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Baruch 3-4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

Lord Almighty, God of Israel, the anguished soul, the dismayed spirit cries out to you. Hear, Lord, and have mercy, for you are a merciful God; have mercy on us, who have sinned against you: for you are enthroned forever, while we are perishing forever. Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear the prayer of the dead of Israel, children who sinned against you; they did not listen to the voice of the Lord, their God, and their evils cling to us. Do not remember the wicked deeds of our ancestors, but remember at this time your power and your name, for you are the Lord our God; and you, Lord, we will praise! This is why you put into our hearts the fear of you: that we may call upon your name, and praise you in our exile, when we have removed from our hearts all the wickedness of our ancestors who sinned against you. See, today we are in exile, where you have scattered us, an object of reproach and cursing and punishment for all the wicked deeds of our ancestors, who withdrew from the Lord, our God.”

II. Praise of Wisdom[a]

A. Importance of Wisdom

Hear, Israel, the commandments of life:
    listen, and know prudence!
10 How is it, Israel,
    that you are in the land of your foes,
    grown old in a foreign land,
11 Defiled with the dead,
    counted among those destined for Hades?
12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
13     Had you walked in the way of God,
    you would have dwelt in enduring peace.

14 Learn where prudence is,
    where strength, where understanding;
That you may know also
    where are length of days, and life,
    where light of the eyes, and peace.
15 Who has found the place of wisdom?
    Who has entered into her treasuries?
16 Where are the rulers of the nations,
    who lorded it over the wild beasts of the earth,
17     made sport of the birds in the heavens,
Who heaped up the silver,
    the gold in which people trust,
    whose possessions were unlimited,
18 Who schemed anxiously for money,
    their doings beyond discovery?
19 They have vanished, gone down to Hades,
    and others have risen up in their stead.
20 Later generations have seen the light of day,
    have dwelt on the earth,
But the way to understanding they have not known,
21     they have not perceived her paths or reached her;
    their children remain far from the way to her.
22 She has not been heard of in Canaan,[b]
    nor seen in Teman.
23 The descendants of Hagar who seek knowledge on earth,
    the merchants of Medan and Tema,
    the storytellers and those seeking knowledge—
These have not known the way to wisdom,
    nor have they kept her paths in mind.

B. Inaccessibility of Wisdom

24 O Israel, how vast is the dwelling of God,[c]
    how broad the scope of his dominion:
25 Vast and endless,
    high and immeasurable!
26 In it were born the giants,[d]
    renowned at the first,
    huge in stature, skilled in war.
27 These God did not choose,
    nor did he give them the way of understanding;
28 They perished for lack of prudence,
    perished through their own folly.

29 Who has gone up to the heavens and taken her,
    bringing her down from the clouds?
30 Who has crossed the sea and found her,
    bearing her away rather than choice gold?
31 None knows the way to her,
    nor has at heart her path.
32 But the one who knows all things knows her;
    he has probed her by his knowledge—
The one who established the earth for all time,
    and filled it with four-footed animals,
33 Who sends out the lightning, and it goes,
    calls it, and trembling it obeys him;
34 Before whom the stars at their posts
    shine and rejoice.
35 When he calls them, they answer, “Here we are!”
    shining with joy for their Maker.
36 Such is our God;
    no other is to be compared to him:

C. Wisdom Contained in the Law

37 [e]He has uncovered the whole way of understanding,
    and has given her to Jacob, his servant,
    to Israel, his beloved.

38 Thus she has appeared on earth,
    is at home with mortals.

Chapter 4

[f]She is the book of the precepts of God,
    the law that endures forever;
All who cling to her will live,
    but those will die who forsake her.
Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
    walk by her light toward splendor.
Do not give your glory to another,
    your privileges to an alien nation.
Blessed are we, O Israel;
    for what pleases God is known to us!

III. Baruch’s Poem of Consolation[g]

A. Baruch Addresses Diaspora

Take courage, my people!
    Remember, O Israel,
You were sold to the nations
    not for destruction;
It was because you angered God
    that you were handed over to your foes.
For you provoked your Maker
    with sacrifices to demons and not to God;
You forgot the eternal God who nourished you,
    and you grieved Jerusalem who nurtured you.
She indeed saw coming upon you
    the wrath of God; and she said:

B. Jerusalem Addresses Neighbors

“Hear, you neighbors of Zion!
    God has brought great mourning upon me,
10 For I have seen the captivity
    that the Eternal One has brought
    upon my sons and daughters.
11 With joy I nurtured them;
    but with mourning and lament I sent them away.
12 Let no one gloat over me,
    a widow, bereft of many;
For the sins of my children I am left desolate,
    because they turned from the law of God,
13     and did not acknowledge his statutes;
In the ways of God’s commandments they did not walk,
    nor did they tread the disciplined paths of his justice.

14 “Let Zion’s neighbors come—
    Remember the captivity of my sons and daughters,
    brought upon them by the Eternal One.
15 He has brought against them a nation from afar,
    a nation ruthless and of alien speech,
That has neither reverence for old age
    nor pity for the child;
16 They have led away this widow’s beloved sons,
    have left me solitary, without daughters.

C. Jerusalem Addresses Diaspora

17 What can I do to help you?
18     The one who has brought this evil upon you
    must himself deliver you from your enemies’ hands.
19 Farewell, my children, farewell;
    I am left desolate.
20 I have taken off the garment of peace,
    have put on sackcloth for my prayer of supplication;
    while I live I will cry out to the Eternal One.

21 “Take courage, my children; call upon God;
    he will deliver you from oppression, from enemy hands.
22 I have put my hope for your deliverance in the Eternal One,
    and joy has come to me from the Holy One
Because of the mercy that will swiftly reach you
    from your eternal Savior.
23 With mourning and lament I sent you away,
    but God will give you back to me
    with gladness and joy forever.
24 As Zion’s neighbors lately saw you taken captive,
    so shall they soon see God’s salvation come to you,
    with great glory and the splendor of the Eternal One.

25 “My children, bear patiently the wrath
    that has come upon you from God;
Your enemies have persecuted you,
    but you will soon see their destruction
    and trample upon their necks.[h]
26 My pampered children have trodden rough roads,
    carried off by their enemies like sheep in a raid.
27 Take courage, my children; call out to God!
    The one who brought this upon you will remember you.
28 As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
    so turn now ten times the more to seek him;
29 For the one who has brought disaster upon you
    will, in saving you, bring you eternal joy.”

D. Baruch Addresses Jerusalem

30 Take courage, Jerusalem!
    The one who gave you your name will console you.
31 Wretched shall be those who harmed you,
    who rejoiced at your downfall;
32 Wretched shall be the cities where your children were enslaved,
    wretched the city that received your children.
33 As that city rejoiced at your collapse,
    and made merry at your downfall,
    so shall she grieve over her own desolation.
34 I will take from her the rejoicing crowds,
    and her exultation shall be turned to mourning:
35 For fire shall come upon her
    from the Eternal One, for many a day,
    to be inhabited by demons for a long time.[i]
36 Look to the east, Jerusalem;
    see the joy that comes to you from God!
37 Here come your children whom you sent away,
    gathered in from east to west
By the word of the Holy One,
    rejoicing in the glory of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:9–4:4 This poem in praise of personified Wisdom utilizes the theme of Jb 28 (where is wisdom to be found?) and it identifies wisdom and law, as in Sir 24:22–23.
  2. 3:22–23 Despite the renown for wisdom of the peoples of Canaan and Phoenicia (Ez 28:3–4), of Teman (Jer 49:7), of the descendants of Hagar or the Arabians of Medan and Tema, they did not possess true wisdom, which is found only in the law of God (Bar 4:1).
  3. 3:24 The dwelling of God: here, the whole universe; cf. Is 66:1.
  4. 3:26 The giants: Gn 6:1–4 reflects a tradition about giants who existed before the flood; this was developed in the non-canonical Book of Enoch.
  5. 3:37–38 As in Sir 24:8, Wisdom is given to Israel but also is said to live with all human beings (Prv 8:31).
  6. 4:1–4 The poem ends with the identification of Wisdom and Torah, as in Sir 24:22–23; cf. also Dt 4:5–8.
  7. 4:5–5:9 The poet addresses the exiles (vv. 5–9a), and then Zion personified is introduced, speaking to the nations and mourning the loss of her children (vv. 9b–16). She then addresses the exiles (vv. 17–29). Finally (4:30–5:9) the poet issues three calls to Jerusalem (4:30, 36; 5:5): she will see her children returning (4:22, 36–37; 5:5).
  8. 4:25 Trample upon their necks: a sign of victory over the enemy (cf. Ps 44:6; Is 14:25). The Israelites considered their enemies to be God’s enemies as well.
  9. 4:35 Deserts and desolate places were looked upon as the habitation of demons; cf. Tb 8:3; Lk 11:24.
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 26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 26

Happy the husband of a good wife;[a]
    the number of his days will be doubled.
A loyal wife brings joy to her husband,
    and he will finish his years in peace.
A good wife is a generous gift
    bestowed upon him who fears the Lord.
Whether rich or poor, his heart is content,
    a smile ever on his face.

There are three things I dread,
    and a fourth which terrifies me:
Public slander, the gathering of a mob,
    and false accusation—all harder to bear than death.
A wife jealous of another wife is heartache and mourning;[b]
    everyone feels the lash of her tongue.

A wicked wife is a chafing yoke;
    taking hold of her is like grasping a scorpion.
A drunken wife arouses great anger,
    for she does not hide her shame.
By her haughty stare and her eyelids
    an unchaste wife can be recognized.

10 Keep a strict watch over an unruly wife,
    lest, finding an opportunity, she use it;
11 Watch out for her impudent eye,
    and do not be surprised if she betrays you:
12 As a thirsty traveler opens his mouth
    and drinks from any water nearby,
So she sits down before every tent peg
    and opens her quiver for every arrow.

13 A gracious wife delights her husband;
    her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones.
14 A silent wife is a gift from the Lord;
    nothing is worth more than her self-discipline.
15 A modest wife is a supreme blessing;
    no scales can weigh the worth of her chastity.
16 The sun rising in the Lord’s heavens—
    the beauty of a good wife in her well-ordered home.
17 The light which shines above the holy lampstand—[c]
    a beautiful face on a stately figure.
18 Golden columns on silver bases—
    so her shapely legs and steady feet.[d]

Dangers to Integrity and Friendship

28 [e]Two things bring grief to my heart,
    and a third arouses my anger:
The wealthy reduced to want,
    the intelligent held in contempt,
And those who pass from righteousness to sin—
    the Lord prepares them for the sword.

29 A merchant can hardly keep from wrongdoing,
    nor can a shopkeeper stay free from sin;

Footnotes:

  1. 26:1–4, 13–18 A good wife is as a gift from God, bringing joy and peace, happiness and contentment to her husband (vv. 1–4) through her thoughtfulness, reserve, modesty and chastity, beauty, grace, and virtue (vv. 13–18).
  2. 26:6–12 A repetition of the thought expressed in 25:13–26.
  3. 26:17–18 The lampstand and the columns were located in the holy place of the ancient tabernacle (Ex 25:31–40; 26:32).
  4. 26:18

    Other ancient texts read as vv. 19–27:

    19My child, keep intact the bloom of your youth,

    and do not give your strength to strangers.

    20Seek out a fertile field from all the land,

    and sow it with your own seed, confident in your fine stock.

    21So shall your offspring prosper,

    and grow great, confident in their good descent.

    22A woman for hire is regarded as spittle,

    but a married woman is a deadly snare for her lovers.

    23A godless wife will be given to the lawless man as his portion,

    but a godly wife will be given to the man who fears the Lord.

    24A shameless woman wears out reproach,

    but a virtuous daughter will be modest even before her husband.

    25A headstrong wife is regarded as a bitch,

    but the one with a sense of shame fears the Lord.

    26The wife who honors her husband will seem wise to everyone,

    but if she dishonors him in her pride, she will be known to everyone as ungodly.

    Happy is the husband of a good wife,

    for the number of his years will be doubled.

    27A loud-mouthed and garrulous wife will be regarded

    as a trumpet sounding the charge,

    And every person who lives like this

    will spend his life in the anarchy of war.

  5. 26:28–27:15 From proper conduct in family life, Ben Sira proceeds to social morality, warning especially against injustice in business (26:29–27:3), and perversity of speech in daily life (27:4–7). The pursuit of justice in these matters is all the more meritorious as it is difficult (27:8–10). The discourses of the godly are marked with wisdom, but the conversations of the wicked with offense, swearing, cursing, quarrels, and even bloodshed (27:11–15).
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.

John 16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 16

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour[a] is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.

Jesus’ Departure; Coming of the Advocate.[b] “I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me,[c] ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. [d]And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

12 “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. 13 [e]But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.

16 “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ [of which he speaks]? We do not know what he means.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing with one another what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. 21 When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23 On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 24 Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

25 [f]“I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. 27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 29 His disciples said, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. 30 Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”[g] 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? 32 Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered[h] to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Footnotes:

  1. 16:2 Hour: of persecution, not Jesus’ “hour” (see note on Jn 2:4).
  2. 16:4b–33 A duplicate of Jn 14:1–31 on departure and return.
  3. 16:5 Not one of you asks me: the difficulty of reconciling this with Simon Peter’s question in Jn 13:36 and Thomas’ words in Jn 14:5 strengthens the supposition that the last discourse has been made up of several collections of Johannine material.
  4. 16:8–11 These verses illustrate the forensic character of the Paraclete’s role: in the forum of the disciples’ conscience he prosecutes the world. He leads believers to see (a) that the basic sin was and is refusal to believe in Jesus; (b) that, although Jesus was found guilty and apparently died in disgrace, in reality righteousness has triumphed, for Jesus has returned to his Father; (c) finally, that it is the ruler of this world, Satan, who has been condemned through Jesus’ death (Jn 12:32).
  5. 16:13 Declare to you the things that are coming: not a reference to new predictions about the future, but interpretation of what has already occurred or been said.
  6. 16:25 See note on Jn 10:6. Here, possibly a reference to Jn 15:1–16 or Jn 16:21.
  7. 16:30 The reference is seemingly to the fact that Jesus could anticipate their question in Jn 16:19. The disciples naively think they have the full understanding that is the climax of “the hour” of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (Jn 16:25), but the only part of the hour that is at hand for them is their share in the passion (Jn 16:32).
  8. 16:32 You will be scattered: cf. Mk 14:27 and Mt 26:31, where both cite Zec 13:7 about the sheep being dispersed.
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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