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2 Samuel 13-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

Amnon’s Rape of Tamar. After this, the following occurred. David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David’s son Amnon loved her. He was in such anguish over his sister Tamar that he became sick; she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it impossible to do anything to her. Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, son of David’s brother Shimeah, who was very clever.[a] He asked him, “Prince, why are you so dejected morning after morning? Why not tell me?” So Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” Then Jonadab replied, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to visit you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and encourage me to take food. If she prepares something in my presence, for me to see, I will eat it from her hand.’” So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to visit him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and prepare some fried cakes before my eyes, that I may take food from her hand.”

David then sent home a message to Tamar, “Please go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was in bed. Taking dough and kneading it, she twisted it into cakes before his eyes and fried the cakes. Then she took the pan and set out the cakes before him. But Amnon would not eat; he said, “Have everyone leave me.” When they had all left him, 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may have it from your hand.” So Tamar picked up the cakes she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom. 11 But when she brought them close to him so he could eat, he seized her and said to her, “Come! Lie with me, my sister!” 12 But she answered him, “No, my brother! Do not force me! This is not done in Israel. Do not commit this terrible crime. 13 Where would I take my shame? And you would be labeled a fool in Israel.[b] So please, speak to the king; he will not keep me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her; he was too strong for her: he forced her down and raped her. 15 Then Amnon felt intense hatred for her; the hatred he felt for her far surpassed the love he had had for her. Amnon said to her, “Get up, leave.” 16 She replied, “No, brother, because sending me away would be far worse than this evil thing you have done to me.” He would not listen to her, 17 but called the youth who was his attendant and said, “Send this girl outside, away from me, and bar the door after her.” 18 Now she had on a long tunic, for that is how virgin princesses dressed in olden days. When his attendant put her out and barred the door after her, 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long tunic in which she was clothed. Then, putting her hands to her head, she went away crying loudly. 20 Her brother Absalom said to her: “Has your brother Amnon been with you? Keep still now, my sister; he is your brother. Do not take this so to heart.” So Tamar remained, devastated, in the house of her brother Absalom. 21 King David, when he heard of the whole affair, became very angry. He would not, however, antagonize Amnon, his high-spirited son; he loved him, because he was his firstborn. 22 And Absalom said nothing, good or bad, to Amnon; but Absalom hated Amnon for having humiliated his sister Tamar.

Absalom’s Plot. 23 Two years went by. It was sheep-shearing time for Absalom in Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom went to the king and said: “Your servant has hired the shearers. Please, may the king come with all his servants to your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, all of us should not go lest we be a burden to you.” And though Absalom urged him, he would not go but began to bid him good-bye. 26 Absalom then said, “If not you, then please let my brother Amnon come with us.” The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But at Absalom’s urging, the king sent Amnon and with him all his other sons. Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king. 28 But Absalom had instructed his attendants: “Now watch! When Amnon is merry with wine and I say to you, ‘Kill Amnon,’ put him to death. Do not be afraid, for it is I who order you to do it. Be strong and act like warriors.”

Death of Amnon. 29 When the attendants did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded, all the king’s other sons rose up, mounted their mules, and fled. 30 While they were still on the road, a report reached David: “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons and not one of them is left.” 31 The king stood up, tore his garments, and lay on the ground. All his servants standing by him also tore their garments. 32 But Jonadab, son of David’s brother Shimeah, spoke up: “Let not my lord think that all the young men, the king’s sons, have been killed! Amnon alone is dead, for Absalom was set on this ever since Amnon humiliated his sister Tamar. 33 Now let my lord the king not take so to heart that report, ‘All the king’s sons are dead.’ Amnon alone is dead.” 34 Meanwhile, Absalom had taken flight. Then the servant on watch looked out and saw a large group coming down the slope from the direction of Bahurim. He came in and reported this to the king: “I saw some men coming down the mountainside from the direction of Bahurim.” 35 So Jonadab said to the king: “There! The king’s sons have come. It is as your servant said.” 36 No sooner had he finished speaking than the king’s sons came in, weeping aloud. The king, too, and all his servants wept very bitterly. 37 But Absalom, who had taken flight, went to Talmai, son of Ammihud, king of Geshur, 38 and stayed in Geshur for three years. 39 All that time the king continued to mourn his son; but his intention of going out against Absalom abated as he was consoled over the death of Amnon.

Chapter 14

The Wise Woman of Tekoa. Now Joab, son of Zeruiah, knew how the king felt toward Absalom. Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman, to whom he said: “Pretend to be in mourning. Put on mourning apparel and do not anoint yourself with oil, that you may appear to be a woman who has long been mourning someone dead. Then go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” And Joab told her what to say.

So the woman of Tekoa went to the king and fell to the ground in homage, saying, “Help, O king!” The king said to her, “What do you want?” She replied: “Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. Your servant had two sons, who quarreled in the field, with no one to part them, and one of them struck his brother and killed him. Then the whole clan confronted your servant and demanded: ‘Give up the one who struck down his brother. We must put him to death for the life of his brother whom he has killed; we must do away with the heir also.’ Thus they will quench my remaining hope[c] and leave my husband neither name nor posterity upon the earth.” The king then said to the woman: “Go home. I will issue a command on your behalf.” The woman of Tekoa answered him, “Upon me and my family be the blame, my lord king; the king and his throne are innocent.” 10 Then the king said, “If anyone says a word to you, have him brought to me, and he shall not touch you again.” 11 But she said, “Please, let the king remember the Lord your God, that the avenger of blood may not go too far in destruction and that my son may not be done away with.” He replied, “As the Lord lives, not a hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”

12 But the woman continued, “Please let your servant say still another word to my lord the king.” He replied, “Speak.” 13 So the woman said: “Why, then, do you think the way you do against the people of God? In pronouncing as he has, the king shows himself guilty, in not bringing back his own banished son. 14 We must indeed die; we are then like water that is poured out on the ground and cannot be gathered up. Yet, though God does not bring back to life, he does devise means so as not to banish[d] anyone from him. 15 And now, if I have presumed to speak to the king of this matter, it is because the people have given me cause to fear. And so your servant thought: ‘Let me speak to the king. Perhaps he will grant the petition of his servant. 16 For the king must surely listen and rescue his servant from the grasp of one who would destroy both me and my son from the heritage of God.’ 17 And your servant says, ‘Let the word of my lord the king lead to rest;[e] indeed, my lord the king is like an angel of God, discerning good and evil. The Lord your God be with you.’”

18 The king answered the woman, “Now do not conceal from me anything I may ask you!” The woman said, “Let my lord the king speak.” 19 So the king asked, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman answered: “As you live, my lord the king, it is just as my lord has said, and not otherwise. It was your servant Joab who instructed me and told your servant all these things she was to say. 20 Your servant Joab did this in order to approach the matter in a roundabout way. But my lord is wise with the wisdom of an angel of God, knowing all things on earth.”

Absalom’s Return. 21 Then the king said to Joab: “I am granting this request. Go and bring back young Absalom.” 22 Falling to the ground in homage and blessing the king, Joab said, “This day your servant knows that I am in good favor with you, my lord king, since the king has granted the request of your servant.” 23 Joab then went off to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 But the king said, “Let him go off to his own house; he shall not appear before[f] me.” So Absalom went off to his house and did not appear before the king.

25 In all Israel there was no man more praised for his beauty than Absalom, flawless from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 26 When he shaved his head—as he used to do at the end of every year, because his hair became too heavy for him—the hair weighed two hundred shekels according to the royal standard. 27 Absalom had three sons born to him, besides a daughter named Tamar, who was a beautiful woman.

Absalom Is Pardoned. 28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without appearing before the king. 29 Then he sent a message asking Joab to send him to the king, but Joab would not come to him. Although he asked him a second time, Joab would not come. 30 He therefore instructed his servants: “You see Joab’s field that borders mine, where he has barley. Go, set it on fire.” And so Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. Joab’s farmhands came to him with torn garments and told him, “Absalom’s servants set your field on fire.” 31 Joab went to Absalom in his house and asked him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom answered Joab: “I sent you a message: Come here, that I may send you to the king to say: ‘Why did I come back from Geshur? I would be better off if I were still there!’ Now, let me appear before the king. If I am guilty, let him put me to death.” 33 Joab went to the king and reported this. The king then called Absalom; he came to him and in homage fell on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed Absalom.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:3 Clever: lit., “wise.” Jonadab’s “wisdom” extends only to sly cleverness in getting things done; he devises the plan that will enable Amnon to pursue his infatuation. In the categories of the Old Testament wisdom tradition, Jonadab is a fool.
  2. 13:13 A fool in Israel: a play on nebala (v. 12), “terrible crime,” lit., “folly.”
  3. 14:7 Hope: lit., “glowing coal.” The image is similar to that of a lighted lamp, e.g., Ps 132:17, or small hearth fire, to keep alive the ancestral name.
  4. 14:14 Not to banish: a possible allusion to the religious institution of cities of refuge for involuntary murderers; see Nm 35:9–15.
  5. 14:17 Rest: cf. Ru 1:9; Ps 95:11; Mi 2:10. The reference here is to a return home for Absalom.
  6. 14:24 Appear before: lit., “see the face of,” a term from court etiquette; so also in vv. 28, 32.
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 137 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 137[a]

Sorrow and Hope in Exile

I

By the rivers of Babylon
    there we sat weeping
    when we remembered Zion.
On the poplars in its midst
    we hung up our harps.
For there our captors asked us
    for the words of a song;
Our tormentors, for joy:
    “Sing for us a song of Zion!”
But how could we sing a song of the Lord
    in a foreign land?

II

If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget.
May my tongue stick to my palate
    if I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
    beyond all my delights.

III

Remember, Lord, against Edom
    that day at Jerusalem.
They said: “Level it, level it
    down to its foundations!”
Desolate Daughter Babylon, you shall be destroyed,
    blessed the one who pays you back
    what you have done us!
[b]Blessed the one who seizes your children
    and smashes them against the rock.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 137 A singer refuses to sing the people’s sacred songs in an alien land despite demands from Babylonian captors (Ps 137:1–4). The singer swears an oath by what is most dear to a musician—hands and tongue—to exalt Jerusalem always (Ps 137:5–6). The Psalm ends with a prayer that the old enemies of Jerusalem, Edom and Babylon, be destroyed (Ps 137:7–9).
  2. 137:9 Blessed the one who seizes your children and smashes them against the rock: the children represent the future generations, and so must be destroyed if the enemy is truly to be eradicated.
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 14:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

The Conspiracy Against Jesus. [a]The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread[b] were to take place in two days’ time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death. They said, “Not during the festival, for fear that there may be a riot among the people.”

The Anointing at Bethany.[c] When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her. Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial. Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

The Betrayal by Judas. 10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them. 11 When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money. Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

Preparations for the Passover. 12 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,[d] his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water.[e] Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16 The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Betrayer. 17 When it was evening, he came with the Twelve. 18 [f]And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him, one by one, “Surely it is not I?” 20 He said to them, “One of the Twelve, the one who dips with me into the dish. 21 For the Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,[g] but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1–16:8 In the movement of Mark’s gospel the cross is depicted as Jesus’ way to glory in accordance with the divine will. Thus the passion narrative is seen as the climax of Jesus’ ministry.
  2. 14:1 The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: the connection between the two festivals is reflected in Ex 12:3–20; 34:18; Lv 23:4–8; Nm 9:2–14; 28:16–17; Dt 16:1–8. The Passover commemorated the redemption from slavery and the departure of the Israelites from Egypt by night. It began at sundown after the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the temple in the afternoon of the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan. With the Passover supper on the same evening was associated the eating of unleavened bread. The latter was continued through Nisan 21, a reminder of the affliction of the Israelites and of the haste surrounding their departure. Praise and thanks to God for his goodness in the past were combined at this dual festival with the hope of future salvation. The chief priests…to death: the intent to put Jesus to death was plotted for a long time but delayed for fear of the crowd (Mk 3:6; 11:18; 12:12).
  3. 14:3 At Bethany on the Mount of Olives, a few miles from Jerusalem, in the house of Simon the leper, Jesus defends a woman’s loving action of anointing his head with perfumed oil in view of his impending death and burial as a criminal, in which case his body would not be anointed. See further the note on Jn 12:7. He assures the woman of the remembrance of her deed in the worldwide preaching of the good news.
  4. 14:12 The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread…the Passover lamb: a less precise designation of the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb as evidenced by some rabbinical literature. For a more exact designation, see note on Mk 14:1. It was actually Nisan 14.
  5. 14:13 A man…carrying a jar of water: perhaps a prearranged signal, for only women ordinarily carried water in jars. The Greek word used here, however, implies simply a person and not necessarily a male.
  6. 14:18 One of you will betray me, one who is eating with me: contrasts the intimacy of table fellowship at the Passover meal with the treachery of the traitor; cf. Ps 41:10.
  7. 14:21 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him: a reference to Ps 41:10 cited by Jesus concerning Judas at the Last Supper; cf. Jn 13:18–19.
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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