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2 Samuel 17-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

Ahithophel went on to say to Absalom: “Let me choose twelve thousand men and be off in pursuit of David tonight. If I come upon him when he is weary and discouraged, I shall cause him panic, and all the people with him will flee, and I shall strike down the king alone. Then I can bring back the rest of the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband. It is the death of only one man you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace.” This plan sounded good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

Counsel of Hushai. Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also; let us hear what he too has to say.” When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him: “This is Ahithophel’s plan. Shall we follow his plan? If not, give your own.” Hushai replied to Absalom, “This time Ahithophel has not given good counsel.” And he went on to say: “You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are as fierce as a bear in the wild robbed of her cubs. Moreover, since your father is a skilled fighter, he will not spend the night with the army. Even now he lies hidden in one of the caves or in one of his other places. And if some of our soldiers should fall at the first attack, whoever hears of it will say, ‘Absalom’s followers have been slaughtered.’ 10 Then even the brave man with the heart of a lion—his heart will melt. For all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and those who are with him are brave. 11 This is what I counsel: Let all Israel be assembled, from Dan to Beer-sheba, as numerous as the sands by the sea, and you yourself go with them. 12 We can then attack him wherever we find him, settling down upon him as dew alights on the ground. None shall survive—neither he nor any of his followers. 13 And if he retires into a city, all Israel shall bring ropes to that city and we can drag it into the gorge, so that not even a pebble of it can be found.” 14 Then Absalom and all the Israelites said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had commanded that Ahithophel’s good counsel should be thwarted, so that he might bring Absalom to ruin.

David Told of the Plan. 15 Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar: “This is the counsel Ahithophel gave Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I counseled. 16 So send a warning to David immediately: ‘Do not spend the night at the fords near the wilderness, but cross over without fail. Otherwise the king and all the people with him will be destroyed.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel. A maidservant was to come with information for them, and they in turn were to go and report to King David. They could not risk being seen entering the city, 18 but an attendant did see them and informed Absalom. They hurried on their way and reached the house of a man in Bahurim who had a cistern in his courtyard. They let themselves down into it, 19 and the woman took the cover and spread it over the mouth of the cistern, strewing crushed grain on the cover so that nothing could be noticed. 20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied, “They went by a short while ago toward the water.” They searched, but found no one, and so returned to Jerusalem. 21 As soon as they left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan came up out of the cistern and went on to report to King David. They said to him: “Leave! Cross the water at once, for Ahithophel has given such and such counsel in regard to you.” 22 So David and all his people moved on and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, there was no one left who had not crossed.

23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not acted upon, he saddled his donkey and departed, going to his home in his own city. Then, having left orders concerning his household, he hanged himself. And so he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.

24 Now David had arrived at Mahanaim while Absalom crossed the Jordan accompanied by all the Israelites. 25 Absalom had put Amasa in command of the army in Joab’s place. Amasa was the son of an Ishmaelite named Ithra, who had married Abigail, daughter of Jesse and sister of Joab’s mother Zeruiah. 26 Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi, son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir, son of Ammiel from Lodebar, and Barzillai, the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds and covers, basins and pottery, as well as wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, 29 honey, and butter and cheese from the flocks and herds, for David and those who were with him to eat; for they said, “The people will be hungry and tired and thirsty in the wilderness.”

Chapter 18

Preparation for Battle. After mustering the troops he had with him, David placed officers in command of units of a thousand and units of a hundred. David then divided the troops three ways, a third under Joab, a third under Abishai, son of Zeruiah and brother of Joab, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the troops, “I intend to go out with you myself.” But they replied: “You must not come out with us. For if we flee, no one will care; even if half of us die, no one will care. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that we have you to help us from the city.” The king said to them, “I will do what you think best.” So the king stood by the gate as all the soldiers marched out in units of a hundred and a thousand. But the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “Be gentle with young Absalom for my sake.” All the soldiers heard as the king gave commands to the various leaders with regard to Absalom.

Defeat of Absalom’s Forces. David’s army then took the field against Israel, and a battle was fought in the forest near Mahanaim. The forces of Israel were defeated by David’s servants, and the casualties there that day were heavy—twenty thousand men. The battle spread out over that entire region, and the forest consumed more combatants that day than did the sword.

Death of Absalom. Absalom unexpectedly came up against David’s servants. He was mounted on a mule, and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large oak tree, his hair caught fast in the tree. He hung between heaven and earth while the mule under him kept going. 10 Someone saw this and reported to Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging from an oak tree.” 11 Joab said to the man who told him this: “If you saw him, why did you not strike him to the ground on the spot? Then it would have been my duty to give you fifty pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man replied to Joab: “Even if I already held a thousand pieces of silver in my two hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son, for in our hearing the king gave you and Abishai and Ittai a command: ‘Protect the youth Absalom for my sake.’ 13 Had I been disloyal and killed him, it would all have come out before the king, and you would stand aloof.” 14 Joab replied, “I will not waste time with you in this way.” And taking three pikes in hand, he thrust for the heart of Absalom. He was still alive in the tree. 15 When ten of Joab’s young armor-bearers closed in on Absalom, and killed him with further blows, 16 Joab then sounded the horn, and the soldiers turned back from the pursuit of the Israelites, because Joab called them to halt. 17 They took Absalom and cast him into a deep pit in the forest, and built up a very large mound of stones over him. And all the Israelites fled to their own tents.

18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and set it up for himself in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to perpetuate my name.” The pillar which he named for himself is called Absalom’s Monument to the present day.

David Told of Absalom’s Death. 19 Then Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, said, “Let me run to take the good news to the king that the Lord has set him free from the power of his enemies.” 20 But Joab said to him: “You are not the man to bring the news today. On some other day you may take the good news, but today you would not be bringing good news, for in fact the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed to Joab and ran off. 22 But Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, said to Joab again, “Come what may, permit me also to run after the Cushite.” Joab replied: “Why do you want to run, my son? You will receive no reward.” 23 But he insisted, “Come what may, I want to run.” Joab said to him, “Run.” Ahimaaz took the way of the Jordan plain and outran the Cushite.

24 Now David was sitting between the two gates, and a lookout mounted to the roof of the gate above the city wall, where he looked out and saw a man running all alone. 25 The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said, “If he is alone, he has good news to report.” As he kept coming nearer, 26 the lookout spied another runner. From his place atop the gate he cried out, “There is another man running by himself.” And the king responded, “He, too, is bringing good news.” 27 Then the lookout said, “I notice that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, son of Zadok.” The king replied, “He is a good man; he comes with good news.” 28 Then Ahimaaz called out and greeted the king. With face to the ground he paid homage to the king and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the king.” 29 But the king asked, “Is young Absalom safe?” And Ahimaaz replied, “I saw a great disturbance when the king’s servant Joab sent your servant on, but I do not know what it was.” 30 The king said, “Step aside and remain in attendance here.” So he stepped aside and remained there. 31 When the Cushite came in, he said, “Let my lord the king receive the good news that this day the Lord has freed you from the power of all who rose up against you.” 32 But the king asked the Cushite, “Is young Absalom all right?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rebel against you with evil intent be as that young man!”

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 139 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 139[a]

The All-knowing and Ever-present God

For the leader. A psalm of David.

I

Lord, you have probed me, you know me:
    you know when I sit and stand;[b]
    you understand my thoughts from afar.
You sift through my travels and my rest;
    with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    Lord, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me
    and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I go from your spirit?
    From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there;
    if I lie down in Sheol, there you are.
If I take the wings of dawn[c]
    and dwell beyond the sea,
10 Even there your hand guides me,
    your right hand holds me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me,
    and night shall be my light”[d]
12 Darkness is not dark for you,
    and night shines as the day.
    Darkness and light are but one.

II

13 You formed my inmost being;
    you knit me in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
    wonderful are your works!
    My very self you know.
15 My bones are not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
    fashioned in the depths of the earth.[e]
16 Your eyes saw me unformed;
    in your book all are written down;
    my days were shaped, before one came to be.

III

17 How precious to me are your designs, O God;
    how vast the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sands;
    when I complete them, still you are with me.
19 When you would destroy the wicked, O God,
    the bloodthirsty depart from me!
20 Your foes who conspire a plot against you
    are exalted in vain.

IV

21 Do I not hate, Lord, those who hate you?
    Those who rise against you, do I not loathe?
22 With fierce hatred I hate them,
    enemies I count as my own.

23 Probe me, God, know my heart;
    try me, know my thoughts.
24 See if there is a wicked path in me;
    lead me along an ancient path.[f]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139 A hymnic meditation on God’s omnipresence and omniscience. The psalmist is keenly aware of God’s all-knowing gaze (Ps 139:1–6), of God’s presence in every part of the universe (Ps 139:7–12), and of God’s control over the psalmist’s very self (Ps 139:13–16). Summing up Ps 139:1–16, 17–18 express wonder. There is only one place hostile to God’s rule—wicked people. The psalmist prays to be removed from their company (Ps 139:19–24).
  2. 139:2 When I sit and stand: in all my physical movement.
  3. 139:9 Take the wings of dawn: go to the extremities of the east. Beyond the sea: uttermost bounds of the west; the sea is the Mediterranean.
  4. 139:11 Night shall be my light: night to me is what day is to others.
  5. 139:15 The depths of the earth: figurative language for the womb, stressing the hidden and mysterious operations that occur there.
  6. 139:24 Lead me along an ancient path: the manner of living of our ancestors, who were faithful to God’s will, cf. Jer 6:16.
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 14:43-72 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus. 43 Then, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” 45 He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. 46 At this they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47 One of the bystanders drew his sword, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. 48 Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs, to seize me? 49 Day after day I was with you teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me; but that the scriptures may be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled. 51 Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, 52 but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.

Jesus Before the Sanhedrin. 53 [a]They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance into the high priest’s courtyard and was seated with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55 The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none. 56 Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 [b]Some took the stand and testified falsely against him, alleging, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build another not made with hands.’” 59 Even so their testimony did not agree. 60 The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus, saying, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?” 61 [c]But he was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?” 62 Then Jesus answered, “I am;

and ‘you will see the Son of Man
    seated at the right hand of the Power
    and coming with the clouds of heaven.’”

63 At that the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as deserving to die. 65 Some began to spit on him. They blindfolded him and struck him and said to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards greeted him with blows.

Peter’s Denial of Jesus. 66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s maids came along. 67 Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 [d]But he denied it saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” So he went out into the outer court. [Then the cock crowed.] 69 The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 Once again he denied it. A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more, “Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean.” 71 He began to curse and to swear, “I do not know this man about whom you are talking.” 72 And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” He broke down and wept.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:53 They led Jesus away…came together: Mark presents a formal assembly of the whole Sanhedrin (chief priests, elders, and scribes) at night, leading to the condemnation of Jesus (Mk 14:64), in contrast to Lk 22:66, 71 where Jesus is condemned in a daytime meeting of the council; see also Jn 18:13, 19–24.
  2. 14:57–58 See notes on Mt 26:60–61 and Jn 2:19.
  3. 14:61–62 The Blessed One: a surrogate for the divine name, which Jews did not pronounce. I am: indicates Jesus’ acknowledgment that he is the Messiah and Son of God; cf. Mk 1:1. Contrast Mt 26:64 and Lk 22:67–70, in which Jesus leaves his interrogators to answer their own question. You will see the Son of Man…with the clouds of heaven: an allusion to Dn 7:13 and Ps 110:1 portending the enthronement of Jesus as judge in the transcendent glory of God’s kingdom. The Power: another surrogate for the name of God.
  4. 14:68 [Then the cock crowed]: found in most manuscripts, perhaps in view of Mk 14:30, 72 but omitted in others.
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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