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2 Chronicles 25-27 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 25

Amaziah’s Good Start. Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan, from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, though not wholeheartedly. When he had the kingdom firmly in hand, he struck down the officials who had struck down the king, his father. But their children he did not put to death, for he acted according to what is written in the law, in the Book of Moses, which the Lord commanded: “Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their parents; they shall each die for their own sin.”

Amaziah gathered Judah and placed them, out of all Judah and Benjamin according to their ancestral houses, under leaders of thousands and of hundreds. When he made a count of those twenty years old and over, he found that there were three hundred thousand picked men fit for war, capable of handling lance and shield. He also hired a hundred thousand valiant warriors from Israel for a hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him and said: “O king, let not the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel—with any Ephraimite. Instead, go on your own, strongly prepared for the battle; why should the Lord hinder you in the face of the enemy: for with God is power to help or to hinder.” Amaziah answered the man of God, “But what is to be done about the hundred talents that I paid for the troops of Israel?” The man of God replied, “The Lord can give you much more than that.” 10 Amaziah then disbanded the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, and sent them home. But they became furiously angry with Judah, and returned home blazing with anger.

11 Amaziah now assumed command of his army. They proceeded to the Valley of Salt, where they killed ten thousand men of Seir. 12 The Judahites also brought back another ten thousand alive, led them to the summit of Sela, and then threw them down from that rock[a] so that their bodies split open. 13 Meanwhile, the troops Amaziah had dismissed from going into battle with him raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth-horon. They struck down three thousand of the inhabitants and carried off much plunder.

Amaziah’s Apostasy. 14 When Amaziah returned from his conquest of the Edomites he brought back with him the gods of the people of Seir. He set these up as his own gods; he bowed down before them and offered sacrifice to them. 15 Then the anger of the Lord blazed out against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him who said: “Why have you sought this people’s gods that could not deliver their own people from your power?” 16 While he was still speaking, however, the king said to him: “Have you been appointed the king’s counselor? Stop! Why should you have to be killed?” Therefore the prophet stopped. But he said, “I know that God’s counsel is your destruction, for by doing this you have refused to listen to my counsel.”

Amaziah Punished. 17 Having taken counsel, Amaziah, king of Judah, sent word to Joash, son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, the king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us meet face to face.” 18 Joash, king of Israel, sent this reply to Amaziah, king of Judah: “A thistle of Lebanon sent word to a cedar of Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage,’ but an animal of Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle underfoot. 19 You are thinking,

‘See, I have struck down Edom!’
    Your heart is lifted up,
And glories in it. Stay home!
Why bring misfortune and failure
    on yourself and on Judah with you?”

20 But Amaziah did not listen; for it was God’s doing that they be handed over because they sought the gods of Edom.

21 So Joash, king of Israel, advanced, and he and Amaziah, king of Judah, met face to face at Beth-shemesh of Judah, 22 and Judah was defeated by Israel, and all fled to their tents. 23 But Amaziah, king of Judah, son of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, was captured by Joash, king of Israel, at Beth-shemesh. Joash brought him to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, four hundred cubits. 24 He took all the gold and silver and all the vessels found in the house of God with Obed-edom,[b] and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and hostages as well. Then he returned to Samaria.

25 Amaziah, son of Joash, king of Judah, survived Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, by fifteen years. 26 The rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, are recorded in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Now from the time that Amaziah turned away from the Lord, a conspiracy was formed against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But he was pursued to Lachish and killed there. 28 He was brought back on horses and was buried with his ancestors in the City of Judah.[c]

Chapter 26

Uzziah’s Projects. All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was only sixteen years old, and made him king to succeed Amaziah his father. It was he who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his ancestors. Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah, from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, just as his father Amaziah had done.

He was prepared to seek God as long as Zechariah[d] lived, who taught him to fear God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. He went out and fought the Philistines and razed the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, and built cities in the district of Ashdod and in Philistia. God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabians who dwelt in Gurbaal, and against the Meunites. The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah and his fame spread as far as Egypt, for he grew stronger and stronger. Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the Angle, and he fortified them. 10 He built towers in the wilderness and dug numerous cisterns, for he had many cattle. He had plowmen in the Shephelah and the plains, farmers and vinedressers in the highlands and the garden land. He was a lover of the soil.

11 Uzziah also had a standing army of fit soldiers divided into bands according to the number in which they were mustered by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the recorder, under the command of Hananiah, one of the king’s officials. 12 The entire number of family heads over these valiant warriors was two thousand six hundred, 13 and at their disposal was a mighty army of three hundred seven thousand five hundred fighting men of great valor to help the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah provided for them—for the entire army—bucklers, lances, helmets, breastplates, bows, and slingstones. 15 He also built machines in Jerusalem, devices designed to stand on the towers and at the angles of the walls to shoot arrows and cast large stones. His name spread far and wide; the help he received was wondrous, so strong did he become.

Pride and Fall. 16 But after he had become strong, he became arrogant to his own destruction and acted treacherously with the Lord, his God. He entered the temple of the Lord to make an offering on the altar of incense. 17 But Azariah the priest, and with him eighty other priests of the Lord, courageous men, followed him. 18 They stood up to King Uzziah, saying to him: “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who have been consecrated for this purpose. Leave the sanctuary, for you have acted treacherously and no longer have a part in the glory that comes from the Lord God.” 19 Uzziah, who was holding a censer for burning the incense, became angry. But at the very moment he showed his anger to the priests, while they were looking at him in the house of the Lord beside the altar of incense, leprosy broke out on his forehead. 20 Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests examined him, and when they saw that his forehead was leprous, they rushed him out. He let himself be expelled, for the Lord had afflicted him. 21 King Uzziah remained a leper till the day he died. As a leper he lived in a house apart, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. Therefore his son Jotham was master of the palace and ruled the people of the land.

22 The rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, were written by Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the field adjoining the royal cemetery, for they said, “He was a leper.” His son Jotham succeeded him as king.

Chapter 27

Jotham. Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha, daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, just as his father Uzziah had done, though he did not enter the temple of the Lord. The people, however, continued to act corruptly.

It was he who built the Upper Gate of the Lord’s house and did much construction on the wall of Ophel. Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the wooded areas he set up fortresses and towers. He fought with the king of the Ammonites and conquered them. That year the Ammonites paid him one hundred talents of silver, together with ten thousand kors of wheat and ten thousand of barley. They brought the same to him also in the second and in the third year. Thus Jotham continued to grow strong because he made sure to walk before the Lord, his God. The rest of the acts of Jotham, his wars and his activities, are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David, and his son Ahaz succeeded him as king.

Footnotes:

  1. 25:12 Sela…rock: a pun—the name of the city, Sela, in Hebrew means “rock.”
  2. 25:24 With Obed-edom: perhaps an Edomite priest (cf. v. 14), or possibly a member of a levitical family of gatekeepers; cf. 1 Chr 15:18; 26:12–15.
  3. 25:28 The City of Judah: i.e., Jerusalem, the capital of Judah; the parallel passage (2 Kgs 14:20) reads “the City of David.”
  4. 26:5 Zechariah: not otherwise identified, but cf. 29:1.
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 21:1-15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 21

A king’s heart is channeled water in the hand of the Lord;
    God directs it where he pleases.[a]
All your ways may be straight in your own eyes,
    but it is the Lord who weighs hearts.
To do what is right and just
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.[b]
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
    the lamp of the wicked will fail.[c]
The plans of the diligent end in profit,
    but those of the hasty end in loss.[d]
Trying to get rich by lying
    is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is right.
One’s path may be winding and unfamiliar,
    but one’s conduct is blameless and right.[e]
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop
    than in a mansion with a quarrelsome woman.[f]
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    their neighbor finds no pity in their eyes.
11 When scoffers are punished the naive become wise;
    when the wise succeed, they gain knowledge.
12 The Righteous One appraises the house of the wicked,
    bringing down the wicked to ruin.[g]
13 Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor
    will themselves call out and not be answered.
14 A secret gift allays anger,
    and a present concealed, violent wrath.[h]
15 When justice is done it is a joy for the just,
    downfall for evildoers.[i]

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1 “Channeled water” in Is 32:2 and Prv 5:16 is water that fertilizes arid land. It takes great skill to direct water, whether it be water to fertilize fields or cosmic floods harnessed at creation, for water is powerful and seems to have a mind of its own. It also requires great skill to direct the heart of a king, for it is inscrutable and beyond ordinary human control.
  2. 21:3 External rites or sacrifices do not please God unless accompanied by internal worship and right moral conduct; cf. 15:8; 21:27; Is 1:11–15; Am 5:22; Mal 1:12.
  3. 21:4 Heart and eyes depict, respectively, the inner and the outer person. “Haughty eyes” peering out from a “proud heart” show a thoroughly arrogant person. How can such a person flourish! Their lamp, which signifies life, will go out.
  4. 21:5 The antitheses are diligent and impetuous. The metaphor characterizing each type is taken from the world of commerce. Planning is important; bustle leads to waste.
  5. 21:8 One cannot always read others’ hearts from their behavior. Unconventional conduct need not indicate evil motives.
  6. 21:9 In Proverbs, two great obstacles to a happy household are foolish children and quarrelsome spouses. The nagging wife is also mentioned in 19:13 and 27:15; 25:24 is a duplicate.
  7. 21:12 It is difficult to ascertain the subject of the saying. Some hold it is the Lord, the “Righteous One,” who is normally the executor of justice in Proverbs. Others believe it is the just person who is the agent of divine justice. “Righteous One” is a title for God in Is 24:16. The best argument for making God the subject of the verb is that elsewhere in Proverbs righteous human beings never do anything to the wicked; only God does.
  8. 21:14 Proverbs offers several remedies for anger—a soft word (15:1), patience, and a bribe. The last remedy implies a certain disdain for the disordered passion of anger, for it can be so easily assuaged by a discreetly offered “gift.”
  9. 21:15 The second line is a duplicate of 10:29b.
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 13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

Obedience to Authority.[a] Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Love Fulfills the Law.[b] Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Awareness of the End of Time.[c] 11 And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; 12 the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light; 13 let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,[d] not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1–7 Paul must come to grips with the problem raised by a message that declares people free from the law. How are they to relate to Roman authority? The problem was exacerbated by the fact that imperial protocol was interwoven with devotion to various deities. Paul builds on the traditional instruction exhibited in Wis 6:1–3, according to which kings and magistrates rule by consent of God. From this perspective, then, believers who render obedience to the governing authorities are obeying the one who is highest in command. At the same time, it is recognized that Caesar has the responsibility to make just ordinances and to commend uprightness; cf. Wis 6:4–21. That Caesar is not entitled to obedience when such obedience would nullify God’s prior claim to the believers’ moral decision becomes clear in the light of the following verses.
  2. 13:8–10 When love directs the Christian’s moral decisions, the interest of law in basic concerns, such as familial relationships, sanctity of life, and security of property, is safeguarded (Rom 13:9). Indeed, says Paul, the same applies to any other commandment (Rom 13:9), whether one in the Mosaic code or one drawn up by local magistrates under imperial authority. Love anticipates the purpose of public legislation, namely, to secure the best interests of the citizenry. Since Caesar’s obligation is to punish the wrongdoer (Rom 13:4), the Christian who acts in love is free from all legitimate indictment.
  3. 13:11–14 These verses provide the motivation for the love that is encouraged in Rom 13:8–10.
  4. 13:13 Let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day: the behavior described in Rom 1:29–30 is now to be reversed. Secular moralists were fond of making references to people who could not wait for nightfall to do their carousing. Paul says that Christians claim to be people of the new day that will dawn with the return of Christ. Instead of planning for nighttime behavior they should be concentrating on conduct that is consonant with avowed interest in the Lord’s return.
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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