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2 Kings 23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 23

The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned before him. The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: priests, prophets, and all the people, great and small. He read aloud to them all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the column and made a covenant in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and to observe his commandments, statutes, and decrees with his whole heart and soul, and to re-establish the words of the covenant written in this book. And all the people stood by the covenant.

Josiah’s Religious Reform. Then the king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, his assistant priests, and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the objects that had been made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole host of heaven. These he burned outside Jerusalem on the slopes of the Kidron; their ashes were carried to Bethel. He also put an end to the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the vicinity of Jerusalem, as well as those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, moon, and signs of the zodiac, and to the whole host of heaven. From the house of the Lord he also removed the Asherah to the Wadi Kidron, outside Jerusalem; he burned it and beat it to dust, in the Wadi Kidron, and scattered its dust over the graveyard of the people of the land.[a] He tore down the apartments of the cult prostitutes in the house of the Lord, where the women wove garments for the Asherah. He brought in all the priests from the cities of Judah, and then defiled, from Geba to Beer-sheba, the high places where they had offered incense. He also tore down the high places of the gates, which were at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, governor of the city, north of the city gate. (The priests of the high places could not function at the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem; but they, along with their relatives, ate the unleavened bread.)

10 The king also defiled Topheth in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, so that there would no longer be any immolation of sons or daughters by fire[b] in honor of Molech. 11 He did away with the horses which the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun; these were at the entrance of the house of the Lord, near the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the large building. The chariots of the sun he destroyed by fire. 12 He also demolished the altars made by the kings of Judah on the roof (the roof terrace of Ahaz), and the altars made by Manasseh in the two courts of the Lord’s house. He pulverized them and threw the dust into the Wadi Kidron. 13 The king defiled the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of the Destroyer,[c] which Solomon, king of Israel, had built in honor of Astarte, the Sidonian horror, of Chemosh, the Moabite horror, and of Milcom, the Ammonites’ abomination. 14 He broke to pieces the pillars, cut down the asherahs, and filled the places where they had been with human bones.

15 Likewise the altar which was at Bethel, the high place built by Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin—this same altar and high place he tore down and burned, grinding the high place to powder and burning the asherah. 16 When Josiah turned and saw the graves there on the mountainside, he ordered the bones taken from the graves and burned on the altar, and thus defiled it, according to the Lord’s word proclaimed by the man of God as Jeroboam stood by the altar on the feast day. When the king looked up and saw the grave of the man of God who had proclaimed these words, 17 he asked, “What is that marker I see?” The people of the city replied, “The grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed the very things you have done to the altar in Bethel.” 18 “Let him be,” he said, “let no one move his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed together with the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria.[d] 19 Josiah also removed all the temples on the high places in the cities of Samaria which the kings of Israel had built, provoking the Lord; he did the very same to them as he had done in Bethel. 20 He slaughtered upon the altars all the priests of the high places that were there, and burned human bones upon them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

21 The king issued a command to all the people: “Observe the Passover of the Lord, your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22 No Passover such as this had been observed during the period when the judges ruled Israel, or during the entire period of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah, 23 until the eighteenth year of King Josiah, when this Passover of the Lord was kept in Jerusalem.

24 Further, Josiah purged the consultation of ghosts and spirits, with the household gods, idols,[e] and all the other horrors to be seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he might carry out the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had found in the house of the Lord.

25 Before him there had been no king who turned to the Lord as he did, with his whole heart, his whole being, and his whole strength, in accord with the entire law of Moses; nor did any king like him arise after him. 26 Yet the Lord did not turn from his fiercely burning anger against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had given. 27 The Lord said: Even Judah will I put out of my sight as I did Israel. I will reject this city, Jerusalem, which I chose, and the house of which I said: There shall my name be.

28 The rest of the acts of Josiah, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 29 In his time Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, went up toward the Euphrates River against the king of Assyria.[f] King Josiah set out to meet him, but was slain at Megiddo at the first encounter. 30 His servants brought his body on a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem, where they buried him in his own grave. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, anointed him, and proclaimed him king to succeed his father.

Reign of Jehoahaz. 31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah.

32 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh Neco took him prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath, thus ending his reign in Jerusalem. He imposed a fine upon the land of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.[g] 34 Pharaoh Neco then made Eliakim, son of Josiah, king in place of Josiah his father; he changed his name to Jehoiakim. Jehoahaz he took away with him to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, but taxed the land to raise the amount Pharaoh demanded. He exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, from each proportionately, to pay Pharaoh Neco.

Reign of Jehoiakim. 36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah, daughter of Pedaiah, from Rumah.

37 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestors had done.

Footnotes:

  1. 23:6 People of the land: see note on 11:14.
  2. 23:10 Topheth…by fire: Topheth was a cultic site probably in the Hinnom Valley just west of Jerusalem where, apparently, children were immolated to the deity Molech (Hebrew melek, “king,” deformed in the biblical tradition to “Molech”). The practice was condemned by Deuteronomic law and denounced by Jeremiah (Dt 12:31; Jer 7:29–31). In Jer 19 the deity is identified as the Canaanite god Baal.
  3. 23:13 Mount of the Destroyer: the name of the mountain in Hebrew is a wordplay. “The Mount of the mashchit” means “the Mount of the Destroyer” or perhaps “the Mount of Destruction.” The word plays on mishchah, “anointment,” and on mashiach, “anointed one,” both of which are references to the ceremony that consecrated the king. The mountain in question was the Mount of Olives, whose trees produced oil for the royal anointing. In the present context, both sides of the wordplay allude to Solomon, the anointed king (mashiach), whose building of non-Yahwistic shrines on this very mountain resulted in the destruction (mashchit) of the Davidic realm (see 1 Kgs 11:4–13). Horror…abomination: all three idols are described with pejorative terms.
  4. 23:18 From Samaria: an anachronistic use of the name of the later capital city for the whole region. The prophet was from Bethel; cf. 1 Kgs 13:11.
  5. 23:24 Household gods, idols: teraphim. See note on Gn 31:19.
  6. 23:29 Against the king of Assyria: the narrator depicts Neco’s advance as an attack on Assyrian forces. The Babylonian record of the event, however, implies that Neco intended to support the remnant of Assyrian forces against a Babylonian onslaught in order to prop up a buffer state between Egypt and Babylon and assure Egyptian control of the Syro-Palestinian region.
  7. 23:33 A talent of gold: unless the fine imposed was a mere token, this figure seems too low; cf. 18:14. A number may have dropped from the Hebrew text; various ancient translations read “ten” or “one hundred” here.
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 10:17-32 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

17 Whoever follows instruction is in the path to life,
    but whoever disregards reproof goes astray.
18 Whoever conceals hatred has lying lips,
    and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
19 Where words are many, sin is not wanting;
    but those who restrain their lips do well.
20 Choice silver is the tongue of the just;
    the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21 The lips of the just nourish many,
    but fools die for want of sense.[a]
22 It is the Lord’s blessing that brings wealth,
    and no effort can substitute for it.[b]
23 Crime is the entertainment of the fool;
    but wisdom is for the person of understanding.
24 What the wicked fear will befall them,
    but the desire of the just will be granted.
25 When the tempest passes, the wicked are no more;
    but the just are established forever.
26 As vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes,
    are sluggards to those who send them.
27 Fear of the Lord prolongs life,
    but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The hope of the just brings joy,
    but the expectation of the wicked perishes.[c]
29 The Lord is a stronghold to those who walk honestly,
    downfall for evildoers.
30 The just will never be disturbed,
    but the wicked will not abide in the land.
31 The mouth of the just yields wisdom,
    but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the just know favor,
    but the mouth of the wicked, perversion.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. 10:21 The wise by their words maintain others in life whereas the foolish cannot keep themselves from sin that leads to premature death.
  2. 10:22 Human industry is futile without divine approval; cf. Ps 127:1–2; Mt 6:25–34.
  3. 10:28 The thought is elliptical. Joy comes from fulfillment of one’s plans, which the righteous can count on. The opposite of joy thus is not sadness but unfulfillment (“perishes”).
  4. 10:32 The word used for “favor” is favor shown by an authority (God or the king), not favor shown by a peer. A righteous person’s words create a climate of favor and acceptance, whereas crooked words will not gain acceptance. In Hebrew as in English, straight and crooked are metaphors for good and wicked.
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 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Our Future Destiny. For we know that if our earthly dwelling,[a] a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. [b]For in this tent we groan, longing to be further clothed with our heavenly habitation if indeed, when we have taken it off,[c] we shall not be found naked. For while we are in this tent we groan and are weighed down, because we do not wish to be unclothed[d] but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a first installment.[e]

[f]So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. 10 For we must all appear[g] before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

The Ministry of Reconciliation. 11 [h]Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we are clearly apparent to God, and I hope we are also apparent to your consciousness. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you an opportunity to boast of us, so that you may have something to say to those who boast of external appearance rather than of the heart. 13 For if we are out of our minds,[i] it is for God; if we are rational, it is for you. 14 [j]For the love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. 15 He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 Consequently,[k] from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. 17 So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 [l]And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 [m]For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1 Our earthly dwelling: the same contrast is restated in the imagery of a dwelling. The language recalls Jesus’ saying about the destruction of the temple and the construction of another building not made with hands (Mk 14:58), a prediction later applied to Jesus’ own body (Jn 2:20).
  2. 5:2–5 2 Cor 5:2–3 and 4 are largely parallel in structure. We groan, longing: see note on 2 Cor 5:5. Clothed with our heavenly habitation: Paul mixes his metaphors, adding the image of the garment to that of the building. Further clothed: the verb means strictly “to put one garment on over another.” Paul may desire to put the resurrection body on over his mortal body, without dying; 2 Cor 5:2, 4 permit this meaning but do not impose it. Or perhaps he imagines the resurrection body as a garment put on over the Christ-garment first received in baptism (Gal 3:27) and preserved by moral behavior (Rom 13:12–14; Col 3:12; cf. Mt 22:11–13). Some support for this interpretation may be found in the context; cf. the references to baptism (2 Cor 5:5), to judgment according to works (2 Cor 5:10), and to present renewal (2 Cor 4:16), an idea elsewhere combined with the image of “putting on” a new nature (Eph 4:22–24; Col 3:1–5, 9–10).
  3. 5:3 When we have taken it off: the majority of witnesses read “when we have put it on,” i.e., when we have been clothed (in the resurrection body), then we shall not be without a body (naked). This seems mere tautology, though some understand it to mean: whether we are “found” (by God at the judgment) clothed or naked depends upon whether we have preserved or lost our original investiture in Christ (cf. the previous note). In this case to “put it on” does not refer to the resurrection body, but to keeping intact the Christ-garment of baptism. The translation follows the western reading (Codex Bezae, Tertullian), the sense of which is clear: to “take it off” is to shed our mortal body in death, after which we shall be clothed in the resurrection body and hence not “naked” (cf. 1 Cor 15:51–53).
  4. 5:4 We do not wish to be unclothed: a clear allusion to physical death (2 Cor 4:16; 5:1). Unlike the Greeks, who found dissolution of the body desirable (cf. Socrates), Paul has a Jewish horror of it. He seems to be thinking of the “intermediate period,” an interval between death and resurrection. Swallowed up by life: cf. 1 Cor 15:54.
  5. 5:5 God has created us for resurrected bodily life and already prepares us for it by the gift of the Spirit in baptism. The Spirit as a first installment: the striking parallel to 2 Cor 5:1–5 in Rom 8:17–30 describes Christians who have received the “firstfruits” (cf. “first installment” here) of the Spirit as “groaning” (cf. 2 Cor 5:2, 4 here) for the resurrection, the complete redemption of their bodies. In place of clothing and building, Rom 8 uses other images for the resurrection: adoption and conformity to the image of the Son.
  6. 5:6–9 Tension between present and future is expressed by another spatial image, the metaphor of the country and its citizens. At present we are like citizens in exile or far away from home. The Lord is the distant homeland, believed in but unseen (2 Cor 5:7).
  7. 5:10 We must all appear: the verb is ambiguous: we are scheduled to “appear” for judgment, at which we will be “revealed” as we are (cf. 2 Cor 11; 2:14; 4:10–11).
  8. 5:11–15 This paragraph is transitional. Paul sums up much that has gone before. Still playing on the term “appearance,” he reasserts his transparency before God and the Corinthians, in contrast to the self-commendation, boasting, and preoccupation with externals that characterize some others (cf. 2 Cor 1:12–14; 2:14; 3:1; 3:7–4:6). 2 Cor 5:14 recalls 2 Cor 3:7–4:6, and sums up 2 Cor 4:7–5:10.
  9. 5:13 Out of our minds: this verse confirms that a concern for ecstasy and charismatic experience may lie behind the discussion about “glory” in 2 Cor 3:7–4:6. Paul also enjoys such experiences but, unlike others, does not make a public display of them or consider them ends in themselves. Rational: the Greek virtue sōphrosynē, to which Paul alludes, implies reasonableness, moderation, good judgment, self-control.
  10. 5:14–15 These verses echo 2 Cor 4:14 and resume the treatment of “life despite death” from 2 Cor 4:7–5:10.
  11. 5:16–17 Consequently: the death of Christ described in 2 Cor 5:14–15 produces a whole new order (2 Cor 5:17) and a new mode of perception (2 Cor 5:16). According to the flesh: the natural mode of perception, characterized as “fleshly,” is replaced by a mode of perception proper to the Spirit. Elsewhere Paul contrasts what Christ looks like according to the old criteria (weakness, powerlessness, folly, death) and according to the new (wisdom, power, life); cf. 2 Cor 5:15, 21; 1 Cor 1:17–3:3. Similarly, he describes the paradoxical nature of Christian existence, e.g., in 2 Cor 4:10–11, 14. A new creation: rabbis used this expression to describe the effect of the entrance of a proselyte or convert into Judaism or of the remission of sins on the Day of Atonement. The new order created in Christ is the new covenant (2 Cor 3:6).
  12. 5:18–21 Paul attempts to explain the meaning of God’s action by a variety of different categories; his attention keeps moving rapidly back and forth from God’s act to his own ministry as well. Who has reconciled us to himself: i.e., he has brought all into oneness. Not counting their trespasses: the reconciliation is described as an act of justification (cf. “righteousness,” 2 Cor 5:21); this contrasts with the covenant that condemned (2 Cor 3:8). The ministry of reconciliation: Paul’s role in the wider picture is described: entrusted with the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19), he is Christ’s ambassador, through whom God appeals (2 Cor 5:20a). In v 20b Paul acts in the capacity just described.
  13. 5:21 This is a statement of God’s purpose, expressed paradoxically in terms of sharing and exchange of attributes. As Christ became our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30), we become God’s righteousness (cf. 2 Cor 5:14–15).
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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