The emphasis is on the power of the seed to grow of itself without human intervention (Mk 4:27). Mysteriously it produces blade and ear and full grain (Mk 4:28). Thus the kingdom of God initiated by Jesus in proclaiming the word develops quietly yet powerfully until it is fully established by him at the final judgment (Mk 4:29); cf. Rev 14:15.
  2. 4:32 The universality of the kingdom of God is indicated here; cf. Ez 17:23; 31:6; Dn 4:17–19.
  3. 4:35–5:43 After the chapter on parables, Mark narrates four miracle stories: Mk 4:35–41; 5:1–20; and two joined together in Mk 5:21–43. See also notes on Mt 8:23–34 and 9:8–26.
  4. 4:39 Quiet! Be still!: as in the case of silencing a demon (Mk 1:25), Jesus rebukes the wind and subdues the turbulence of the sea by a mere word; see note on Mt 8:26.
  5. 4:41 Jesus is here depicted as exercising power over wind and sea. In the Christian community this event was seen as a sign of Jesus’ saving presence amid persecutions that threatened its existence.
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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