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2 Chronicles 32-33 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 32

Sennacherib’s Invasion. But after all this and all Hezekiah’s fidelity, there came Sennacherib, king of Assyria. He invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, intending to breach and take them. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was coming with the intention of attacking Jerusalem, he took the advice of his princes and warriors to stop the waters of the springs outside the city; they promised their help. A large force was gathered and stopped all the springs and also the stream running nearby. For they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find an abundance of water?” He then looked to his defenses: he rebuilt the wall where it was broken down, raised towers upon it, and built another wall outside. He strengthened the Millo of the City of David and made a great number of spears and shields. Then he appointed army commanders over the people. He gathered them together in his presence in the open space at the gate of the city and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and steadfast; do not be afraid or dismayed because of the king of Assyria and all the horde coming with him, for there is more with us than with him. He has only an arm of flesh, but we have the Lord, our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

Threat of Sennacherib. After this, while Sennacherib, king of Assyria, himself remained at Lachish with all his forces, he sent his officials to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all the Judahites who were in Jerusalem: 10 “Thus says Sennacherib, king of Assyria: In what are you trusting, now that you are under siege in Jerusalem? 11 Is not Hezekiah deceiving you, delivering you over to a death of famine and thirst, by his claim that ‘the Lord, our God, will rescue us from the grasp of the king of Assyria’? 12 Has not this same Hezekiah removed the Lord’s own high places and altars and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall bow down before one altar only, and on it alone you shall offer incense’? 13 Do you not know what my fathers and I have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations in those lands able to rescue their lands from my hand? 14 Who among all the gods of those nations which my fathers put under the ban was able to rescue their people from my hand? Will your god, then, be able to rescue you from my hand? 15 Let not Hezekiah mislead you further and deceive you in any such way. Do not believe him! Since no other god of any other nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my hand or the hands of my fathers, how much the less shall your god rescue you from my hand!”

16 His officials said still more against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah, 17 for he had written letters to deride the Lord, the God of Israel, speaking of him in these terms: “As the gods of the nations in other lands have not rescued their people from my hand, neither shall Hezekiah’s god rescue his people from my hand.” 18 In a loud voice they shouted in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them so that they might capture their city. 19 They spoke of the God of Israel as though he were one of the gods of the other peoples of the earth, a work of human hands. 20 But because of this, King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven.

Sennacherib’s Defeat. 21 Then the Lord sent an angel, who destroyed every warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the Assyrian king, so that he had to return shamefaced to his own country. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down there with the sword. 22 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, as from every other power; he gave them rest on every side. 23 Many brought gifts for the Lord to Jerusalem and costly objects for Hezekiah, king of Judah, who thereafter was exalted in the eyes of all the nations.

Hezekiah’s Later Reign. 24 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him by giving him a sign. 25 Hezekiah, however, did not respond with like generosity, for he had become arrogant. Therefore wrath descended upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But then Hezekiah humbled himself for his pride—both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and therefore the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them during the time of Hezekiah.

27 Hezekiah possessed very great wealth and glory. He made treasuries for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, jewels, and other precious things of all kinds; 28 also storehouses for the harvest of grain, for wine and oil, and barns for the various kinds of cattle and flocks. 29 He built cities for himself, and he acquired sheep and oxen in great numbers, for God gave him very great riches. 30 This same Hezekiah stopped the upper outlet for water from Gihon and redirected it underground westward to the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 Nevertheless, in respect to the ambassadors of the Babylonian officials who were sent to him to investigate the sign that had occurred in the land, God abandoned him as a test, to know all that was in his heart.

32 The rest of Hezekiah’s acts, including his good deeds, are recorded in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors; he was buried at the approach to the tombs[a] of the descendants of David. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem paid him honor at his death. His son Manasseh succeeded him as king.

Chapter 33

Manasseh’s Impiety. Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had torn down. He set up altars to the Baals, and also made asherahs. He bowed down to the whole host of heaven and served them. He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said: In Jerusalem shall my name be forever; and he built altars to the whole host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. It was he, too, who immolated his children by fire in the Valley of Ben-hinnom. He practiced soothsaying and divination, and reintroduced the consulting of ghosts and spirits.

He did much evil in the Lord’s sight and provoked him to anger. An idol he had made he placed in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon: In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I shall set my name forever. I will no longer make Israel step out of the land I assigned to your ancestors, provided that they are careful to observe all I commanded them, the entire law, the statutes, and the ordinances given by Moses.

Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into doing even greater evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed at the coming of the Israelites. 10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.

Manasseh’s Conversion. 11 Therefore the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the Assyrian king; they captured Manasseh with hooks, shackled him with chains, and transported him to Babylon.[b] 12 In his distress, he began to appease the Lord, his God. He humbled himself abjectly before the God of his ancestors, 13 and prayed to him.[c] The Lord let himself be won over: he heard his prayer and restored him to his kingdom in Jerusalem. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is indeed God.

14 Afterward he built an outer wall for the City of David to the west of Gihon in the valley, extending to the Fish Gate and encircling Ophel; he built it very high. He stationed army officers in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He removed the foreign gods and the idol from the Lord’s house and all the altars he had built on the mount of the Lord’s house and in Jerusalem, and cast them outside the city. 16 He restored the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed on it communion offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 Though the people continued to sacrifice on the high places, they now did so to the Lord, their God.

18 The rest of the acts of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are written in the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer and how his supplication was heard, all his sins and his treachery, the sites where he built high places and set up asherahs and carved images before he humbled himself, all this is recorded in the chronicles of his seers. 20 Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his own palace. His son Amon succeeded him as king.

Reign of Amon. 21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon offered sacrifice to all the idols his father Manasseh had made, and served them. 23 Moreover, he did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh had humbled himself; on the contrary, Amon only increased his guilt. 24 His officials plotted against him and put him to death in his palace, 25 but the people of the land then slew all who had plotted against King Amon, and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his stead.

Footnotes:

  1. 32:33 The approach to the tombs: lit., “the ascent of the tombs,” perhaps “the upper section of the tombs,” i.e., their most prominent and honored place.
  2. 33:11 There is no evidence elsewhere for such an imprisonment of King Manasseh in Babylon. According to the Assyrian inscriptions, however, Manasseh did pay tribute to the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon (680–669 B.C.) and Asshurbanipal (668–627 B.C.). He may well then have been obliged to go to Nineveh, Assyria’s capital (rather than to Babylon as the Chronicler has it), to take his oath of allegiance as vassal to the king of Assyria.
  3. 33:13 And prayed to him: these words inspired an unknown writer to compose the apocryphal “Prayer of Manasseh,” which since the Council of Trent appears as an appendix to many editions of the Vulgate Bible and is used in the Church’s liturgy.
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 22:17-29 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

IV. Sayings of the Wise[a]

17     The Words of the Wise:[b]
Incline your ear, and hear my words,
    and let your mind attend to my teaching;
18 For it will be well if you hold them within you,
    if they all are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
    I make them known to you today—yes, to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings,
    containing counsels and knowledge,
21 To teach you truly
    how to give a dependable report to one who sends you?
22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor,
    nor crush the needy at the gate;[c]
23 For the Lord will defend their cause,
    and will plunder those who plunder them.
24 Do not be friendly with hotheads,
    nor associate with the wrathful,
25 Lest you learn their ways,
    and become ensnared.
26 Do not be one of those who give their hand in pledge,
    those who become surety for debts;
27 For if you are unable to pay,
    your bed will be taken from under you.[d]
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark[e]
    that your ancestors set up.
29 Do you see those skilled at their work?
    They will stand in the presence of kings,
    but not in the presence of the obscure.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:17–24:22

    This collection consists of an introduction (22:17–21) urging openness and stating the purpose of the Words and diverse admonitions, aphorisms, and counsels. It is written with faith in the Lord, shrewdness, and a satirical eye. The first part seems aimed at young people intent on a career (22:22–23:11); the second is taken up with the concerns of youth (23:12–35); the third part is interested in the ultimate fate of the good and the wicked (24:1–22). The whole can be described as a guidebook of professional ethics. The aim is to inculcate trust in the Lord and to help readers avoid trouble and advance their careers by living according to wisdom. Its outlook is very practical: avoid bad companions because in time you will take on some of their qualities; do not post bond for others because you yourself will be encumbered; do not promote yourself too aggressively because such promotion is self-defeating; do not abuse sex or alcohol because they will harm you; do not emulate your peers if they are wicked (23:14; 24:1, 19) because such people have no future. Rather, trust the vocation of a sage (22:29–23:9).

    The Egyptian Instructions of Amenemope (written ca. 1100 B.C.) was discovered in 1923. Scholars immediately recognized it as a source of Prv 22:17–23:11. The Egyptian work has thirty chapters (cf. Prv 22:20); its preface resembled Prv 22:17–21; its first two admonitions matched the first two in Proverbs (Prv 22:22–25). There are many other resemblances as well, some of which are pointed out in the notes. The instruction of a father to his son (or an administrator to his successor) was a well-known genre in Egypt; seventeen works are extant, spanning the period from 2500 B.C. to the first century A.D. The instructions aimed to help a young person live a happy and prosperous life and avoid mistakes that cause difficulties. They make concrete and pragmatic suggestions rather than hold up abstract ideals. Pragmatic though they were, the instructions were religious; they assumed that the gods implanted an order in the world (Egyptian maat), which is found both in nature and in the human world. Amenemope represents a stage in the development of the Egyptian genre, displaying a new inwardness and quest for serenity while still assuming that the practice of virtue brings worldly success. Proverbs borrows from the Egyptian work with great freedom: it does not, for example, import as such the Egyptian concept of order; it engages the reader with its characteristic wit, irony, and paradox (e.g., 22:26–27; 23:1–3).

  2. 22:17–23:35 The maxims warn against: robbing the poor and defenseless (22:22–23), anger (22:24–25), giving surety for debts (22:26–27), advancing oneself by socializing with rulers (23:1–2), anxiety for riches (23:4–5), forcing oneself on a grudging host (23:6–8), intemperance in food and drink (23:19–21, 29–35), and adultery (23:26–28). They exhort to: careful workmanship (22:29), respect for the rights of orphans (23:10–11), correction of the young (23:13–14), filial piety (23:15–16, 22–25), and fear of the Lord (23:17–18).
  3. 22:22 At the gate: of the city, where justice was administered and public affairs discussed; cf. Ru 4:1. Cf. also Ps 69:13; 127:5; Prv 24:7; 31:23, 31. The Lord will personally avenge those who have no one to defend them.
  4. 22:27 Providing surety for a debtor puts one in danger of having the very basics of one’s life suddenly seized.
  5. 22:28 Landmark: marks the boundary of property. To remove it is the equivalent of stealing land. A similar warning is contained in 23:10.
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 16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 16

Phoebe Commended. [a]I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is [also] a minister[b] of the church at Cenchreae, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a benefactor to many and to me as well.

Paul’s Greetings. Greet Prisca and Aquila,[c] my co-workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles; greet also the church at their house.[d] Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the firstfruits in Asia for Christ. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia,[e] my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greet my relative Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus,[f] chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the holy ones who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Against Factions. 17 [g]I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. 18 For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent. 19 For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise as to what is good, and simple as to what is evil; 20 then the God of peace will quickly crush Satan[h] under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Greetings from Corinth. 21 Timothy, my co-worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives. 22 I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus,[i] the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus greet you. [24 ][j]

Doxology.[k] [25 Now to him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages[l] 26 but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen.]

Footnotes:

  1. 16:1–23 Some authorities regard these verses as a later addition to the letter, but in general the evidence favors the view that they were included in the original. Paul endeavors through the long list of greetings (Rom 16:3–16, 21–23) to establish strong personal contact with congregations that he has not personally encountered before. The combination of Jewish and Gentile names dramatically attests the unity in the gospel that transcends previous barriers of nationality, religious ceremony, or racial status.
  2. 16:1 Minister: in Greek, diakonos; see note on Phil 1:1.
  3. 16:3 Prisca and Aquila: presumably the couple mentioned at Acts 18:2; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tm 4:19.
  4. 16:5 The church at their house: i.e., that meets there. Such local assemblies (cf. 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phlm 2) might consist of only one or two dozen Christians each. It is understandable, therefore, that such smaller groups might experience difficulty in relating to one another on certain issues. Firstfruits: cf. Rom 8:23; 11:16; 1 Cor 16:15.
  5. 16:7 The name Junia is a woman’s name. One ancient Greek manuscript and a number of ancient versions read the name “Julia.” Most editors have interpreted it as a man’s name, Junias.
  6. 16:13 This Rufus cannot be identified to any degree of certainty with the Rufus of Mk 15:21.
  7. 16:17–18 Paul displays genuine concern for the congregations in Rome by warning them against self-seeking teachers. It would be a great loss, he intimates, if their obedience, which is known to all (cf. Rom 1:8), would be diluted.
  8. 16:20 This verse contains the only mention of Satan in Romans.
  9. 16:23 This Erastus is not necessarily to be identified with the Erastus of Acts 19:22 or of 2 Tm 4:20.
  10. 16:24 Some manuscripts add, similarly to Rom 16:20, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
  11. 16:25–27 This doxology is assigned variously to the end of Rom 14; 15; 16 in the manuscript tradition. Some manuscripts omit it entirely. Whether written by Paul or not, it forms an admirable conclusion to the letter at this point.
  12. 16:25 Paul’s gospel reveals the mystery kept secret for long ages: justification and salvation through faith, with all the implications for Jews and Gentiles that Paul has developed in the letter.
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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