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2 Kings 20-22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

End of Hezekiah’s Reign. In those days, when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.” He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord: “Ah, Lord, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was good in your sight!” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the central courtyard, the word of the Lord came to him: Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: “Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father:

I have heard your prayer;
    I have seen your tears.
    Now I am healing you.
On the third day you shall go up
    to the house of the Lord.
I will add to your life fifteen years.
    I will rescue you and this city
    from the hand of the king of Assyria;
I will be a shield to this city
    for my own sake and the sake of David my servant.”

Then Isaiah said, “Bring a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil for his recovery.” Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?” Isaiah replied, “This will be the sign for you from the Lord that he will carry out the word he has spoken: Shall the shadow go forward or back ten steps?” 10 “It is easy for the shadow to advance ten steps,” Hezekiah answered. “Rather, let it go back ten steps.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet invoked the Lord. He made the shadow go back the ten steps it had descended on the staircase to the terrace of Ahaz.

12 At that time, Berodach-baladan,[a] son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and gifts to Hezekiah when he heard that he had been ill. 13 Hezekiah listened to the envoys and then showed off his whole treasury: his silver, gold, spices and perfumed oil, his armory, and everything in his storerooms; there was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him: “What did these men say to you? Where did they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant land, from Babylon.” 15 He asked, “What did they see in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They saw everything in my house. There is nothing in my storerooms that I did not show them.” 16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah: “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time is coming when all that is in your house, everything that your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried off to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 18 Some of your own descendants, your offspring, your progeny, shall be taken and made attendants in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19 Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and stability in my lifetime.”

20 The rest of the acts of Hezekiah, with all his valor, and how he constructed the pool and conduit[b] and brought water into the city, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 21 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors, and his son Manasseh succeeded him as king.

Chapter 21

Reign of Manasseh. Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.

He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed. He set up altars to Baal and also made an asherah, as Ahab, king of Israel, had done. 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 I will set my name. And he built altars for the whole host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. He immolated his child by fire. 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. The Asherah idol he had made, he placed in the Lord’s house, of which the Lord 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 gave their ancestors, provided that they are careful to observe all I have commanded them and the entire law which Moses my servant enjoined upon them. But they did not listen.

Manasseh misled them into doing even greater evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed at the coming of the Israelites. 10 Then the Lord spoke through his servants the prophets: 11 “Because Manasseh, king of Judah, has practiced these abominations, and has done greater evil than all that was done by the Amorites before him, and has led Judah into sin by his idols, 12 therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I am about to bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah that, when any hear of it, their ears shall ring: 13 I will measure Jerusalem with the same cord as I did Samaria, and with the plummet I used for the house of Ahab. I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a dish, wiping it inside and out. 14 I will cast off the survivors of my inheritance. I will deliver them into enemy hands, to become prey and booty for all their enemies, 15 because they have done what is evil in my sight and provoked me from the day their ancestors came forth from Egypt until this very day.” 16 Manasseh shed so much innocent blood that it filled the length and breadth of Jerusalem, in addition to the sin he caused Judah to commit by doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight.

17 The rest of the acts of Manasseh, with all that he did and the sin he committed, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 18 Manasseh rested with his ancestors; he was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza, and his son Amon succeeded him as king.

Reign of Amon. 19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth, daughter of Haruz, from Jotbah.

20 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He walked in all the ways of his father; he served the idols his father had served, and bowed down to them. 22 He abandoned the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in the way of the Lord.

23 Officials of Amon plotted against him and killed the king in his palace, 24 but the people of the land[c] then slew all who had plotted against King Amon, and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his stead. 25 The rest of the acts of Amon, which he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 26 He was buried in his own grave in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah succeeded him as king.

Chapter 22

Reign of Josiah. Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah, from Bozkath.

He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, walking in the way of David his father, not turning right or left.

The Book of the Law. In his eighteenth year, King Josiah sent the scribe Shaphan,[d] son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the house of the Lord with these orders: “Go to the high priest Hilkiah and have him calculate the valuables that have been brought to the house of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. Then have him turn them over to the master workers in the house of the Lord, and have them give them to the ordinary workers who are in the house of the Lord to repair its breaches: to the carpenters, the builders, and the masons, and to purchase wood and hewn stone. No reckoning shall be asked of them regarding the funds provided to them, because they hold positions of trust.”

The high priest Hilkiah informed the scribe Shaphan, “I have found the book of the law[e] in the temple of the Lord.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it. Then the scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your servants have smelted down the silver deposited in the temple and have turned it over to the master workers in the house of the Lord.” 10 The scribe Shaphan also informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book,” and then Shaphan read it in the presence of the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his garments.

12 The king then issued this command to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, son of Shaphan, Achbor, son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant: 13 “Go, consult the Lord for me, for the people, and for all Judah, about the words of this book that has been found, for the rage of the Lord has been set furiously ablaze against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book, nor do what is written for us.” 14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophet, wife of Shallum, son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; she lived in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter. When they had spoken to her, 15 she said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Say to the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says the Lord: I am about to bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants—all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have abandoned me and have burned incense to other gods, provoking me by all the works of their hands, my rage is ablaze against this place and it cannot be extinguished.

18 “But to the king of Judah who sent you to consult the Lord, give this response: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: As for the words you have heard, 19 because you were heartsick and have humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken concerning this place and its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse; and because you tore your garments and wept before me, I in turn have heard, oracle of the Lord. 20 I will therefore gather you to your ancestors; you shall go to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil I am about to bring upon this place.” This they reported to the king.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:12 Berodach-baladan: this famous king’s name is more correctly recorded in Is 39:1 as “Merodach-baladan.” The Babylonian form, Marduk-apal-idinna, means “Marduk has granted a son.” Historically, any embassy from him to Hezekiah must have been aimed at establishing an anti-Assyrian strategy of cooperation.
  2. 20:20 Pool and conduit: Hezekiah’s tunnel is described in more detail in 2 Chr 32:30.
  3. 21:24 People of the land: see note on 11:14.
  4. 22:3 Shaphan: head of a prominent family in the reign of Josiah, secretary to the king, bearer and reader of the newly found book of the law (vv. 3–13; 25:22). He and his sons favored the reform of King Josiah and supported the prophet Jeremiah; cf. Jer 26:24; 29:1–3; 36:10–12; 39:14.
  5. 22:8 Book of the law: probably an early edition of material now found in the Book of Deuteronomy.
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 10:1-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. First Solomonic Collection of Sayings[a]

Chapter 10

The Proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son gives his father joy,
    but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.[b]
Ill-gotten treasures profit nothing,
    but justice saves from death.[c]
The Lord does not let the just go hungry,
    but the craving of the wicked he thwarts.[d]
The slack hand impoverishes,
    but the busy hand brings riches.
A son who gathers in summer is a credit;
    a son who slumbers during harvest, a disgrace.
Blessings are for the head of the just;
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.[e]
The memory of the just serves as blessing,
    but the name of the wicked will rot.[f]
A wise heart accepts commands,
    but a babbling fool will be overthrown.[g]
Whoever walks honestly walks securely,
    but one whose ways are crooked will fare badly.
10 One who winks at a fault causes trouble,
    but one who frankly reproves promotes peace.
11 The mouth of the just is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up disputes,
     but love covers all offenses.[h]
13 On the lips of the intelligent is found wisdom,
    but a rod for the back of one without sense.[i]
14 The wise store up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool is imminent ruin.
15 The wealth of the rich is their strong city;
    the ruin of the poor is their poverty.[j]
16 The labor of the just leads to life,
    the gains of the wicked, to futility.[k]

Footnotes:

  1. 10:1–22:16 The Proverbs of Solomon are a collection of three hundred and seventy-five proverbs on a wide variety of subjects. No overall arrangement is discernible, but there are many clusters of sayings related by vocabulary and theme. One thread running through the whole is the relationship of the “son,” the disciple, to the parents, and its effect upon the house(hold). In chaps. 10–14 almost all the proverbs are antithetical; “the righteous” and “the wicked” (ethical), “the wise” and “the foolish” (sapiential), and “the devout, the pious” and “the irreverent” (religious). Chapters 15–22 have fewer sharp antitheses. The sayings are generally witty, often indirect, and are rich in irony and paradox.
  2. 10:1

    The opening saying ties the whole collection to the first section, for “son,” “father,” and “mother” evoke the opening line of the first instruction, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching.” The son is the subject of parental exhortation throughout chaps. 1–9. This is the first of many sayings on domestic happiness or unhappiness, between parents and children (e.g., 15:20; 17:21) and between husband and wife (e.g., 12:4; 14:1). Founding or maintaining a household is an important metaphor in the book.

    Adult children represented the family (headed by the oldest married male) to the outside world. Foolishness, i.e., malicious ignorance, brought dishonor to the parents and the family.

  3. 10:2 Death: untimely, premature, or sorrowful. The word “death” can have other overtones (see Wis 1:15).
  4. 10:3 The last of the three introductory sayings in the collection, which emphasize, respectively, the sapiential (v. 1), ethical (v. 2), and religious (v. 3) dimensions of wisdom. In this saying, God will not allow the appetite of the righteous to go unfulfilled. The appetite of hunger is singled out; it stands for all the appetites.
  5. 10:6 This saying, like several others in the chapter, plays on the different senses of the verb “to cover.” As in English, “to cover” can mean to fill (as in Is 60:2) and to conceal (as in Jb 16:18). Colon B can be read either “violence fills the mouth (= head) of the wicked” or “the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” The ambiguity is intentional; the proverb is meant to be read both ways.
  6. 10:7 The name of the righteous continues to be used after their death in blessings such as “May you be as blessed as Abraham,” but the wicked, being enemies of God, do not live on in anyone’s memory. Their names rot with their bodies.
  7. 10:8 The wise take in instruction from their teachers but those who expel or pour out folly through their words will themselves be expelled.
  8. 10:12 Love covers all offenses: a favorite maxim in the New Testament; cf. 1 Cor 13:7; Jas 5:20; 1 Pt 4:8. Cf. also Prv 17:9.
  9. 10:13 An unusual juxtaposition of “lips” and “back.” Those who have no wisdom on their lips (words) are fated to feel a punishing rod on their back.
  10. 10:15 An observation rather than a moral evaluation of wealth and poverty; but cf. 18:10–11.
  11. 10:16 Wages are a metaphor for reward and punishment. The Hebrew word does not mean “sin” here but falling short, a meaning that is frequent in Proverbs. Cf. Rom 6:1: “But what profit did you get then from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”
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.

2 Corinthians 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

Integrity in the Ministry. [a]Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even though our gospel is veiled,[b] it is veiled for those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves[c] but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. [d]For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of [Jesus] Christ.

The Paradox of the Ministry. [e]But we hold this treasure[f] in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. [g]We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 [h]always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

12 [i]So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 [j]Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. 15 Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

16 [k]Therefore, we are not discouraged;[l] rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–2 A ministry of this sort generates confidence and forthrightness; cf. 2 Cor 1:12–14; 2:17.
  2. 4:3–4 Though our gospel is veiled: the final application of the image. Paul has been reproached either for obscurity in his preaching or for his manner of presenting the gospel. But he confidently asserts that there is no veil over his gospel. If some fail to perceive its light, that is because of unbelief. The veil lies over their eyes (2 Cor 3:14), a blindness induced by Satan, and a sign that they are headed for destruction (cf. 2 Cor 2:15).
  3. 4:5 We do not preach ourselves: the light seen in his gospel is the glory of Christ (2 Cor 4:4). Far from preaching himself, the preacher should be a transparent medium through whom Jesus is perceived (cf. 2 Cor 4:10–11). Your slaves: Paul draws attention away from individuals as such and toward their role in relation to God, Christ, and the community; cf. 1 Cor 3:5; 2 Cor 4:1.
  4. 4:6 Autobiographical allusion to the episode at Damascus clarifies the origin and nature of Paul’s service; cf. Acts 9:1–19; 22:3–16; 26:2–18. “Let light shine out of darkness”: Paul seems to be thinking of Gn 1:3 and presenting his apostolic ministry as a new creation. There may also be an allusion to Is 9:1 suggesting his prophetic calling as servant of the Lord and light to the nations; cf. Is 42:6, 16; 49:6; 60:1–2, and the use of light imagery in Acts 26:13–23. To bring to light the knowledge: Paul’s role in the process of revelation, expressed at the beginning under the image of the odor and aroma (2 Cor 2:14–15), is restated now, at the end of this first moment of the development, in the imagery of light and glory (2 Cor 4:3–6).
  5. 4:7–5:10 Paul now confronts the difficulty that his present existence does not appear glorious at all; it is marked instead by suffering and death. He deals with this by developing the topic already announced in 2 Cor 3:3, 6, asserting his faith in the presence and ultimate triumph of life, in his own and every Christian existence, despite the experience of death.
  6. 4:7 This treasure: the glory that he preaches and into which they are being transformed. In earthen vessels: the instruments God uses are human and fragile; some imagine small terracotta lamps in which light is carried.
  7. 4:8–9 A catalogue of his apostolic trials and afflictions. Yet in these the negative never completely prevails; there is always some experience of rescue, of salvation.
  8. 4:10–11 Both the negative and the positive sides of the experience are grounded christologically. The logic is similar to that of 2 Cor 1:3–11. His sufferings are connected with Christ’s, and his deliverance is a sign that he is to share in Jesus’ resurrection.
  9. 4:12–15 His experience does not terminate in himself, but in others (12, 15; cf. 2 Cor 1:4–5). Ultimately, everything is ordered even beyond the community, toward God (2 Cor 4:15; cf. 2 Cor 1:11).
  10. 4:13–14 Like the psalmist, Paul clearly proclaims his faith, affirming life within himself despite death (2 Cor 4:10–11) and the life-giving effect of his experience upon the church (2 Cor 4:12, 14–15). And place us with you in his presence: Paul imagines God presenting him and them to Jesus at the parousia and the judgment; cf. 2 Cor 11:2; Rom 14:10.
  11. 4:16–18 In a series of contrasts Paul explains the extent of his faith in life. Life is not only already present and revealing itself (2 Cor 4:8–11, 16) but will outlast his experience of affliction and dying: it is eternal (2 Cor 4:17–18).
  12. 4:16 Not discouraged: i.e., despite the experience of death. Paul is still speaking of himself personally, but he assumes his faith and attitude will be shared by all Christians. Our outer self: the individual subject of ordinary perception and observation, in contrast to the interior and hidden self, which undergoes renewal. Is being renewed day by day: this suggests a process that has already begun; cf. 2 Cor 3:18. The renewal already taking place even in Paul’s dying is a share in the life of Jesus, but this is recognized only by faith (2 Cor 4:13, 18; 2 Cor 5:7).
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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