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Amos 1-4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Editorial Introduction

Chapter 1

The words of Amos, who was one of the sheepbreeders from Tekoa, which he received in a vision concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.[a] He said:

The Lord roars from Zion,[b]
    and raises his voice from Jerusalem;
The pastures of the shepherds languish,
    and the summit of Carmel withers.

II. Oracles Against the Nations[c]

Aram

Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Damascus, and now four—[d]
    I will not take it back—
Because they threshed Gilead
    with sledges of iron,
I will send fire upon the house of Hazael,
    and it will devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.[e]
I will break the barred gate of Damascus;
    From the Valley of Aven[f] I will cut off the one enthroned,
And the sceptered ruler from Beth-eden;
    the people of Aram shall be exiled to Kir, says the Lord.

Philistia

Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Gaza, and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because they exiled an entire population,
    handing them over to Edom,
I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza,
    and it will devour its strongholds;
From Ashdod I will cut off the one enthroned
    and the sceptered ruler from Ashkelon;
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
    and the last of the Philistines shall perish,
    says the Lord God.

Tyre

Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Tyre, and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because they handed over an entire population to Edom,
    and did not remember their covenant of brotherhood,[g]
10 I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre,
    and it will devour its strongholds.

Edom

11 Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Edom, and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because he pursued his brother[h] with the sword,
    suppressing all pity,
Persisting in his anger,
    his wrath raging without end,
12 I will send fire upon Teman,
    and it will devour the strongholds of Bozrah.[i]

Ammon

13 Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of the Ammonites, and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because they ripped open pregnant women in Gilead,
    in order to extend their territory,
14 I will kindle a fire upon the wall of Rabbah,[j]
    and it will devour its strongholds
Amid war cries on the day of battle,
    amid stormwind on the day of tempest.
15 Their king shall go into exile,
    he and his princes with him, says the Lord.

Chapter 2

Moab

Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Moab, and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because he burned to ashes[k]
    the bones of Edom’s king,
I will send fire upon Moab,
    and it will devour the strongholds of Kerioth;
Moab shall meet death amid uproar,
    battle cries and blasts of the ram’s horn.
I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
    and all the princes I will slay with him, says the Lord.

Judah

[l]Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Judah, and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because they spurned the instruction of the Lord,
    and did not keep his statutes;
Because the lies[m] which their ancestors followed
    have led them astray,
I will send fire upon Judah,
    and it will devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.

Israel

Thus says the Lord:

For three crimes of Israel,[n] and now four—
    I will not take it back—
Because they hand over the just for silver,
    and the poor for a pair of sandals;
They trample the heads of the destitute
    into the dust of the earth,
    and force the lowly out of the way.
Son and father sleep with the same girl,[o]
    profaning my holy name.
Upon garments taken in pledge
    they recline beside any altar.[p]
Wine at treasury expense
    they drink in their temples.
Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them,
    who were as tall as cedars,
    and as strong as oak trees.
I destroyed their fruit above
    and their roots beneath.
10 It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt,
    and who led you through the desert for forty years,
    to occupy the land of the Amorites;
11 I who raised up prophets among your children,
    and nazirites[q] among your young men.
Is this not so, Israelites?—
    oracle of the Lord.
12 But you made the nazirites drink wine,
    and commanded the prophets, “Do not prophesy!”
13 Look, I am groaning beneath you,
    as a wagon groans when laden with sheaves.
14 Flight shall elude the swift,
    and the strong shall not retain strength;
The warrior shall not save his life,
15     nor shall the archer stand his ground;
The swift of foot shall not escape,
    nor shall the horseman save his life.
16 And the most stouthearted of warriors
    shall flee naked on that day—
    oracle of the Lord.

III. Threefold Summons to Hear the Word of the Lord

Chapter 3

First Summons

Hear this word, Israelites, that the Lord speaks concerning you,
    concerning the whole family I brought up from the land of Egypt:
You alone I have known,[r]
    among all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you
    for all your iniquities.

[s]Do two journey together
    unless they have agreed?
Does a lion roar in the forest
    when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den
    unless it has seized something?
Does a bird swoop down on a trap on the ground
    when there is no lure for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground
    without catching anything?
Does the ram’s horn sound in a city
    without the people becoming frightened?
Does disaster befall a city
    unless the Lord has caused it?

(Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.)

The lion has roared,
    who would not fear?
The Lord God has spoken,
    who would not prophesy?

Proclaim this in the strongholds of Assyria,[t]
    in the strongholds of the land of Egypt:
“Gather on the mount of Samaria,
    and see the great disorders within it,
    the oppressions within its midst.”[u]
10 They do not know how to do what is right—
    oracle of the Lord
Storing up in their strongholds
    violence and destruction.
11 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
An enemy shall surround the land,
    tear down your fortresses,
    and pillage your strongholds.
12 Thus says the Lord:
As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion
    a pair of sheep’s legs or the tip of an ear,
So shall the Israelites escape,
    those who dwell in Samaria,
With the corner of a couch
    or a piece of a cot.[v]

13 Hear and bear witness against the house of Jacob—
    an oracle of the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14 On the day when I punish Israel for its crimes,
    I will also punish the altars of Bethel;
The horns of the altar shall be broken off
    and fall to the ground.[w]
15 I will strike the winter house
    and the summer house;
The houses of ivory shall lie in ruin,
    and their many rooms shall be no more—
    oracle of the Lord.

Chapter 4

Second Summons

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,[x]
    who live on the mount of Samaria:
Who oppress the destitute
    and abuse the needy;
Who say to your husbands,
    “Bring us a drink!”
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
Truly days are coming upon you
    when they shall drag you away with ropes,
    your children with fishhooks;
You shall go out through the breached walls
    one in front of the other,
And you shall be exiled to Harmon—[y]
    oracle of the Lord.

Come to Bethel[z] and sin,
    to Gilgal and sin all the more!
Each morning bring your sacrifices,
    every third day your tithes;
Burn leavened bread as a thanksgiving sacrifice,
    proclaim publicly your voluntary offerings,
For so you love to do, Israelites—
    oracle of the Lord God.

Though I made your teeth
    clean of food in all your cities,
    and made bread scarce in all your dwellings,
Yet you did not return to me—
    oracle of the Lord.
And I withheld the rain from you
    when the harvest was still three months away;
I sent rain upon one city
    but not upon another;
One field was watered by rain,
    but the one I did not water dried up;
Two or three cities staggered to another to drink water
    but were not satisfied;
Yet you did not return to me—
    oracle of the Lord.
I struck you with blight and mildew;
    locusts devoured your gardens and vineyards,
    the caterpillar consumed your fig trees and olive trees;
Yet you did not return to me—
    oracle of the Lord.
10 I sent upon you pestilence like that of Egypt;
    with the sword I killed your young men and your captured horses,
    and to your nostrils I brought the stench of your camps;
Yet you did not return to me—
    oracle of the Lord.
11 I overthrew you
    as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah;
    you were like a brand plucked from the fire,
Yet you did not return to me—
    oracle of the Lord.
12 Therefore thus I will do to you,[aa] Israel:
    and since I will deal thus with you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!
13 The one who forms mountains and creates winds,
    and declares to mortals their thoughts;
Who makes dawn into darkness
    and strides upon the heights of the earth,
    the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 The earthquake: a major earthquake during the reign of Uzziah (ca. 783–742 B.C.), so devastating that it was remembered long afterwards (cf. Zec 14:5). See the description of an earthquake in Amos’s final vision (9:1).
  2. 1:2 Significantly, the roar comes to the Northern Kingdom from Jerusalem. This verse, perhaps an editorial remark, sets the tone of Amos’s message.
  3. 1:3–2:16 All the nations mentioned here may have been part of the ideal empire of David-Solomon (cf. 1 Kgs 5:1; 2 Kgs 14:25). Certain standards of conduct were expected not only in their relations with Israel but also with one another.
  4. 1:3 For three crimes…and now four: this formula (n, n + 1) is frequent in poetry (e.g., Prv 6:16–19; 30:18–19). The progression “three” followed by “four” here suggests a climax. The fourth crime is one too many and exhausts the Lord’s forbearance.
  5. 1:4 Hazael…Ben-hadad: kings of the Arameans whose capital was Damascus (v. 5); they fought against Israel (2 Kgs 13:3) and had long occupied the region of Gilead (v. 3) in Transjordan.
  6. 1:5 Valley of Aven: lit., “valley of wickedness,” perhaps a distortion of a place name in Aramean territory, identity unknown. Beth-eden: an Aramean city-state on the Euphrates, about two hundred miles northeast of Damascus, called Bit-adini in Assyro-Babylonian texts. Kir: cf. 9:7; probably to be identified with the city of Emar on the Euphrates, a major Aramean center in the Late Bronze Age. One text from this site calls the king of Emar “the king of the people of the land of Kir.”
  7. 1:9 Did not remember their covenant of brotherhood: standard diplomatic language of this period, meaning “violated the treaty.” The violation may not have been against Israel itself but against a fellow “subject” nation of the ideal Davidic-Solomonic empire (cf. 2:1).
  8. 1:11 Pursued his brother: “brother” here may denote a fellow vassal or subject of Israel.
  9. 1:12 Teman…Bozrah: two of the chief cities of Edom; cf. Jer 49:20.
  10. 1:14 Rabbah: now called Amman, the modern capital of Jordan.
  11. 2:1 He burned to ashes: to the peoples of the Near East, burning the bones of the dead was a particularly heinous crime, as it was believed to cause the spirits of these dead to wander without any hope of interment in their graves, where they could rest in peace.
  12. 2:4–8, 12 Unlike the crimes of the nations detailed in this section, which are wrongs against other nations, those of Judah and Israel named here are violations of the Lord’s demands.
  13. 2:4 The lies: false gods worshiped by the Judahites.
  14. 2:6 Israel: Amos’s audience would applaud his condemnation of foreign kingdoms in the foregoing seven oracles, especially of Judah. But now he adds an eighth, unexpected oracle—against Israel itself. This is the real “punch line” of this whole section, to which the preceding oracles serve mainly as introduction.
  15. 2:7 Son and father sleep with the same girl: the crime condemned here may be the misuse of power by the rich who take unfair advantage of young women from the ranks of the poor and force themselves on them, thus adding oppression to the sin of impurity.
  16. 2:8 Upon garments…any altar: creditors kept the garments taken as pledges from the poor instead of returning them to their owners before nightfall as the law commanded (Ex 22:25; cf. Dt 24:12). Wine…in their temples: lavish feasts for the rich, serving the finest wines in great abundance (see 6:4–7) and funded by the treasuries of local temples (e.g., at Dan and Bethel). The Hebrew in this verse is difficult. Another possible translation would be: “And the wine of those who have been fined / they drink in the house of their god.”
  17. 2:11 Nazirites: see note on Nm 6:2–21. Oracle of the Lord: a phrase used extensively in prophetic books to indicate divine speech.
  18. 3:2 You alone I have known: precisely because Israel enjoyed a special status among the nations of the world in the eyes of the Lord (but see 9:7) it was called to a high degree of fidelity to God. Because Israel has failed in this expectation, it must experience God’s punishment.
  19. 3:3–8 The metaphors in these sayings illustrate the principle of cause and effect, and lead up to the conclusion in v. 8.
  20. 3:9 Assyria: following the Greek version, the Hebrew text has “Ashod.” It is supposed that this was a copyist’s error: “Assyria” seems intended, in order to parallel “Egypt” in the next line.
  21. 3:9 With a keen sense of irony, Amos invites the most powerful oppressors in Israel’s memory, past and present—Egypt and Assyria—to see and marvel at the great oppression and injustice being wrought within Samaria by the people of Israel.
  22. 3:12 The “escape” is clearly a disaster, not a deliverance.
  23. 3:14 On Bethel, see also 4:4; 5:5–6; and 7:13. The prophet is condemning the religiosity and formalism of the worship by Israel’s leaders.
  24. 4:1 Cows of Bashan: the pampered women of Samaria; Bashan was a region east of the Sea of Galilee, famous for its rich pasture and fattened herds.
  25. 4:3 Harmon: or perhaps “Mount Mon”; an unidentified site, probably far to the north of Israel, under the control of Assyria.
  26. 4:4 Come to Bethel: Amos’s invitation to the people to come and “sin” at two of the major religious centers in Samaria is sarcastic. His point is that sacrifice and worship without justice is an abomination to the God of Israel; cf. 5:21–24.
  27. 4:12 Therefore thus I will do to you: this climax of vv. 6–12, announcing the sentence the Lord intends to pass on Israel, is open-ended.
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.

Ben Sira 44:12-23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

12 Through God’s covenant their family endures,
    and their offspring for their sake.
13 And for all time their progeny will endure,
    their glory will never be blotted out;
14 Their bodies are buried in peace,
    but their name lives on and on.
15 At gatherings their wisdom is retold,
    and the assembly proclaims their praises.

The Early Ancestors

16 [Enoch[a] walked with the Lord and was taken,
    that succeeding generations might learn by his example.]
17 Noah, found just and perfect,
    renewed the race in the time of devastation.
Because of his worth there were survivors,
    and with a sign to him the deluge ended.
18 A lasting covenant was made with him,
    that never again would all flesh be destroyed.
19 Abraham, father of many peoples,
    kept his glory without stain:
20 He observed the Most High’s command,
    and entered into a covenant with him;
In his own flesh he incised the ordinance,[b]
    and when tested was found loyal.
21 For this reason, God promised him with an oath
    to bless the nations through his descendants,
To make him numerous as grains of dust,
    and to exalt his posterity like the stars,
Giving them an inheritance from sea to sea,
    and from the River[c] to the ends of the earth.

22 For Isaac, too, he renewed the same promise
    because of Abraham, his father.
The covenant with all his forebears was confirmed,
23     and the blessing rested upon the head of Israel.
God acknowledged him as the firstborn,
    and gave him his inheritance.
He fixed the boundaries for his tribes
    and their division into twelve.

Footnotes:

  1. 44:16 Enoch: because of his friendship with God and his unusual disappearance from the earth, this prophet’s renown was great among the chosen people, particularly in the two centuries just before the coming of Christ; cf. Gn 5:21–24; Hb 11:5. The present verse is an expansion of the original text; cf. 49:14.
  2. 44:20 In his own flesh…ordinance: the covenant of circumcision; cf. Gn 17:10–14. And when tested…loyal: Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at the Lord’s command; cf. Gn 22:1–12.
  3. 44:21 The River: the Euphrates; cf. Gn 2:14.
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.

Revelation 21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. The New Creation[a]

Chapter 21

The New Heaven and the New Earth. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.[b] I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,[c] coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people[d] and God himself will always be with them [as their God].[e] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne[f] said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” He said to me, “They are accomplished.[g] I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor[h] will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards,[i] the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem.[j] One of the seven angels who held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”[k] 10 He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, [the names] of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. 13 There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles[l] of the Lamb.

15 [m]The one who spoke to me held a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city was square, its length the same as [also] its width. He measured the city with the rod and found it fifteen hundred miles[n] in length and width and height. 17 He also measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits[o] according to the standard unit of measurement the angel used. 18 [p]The wall was constructed of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every precious stone; the first course of stones was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl; and the street of the city was of pure gold, transparent as glass.

22 [q]I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. 23 [r]The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light,[s] and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure. 25 During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. 26 The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, 27 but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1–22:5 A description of God’s eternal kingdom in heaven under the symbols of a new heaven and a new earth; cf. Is 65:17–25; 66:22; Mt 19:28.
  2. 21:1 Sea…no more: because as home of the dragon it was doomed to disappear; cf. Jb 7:12.
  3. 21:2 New Jerusalem…bride: symbol of the church (Gal 4:26); see note on Rev 19:7.
  4. 21:3–4 Language taken from Ez 37:27; Is 25:8; 35:10; cf. Rev 7:17.
  5. 21:3 People: other ancient manuscripts read a plural, “peoples.”
  6. 21:5 The one…on the throne: God himself; cf. Rev 4:1–11.
  7. 21:6 They are accomplished: God’s reign has already begun; see note on Rev 20:1–6. Alpha…Omega: see note on Rev 1:8. Life-giving water: see note on Rev 7:17.
  8. 21:7 The victor: over the forces of evil; see the conclusions of the seven letters (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). He will be my son: the victorious Christian enjoys divine affiliation by adoption (Gal 4:4–7; Rom 8:14–17); see note on Rev 2:26–28.
  9. 21:8 Cowards: their conviction is so weak that they deny Christ in time of trial and become traitors. Second death: see note on Rev 2:11.
  10. 21:9–22:5 Symbolic descriptions of the new Jerusalem, the church. Most of the images are borrowed from Ez 40–48.
  11. 21:9 The bride, the wife of the Lamb: the church (Rev 21:2), the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:10); cf. 2 Cor 11:2.
  12. 21:14 Courses of stones…apostles: literally, “twelve foundations”; cf. Eph 2:19–20.
  13. 21:15–17 The city is shaped like a gigantic cube, a symbol of perfection (cf. 1 Kgs 6:19–20). The measurements of the city and its wall are multiples of the symbolic number twelve; see note on Rev 7:4–9.
  14. 21:16 Fifteen hundred miles: literally, twelve thousand stades, about 12,000 furlongs (see note on Rev 14:20); the number is symbolic: twelve (the apostles as leaders of the new Israel) multiplied by 1,000 (the immensity of Christians); cf. Introduction. In length and width and height: literally, “its length and width and height are the same.”
  15. 21:17 One hundred and forty-four cubits: the cubit was about eighteen inches in length. Standard unit of measurement the angel used: literally, “by a human measure, i.e., an angel’s.”
  16. 21:18–21 The gold and precious gems symbolize the beauty and excellence of the church; cf. Ex 28:15–21; Tb 13:16–17; Is 54:11–12.
  17. 21:22 Christ is present throughout the church; hence, no temple is needed as an earthly dwelling for God; cf. Mt 18:20; 28:20; Jn 4:21.
  18. 21:23 Lamp…Lamb: cf. Jn 8:12.
  19. 21:24–27 All men and women of good will are welcome in the church; cf. Is 60:1, 3, 5, 11. The…book of life: see note on Rev 3:5.
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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