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2 Chronicles 22-24 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 22

Ahaziah. Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king to succeed him, since all the older sons had been killed by the band that had come into the camp with the Arabians. Thus Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, reigned as the king of Judah. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, daughter of Omri. He, too, walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, because his mother was his counselor in doing evil. To his own destruction, he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab, since they were his counselors after the death of his father.

He was also following their counsel when he joined Jehoram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, in battle against Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Jehoram. He returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds that had been inflicted on him at Ramah in his battle against Hazael, king of Aram. Then Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to visit Jehoram, son of Ahab, for he was sick. Now from God came Ahaziah’s downfall, that he should join Jehoram; for after his arrival he rode out with Jehoram to Jehu, son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut down the house of Ahab. While Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he also came upon the princes of Judah and the nephews of Ahaziah who were his attendants, and he killed them. Then he looked for Ahaziah himself. They caught him hiding in Samaria and brought him to Jehu, who put him to death. They buried him, for they said, “He was the grandson of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with his whole heart.” Now the house of Ahaziah did not retain the power of kingship.[a]

Usurpation of Athaliah. 10 When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she began to kill off the whole royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehosheba, a daughter of the king, took Joash, Ahaziah’s son, and spirited him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. In this way Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, a sister of Ahaziah and wife of Jehoiada the priest, concealed the child from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death. 12 For six years he remained hidden with them in the house of God, while Athaliah ruled as queen over the land.

Chapter 23

Athaliah Overthrown. In the seventh year, Jehoiada took courage and brought into covenant with himself the captains: Azariah, son of Jehoram; Ishmael, son of Jehohanan; Azariah, son of Obed; Maaseiah, son of Adaiah; and Elishaphat, son of Zichri. They journeyed about Judah, gathering the Levites from all the cities of Judah and also the heads of the Israelite families, and they came to Jerusalem. The whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. Jehoiada said to them: “Here is the king’s son who must reign, as the Lord promised concerning the sons of David. This is what you must do: a third of your number, both priests and Levites, who come on duty on the sabbath must guard the thresholds, another third must be at the king’s house, and the final third at the Foundation Gate, when all the people will be in the courts of the Lord’s house. Let no one enter the Lord’s house except the priests and those Levites who are ministering. They may enter because they are holy; but all the other people must observe the prescriptions of the Lord. The Levites shall surround the king on all sides, each with drawn weapon. Whoever tries to enter the house is to be killed. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”

The Levites and all Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each took his troops, both those going on duty for the week and those going off duty that week, since Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed any of the divisions. Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains the spears, shields, and bucklers of King David which were in the house of God. 10 He stationed all the people, each with spear in hand, from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure, surrounding the altar and the temple on the king’s behalf. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown and the testimony upon him, and proclaimed him king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they cried, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and acclaiming the king, she came before them in the house of the Lord. 13 When she saw the king standing by his column[b] at the entrance, the captains and the trumpeters near the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, while the singers with their musical instruments were leading the acclaim, Athaliah tore her garments, saying, “Treason! treason!” 14 Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains in command of the force: “Escort her with a guard detail. If anyone follows her, let him die by the sword.” For the priest had said, “You must not put her to death in the house of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her, and when she reached the Horse Gate of the royal palace, they put her to death.

16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king, that they should be the Lord’s people. 17 Thereupon all the people went to the temple of Baal and demolished it. They shattered its altars and images completely, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. 18 Then Jehoiada gave the charge of the Lord’s house into the hands of the levitical priests, to whom David had assigned turns in the Lord’s house for sacrificing the burnt offerings of the Lord, as is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and song, as David had provided. 19 Moreover, he stationed guards at the gates of the Lord’s house so that no one unclean in any respect might enter. 20 Then he took the captains, the nobles, the rulers among the people, and all the people of the land, and led the king out of the Lord’s house; they came within the upper gate of the king’s house, and seated the king upon the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword.

Chapter 24

The Temple Restored. Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah, from Beer-sheba. Joash did what was right in the Lord’s sight as long as Jehoiada the priest lived. Jehoiada provided him with two wives, and he became the father of sons and daughters.

After some time, Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. He gathered together the priests and Levites and said to them: “Go out to all the cities of Judah and gather money[c] from all Israel that you may repair the house of your God over the years. You must hurry this project.” But the Levites did not. Then the king summoned Jehoiada, who was in charge, and said to him: “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and by the assembly of Israel, for the tent of the testimony?” For the wicked Athaliah and her sons had damaged the house of God and had even turned over to the Baals the holy things of the Lord’s house.

At the king’s command, therefore, they made a chest, which they put outside the gate of the Lord’s house. They had it proclaimed throughout Judah and Jerusalem that the tax which Moses, the servant of God, had imposed on Israel in the wilderness should be brought to the Lord. 10 All the princes and the people rejoiced; they brought what was asked and cast it into the chest until it was filled. 11 Whenever the chest was brought to the royal officials by the Levites and they noticed that there was a large amount of money, the royal scribe and an overseer for the chief priest would come up, empty the chest, and then take it back and return it to its place. This they did day after day until they had collected a large sum of money. 12 Then the king and Jehoiada gave it to the workers in charge of the labor on the Lord’s house, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the Lord’s house, and also iron- and bronze-smiths to repair it. 13 The workers labored, and the task of restoration progressed under their hands. They restored the house of God according to its original form, and reinforced it. 14 After they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and to Jehoiada, who had it made into utensils for the house of the Lord, utensils for the service and the burnt offerings, and basins and other gold and silver utensils.[d] They sacrificed burnt offerings in the Lord’s house continually all the days of Jehoiada. 15 Jehoiada grew old, full of years, and died; he was a hundred and thirty years old. 16 They buried him in the City of David with the kings, because of the good he had done in Israel, especially for God and his house.

Joash’s Apostasy. 17 After the death of Jehoiada, the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king; then the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and began to serve the asherahs and the idols; and because of this crime of theirs, wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Although prophets were sent to them to turn them back to the Lord and to warn them, the people would not listen. 20 Then the spirit of God clothed Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He took his stand above the people and said to them: “Thus says God, Why are you transgressing the Lord’s commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, he has abandoned you.” 21 But they conspired against him, and at the king’s command they stoned him in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus King Joash was unmindful of the devotion shown him by Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, and killed the son. As he was dying, he said, “May the Lord see and avenge.”

Joash Punished. 23 At the turn of the year a force of Arameans came up against Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem, killed all the princes of the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 Though the Aramean force was small, the Lord handed over a very large force into their power, because Judah had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So judgment was meted out to Joash. 25 After the Arameans had departed from him, abandoning him to his many injuries, his servants conspired against him because of the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest. They killed him on his sickbed. He was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

26 Those who conspired against him were Zabad, son of Shimeath from Ammon, and Jehozabad, son of Shimrith from Moab. 27 An account of his sons, the great tribute imposed on him, and his rebuilding of the house of God is written in the midrash of the book of the kings. His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:9 This account of the death of Ahaziah of Judah does not agree with that given in 2 Kgs 9:27–28.
  2. 23:13 By his column: there was a special place reserved for the king in the eastern gateway of the Temple court where the altar for burnt offerings stood. The king occupied this place on feasts and sabbaths at the time of the prescribed offerings, or when he came to make voluntary offerings of his own; cf. 2 Kgs 11:14 and Ez 46:1–8.
  3. 24:5 Gather money: according to 2 Kgs 12:5 the people themselves brought the money, consisting at least in part of voluntary contributions, to the Temple. By the time of the Chronicler, a fixed head tax for the upkeep of the Temple had been introduced; see 2 Chr 34:9; Neh 10:32; Ex 30:12–16. This was still in force in New Testament times (Mt 17:24–25).
  4. 24:14 See the parallel in 2 Kgs 12:14–15; the passages are difficult to reconcile.
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 20:16-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 Take the garment of the one who became surety for a stranger;
    if for foreigners, exact the pledge![a]
17 Bread earned by deceit is sweet,
    but afterward the mouth is filled with gravel.
18 Plans made with advice succeed;
    with wise direction wage your war.
19 A slanderer reveals secrets;
    so have nothing to do with a babbler!
20 Those who curse father or mother—
    their lamp will go out[b] in the dead of night.
21 Possessions greedily guarded at the outset
    will not be blessed in the end.[c]
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil!”
    Wait for the Lord, who will help you.[d]
23 Varying weights are an abomination to the Lord,
    and false scales are not good.
24 Our steps are from the Lord;
    how, then, can mortals understand their way?[e]
25 It is a trap to pledge rashly a sacred gift,
    and after a vow, then to reflect.[f]
26 A wise king winnows the wicked,
    and threshes them under the cartwheel.[g]
27 A lamp from the Lord is human life-breath;
    it searches through the inmost being.[h]
28 His steadfast loyalty safeguards the king,
    and he upholds his throne by justice.
29 The glory of the young is their strength,
    and the dignity of the old is gray hair.
30 Evil is cleansed away by bloody lashes,
    and a scourging to the inmost being.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:16 The text is not clear. See 27:13. Caution in becoming surety is always advised (cf. 6:1–3), and it is especially advisable with strangers.
  2. 20:20 Their lamp will go out: misfortune, even death, awaits them; cf. 13:9; Ex 21:17.
  3. 20:21 By definition, an inheritance is not gained by one’s own efforts but is received as a gift. If, when one first receives the inheritance, one drives everyone away, one treats it as if one acquired it by one’s own efforts. In an agricultural society, an inheritance would often be a field that would require God’s blessing to be fertile.
  4. 20:22 Appointing oneself an agent of divine retribution is dangerous. Better to wait for God to effect justice. Cf. 24:17–18.
  5. 20:24 An indication of the Lord’s inscrutable providence; cf. Jer 10:23; see Prv 21:2; cf. also 14:12.
  6. 20:25 This verse cautions against making vows without proper reflection; cf. Dt 23:22–25; Eccl 5:4–5.
  7. 20:26 The king is responsible for effecting justice. Judgment is portrayed in agricultural imagery—exposing grain to a current of air so that the chaff is blown away, and passing a wheel over the cereal to break the husk. Winnowing as image for judgment is found throughout the Bible.
  8. 20:27 A parallel is drawn between the life-breath that is God’s gift (Jb 32:8; 33:2) coursing through the human body (Is 2:22) and the lamp of God, which can be a symbol of divine scrutiny. In Zep 1:12, God declares, “And in that day I will search through Jerusalem with lamps.”
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.

Romans 12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. The Duties of Christians[a]

Chapter 12

Sacrifice of Body and Mind. [b]I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Many Parts in One Body. For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned. For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ[c] and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them:[d] if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others,[e] with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Mutual Love. Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. 11 Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. 14 [f]Bless those who persecute [you], bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. 19 Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” 21 Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:1–13:14 Since Christ marks the termination of the Mosaic law as the primary source of guidance for God’s people (Rom 10:4), the apostle explains how Christians can function, in the light of the gift of justification through faith, in their relation to one another and the state.
  2. 12:1–8 The Mosaic code included elaborate directions on sacrifices and other cultic observances. The gospel, however, invites believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1). Instead of being limited by specific legal maxims, Christians are liberated for the exercise of good judgment as they are confronted with the many and varied decisions required in the course of daily life. To assist them, God distributes a variety of gifts to the fellowship of believers, including those of prophecy, teaching, and exhortation (Rom 12:6–8). Prophets assist the community to understand the will of God as it applies to the present situation (Rom 12:6). Teachers help people to understand themselves and their responsibilities in relation to others (Rom 12:7). One who exhorts offers encouragement to the community to exercise their faith in the performance of all that is pleasing to God (Rom 12:8). Indeed, this very section, beginning with Rom 12:1, is a specimen of Paul’s own style of exhortation.
  3. 12:5 One body in Christ: on the church as the body of Christ, see 1 Cor 12:12–27.
  4. 12:6 Everyone has some gift that can be used for the benefit of the community. When the instruction on justification through faith is correctly grasped, the possessor of a gift will understand that it is not an instrument of self-aggrandizement. Possession of a gift is not an index to quality of faith. Rather, the gift is a challenge to faithful use.
  5. 12:8 Over others: usually taken to mean “rule over” but possibly “serve as a patron.” Wealthier members in Greco-Roman communities were frequently asked to assist in public service projects. In view of the references to contributing in generosity and to acts of mercy, Paul may have in mind people like Phoebe (Rom 16:1–2), who is called a benefactor (or “patron”) because of the services she rendered to many Christians, including Paul.
  6. 12:14–21 Since God has justified the believers, it is not necessary for them to take justice into their own hands by taking vengeance. God will ultimately deal justly with all, including those who inflict injury on the believers. This question of personal rights as a matter of justice prepares the way for more detailed consideration of the state as adjudicator.
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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