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Daniel 10-12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

An Angelic Vision.[a] In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel, who had been named Belteshazzar. The revelation was certain: a great war;[b] he understood this from the vision. In those days, I, Daniel, mourned three full weeks. I ate no savory food, took no meat or wine, and did not anoint myself at all until the end of the three weeks.

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month[c] I was on the bank of the great river, the Tigris. As I looked up, I saw a man[d] dressed in linen with a belt of fine gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face shone like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and feet looked like burnished bronze, and the sound of his voice was like the roar of a multitude. I alone, Daniel, saw the vision; but great fear seized those who were with me; they fled and hid themselves, although they did not see the vision. So I was left alone to see this great vision. No strength remained in me; I turned the color of death and was powerless. When I heard the sound of his voice, I fell face forward unconscious.

10 But then a hand touched me, raising me to my hands and knees. 11 “Daniel, beloved,” he said to me, “understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 “Do not fear, Daniel,” he continued; “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, 13 but the prince of the kingdom of Persia[e] stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the last days; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.”

15 While he was speaking thus to me, I fell forward and kept silent. 16 Then something like a hand touched my lips; I opened my mouth and said to the one standing before me, “My lord, I was seized with pangs at the vision and I was powerless. 17 How can my lord’s servant speak with you, my lord? For now no strength or even breath is left in me.” 18 The one who looked like a man touched me again and strengthened me, saying, 19 “Do not fear, beloved. Peace! Take courage and be strong.” When he spoke to me, I grew strong and said, “Speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” 20 “Do you know,” he asked, “why I have come to you? Soon I must fight the prince of Persia again. When I leave, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but I shall tell you what is written in the book of truth.[f] No one supports me against these except Michael, your prince, and in the first year of Darius the Mede I stood to strengthen him and be his refuge.

Chapter 11

The Hellenistic Age. “Now I shall tell you the truth.

“Three kings of Persia[g] are yet to appear; and a fourth shall acquire the greatest riches of all. Strengthened by his riches, he shall stir up all kingdoms, even that of Greece. But a powerful king[h] shall appear and rule with great might, doing as he wills. No sooner shall he appear than his kingdom shall be broken and divided in four directions under heaven; but not among his descendants or in keeping with his mighty rule, for his kingdom shall be torn to pieces and belong to others.

[i]“The king of the south shall grow strong, but one of his princes shall grow stronger still and govern a domain greater than his. [j]After some years they shall become allies: the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to carry out the alliance. But she shall not retain power: and his offspring shall not survive, and she shall be given up, together with those who brought her, her son, and her supporter in due time. A descendant of her line shall succeed to his place, and shall come against the army, enter the stronghold of the king of the north, attack and conquer them. Even their gods, with their molten images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, he shall carry away as spoils of war into Egypt. For years he shall have nothing to do with the king of the north. Then the latter shall invade the land of the king of the south, and return to his own country.

10 “But his sons shall be aroused and assemble a great armed host, which shall pass through like a flood and again surge around the stronghold. 11 [k]The king of the south, enraged, shall go out to fight against the king of the north, who shall field a great host, but the host shall be given into his hand. 12 When the host is carried off, in the pride of his heart he shall bring down tens of thousands, but he shall not triumph. 13 [l]For the king of the north shall raise another army, greater than before; after some years he shall attack with this large army and great resources. 14 In those times many shall resist the king of the south, and violent ones among your people shall rise up in fulfillment of vision, but they shall stumble. 15 [m]When the king of the north comes, he shall set up siegeworks and take the fortified city by storm. The forces of the south shall not withstand him, and not even his picked troops shall have the strength to withstand. 16 The invader shall do as he wills, with no one to withstand him. He shall stop in the glorious land, and it shall all be in his power. 17 [n]He shall resolve to come with the entire strength of his kingdom. He shall make an alliance with him and give him a daughter in marriage in order to destroy him, but this shall not stand. 18 [o]He shall turn to the coastland and take many prisoners, but a commander shall put an end to his shameful conduct, so that he cannot retaliate. 19 He shall turn to the strongholds of his own land, but shall stumble and fall, to be found no more. 20 [p]In his stead one shall arise who will send a collector of tribute through the glorious kingdom, but he shall soon be destroyed, though not in conflict or in battle.

21 [q]“There shall arise in his place a despicable person, to whom the royal insignia shall not be given. He shall enter by stealth and seize the kingdom by fraud. 22 Armed forces shall be completely overwhelmed by him and crushed, even the prince of the covenant.[r] 23 After making alliances, he shall treacherously rise to power with only a few supporters. 24 By stealth he shall enter prosperous provinces and do that which his fathers or grandfathers never did; he shall distribute spoil, plunder, and riches among them and devise plots against their strongholds. 25 He shall rouse his strength and courage to meet the king of the south with a great army; the king of the south shall go into battle with a very large and strong army, but he shall not stand because of the plots devised against him. 26 Even his table companions shall seek to destroy him, his army shall be overwhelmed, and many shall be struck down. 27 The two kings, resolved on evil, shall sit at table together and exchange lies, but they shall have no success, because the appointed end is not yet.

28 “He[s] shall turn back toward his land with great riches, his mind set against the holy covenant; he shall take action and return to his land. 29 At the time appointed he shall come again to the south, but this time it shall not be as before. 30 When ships of the Kittim[t] confront him, he shall lose heart and retreat. Then he shall rage against the holy covenant and take action; he shall again favor those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 Armed forces shall rise at his command and defile the sanctuary stronghold, abolishing the daily sacrifice and setting up the desolating abomination. 32 By his deceit he shall make some who were disloyal forsake the covenant; but those who remain loyal to their God shall take strong action. 33 Those with insight among the people shall instruct the many; though for a time the sword, flames, exile, and plunder will cause them to stumble. 34 When they stumble, they will be helped,[u] but only a little; many shall join them, but out of treachery. 35 Some of those with insight shall stumble so that they may be tested, refined, and purified, until the end time which is still appointed to come.

36 “The king shall do as he wills, exalting himself and making himself greater than any god; he shall utter dreadful blasphemies against the God of gods. He shall prosper only till the wrath is finished, for what is determined must take place. 37 He shall have no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one in whom women delight;[v] for no god shall he have regard, because he shall make himself greater than all. 38 Instead, he shall give glory to the god of strongholds;[w] a god unknown to his ancestors he shall glorify with gold, silver, precious stones, and other treasures. 39 He shall act for those who fortify strongholds, a people of a foreign god, whom he has recognized. He shall greatly honor them; he shall make them rule over the many and distribute the land as a reward.

40 [x]“At the end time the king of the south shall engage him in battle but the king of the north shall overwhelm him with chariots and horsemen and a great fleet, passing through the lands like a flood. 41 He shall enter the glorious land and many shall fall, except Edom, Moab, and the chief part of Ammon, which shall escape his power. 42 He shall extend his power over the land, and not even Egypt shall escape. 43 He shall control the riches of gold and silver and all the treasures of Egypt; Libya and Ethiopia shall be in his entourage. 44 When reports from the east and the north disturb him, he shall set out with great fury to destroy many, putting them under the ban. 45 He shall pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the sea and the glorious holy mountain, but he shall come to his end with none to help him.

Chapter 12

The Resurrection

“At that time there shall arise Michael,
    the great prince,
    guardian of your people;
It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
    since the nation began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
    everyone who is found written in the book.[y]
Many of those who sleep[z]
    in the dust of the earth shall awake;
Some to everlasting life,
    others to reproach and everlasting disgrace.
But those with insight shall shine brightly
    like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice
    shall be like the stars[aa] forever.

“As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall wander aimlessly and evil shall increase.”

I, Daniel, looked and saw two others, one standing on either bank of the river. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was upstream, “How long shall it be to the end of these appalling things?” The man clothed in linen, who was upstream, lifted his hands to heaven; and I heard him swear by him who lives forever that it should be for a time, two times, and half a time;[ab] and that, when the power of the destroyer of the holy people was brought to an end, all these things should end. I heard, but I did not understand; so I asked, “My lord, what follows this?” “Go, Daniel,” he said, “because the words are to be kept secret and sealed until the end time. 10 Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, but the wicked shall prove wicked; the wicked shall have no understanding, but those with insight shall. 11 [ac]From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the desolating abomination is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed are they who have patience and persevere for the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 13 Go, take your rest, you shall rise for your reward at the end of days.”

Footnotes:

  1. 10:1–12:13 This final vision is concerned with history from the time of Cyrus to the death of Antiochus Epiphanes.
  2. 10:1 A great war: or “the service was great,” or “a mighty host.” The Hebrew is ambiguous.
  3. 10:4 The first month: the month Nisan (mid-March to mid-April).
  4. 10:5–6 The heavenly person of the vision is probably the angel Gabriel, as in 9:21. Chrysolite: or topaz, a yellowish precious stone. Cf. the visions in Ez 1 and 8.
  5. 10:13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia: the angelic guardian of Persia. Where older texts speak of the gods of various countries (Dt 32:8), Daniel speaks of “princes.” Michael: the patron angel of Israel (v. 21).
  6. 10:21 The book of truth: a heavenly book in which future events are already recorded; cf. 7:10; 12:1.
  7. 11:2 Three kings of Persia: it is unclear which kings are intended because there were more than three Persian kings between Cyrus and the dissolution of the kingdom. The fourth is Xerxes I (486–465 B.C.), the great campaigner against Greece.
  8. 11:3 A powerful king: Alexander the Great, who broke Persian dominance by his victory at Issus in 333 B.C.
  9. 11:5–45 These verses describe the dynastic histories of the Ptolemies in Egypt (the king of the south) and the Seleucids in Syria (the king of the north), the two divisions of the Hellenistic empire that were of interest to the author (v. 6). Verses 10–20 describe the struggle between the two kingdoms for the control of Palestine; the Seleucids were eventually victorious.
  10. 11:6 The marriage of Antiochus II Theos and Berenice of Egypt about 250 B.C., which ended in tragedy.
  11. 11:11 The battle of Raphia (217 B.C.), in which Egypt defeated Syria.
  12. 11:13 Syria defeated Egypt at the battle of Paneas in 200 B.C. Judea then passed under Syrian rule.
  13. 11:15 The siege of Sidon after the battle of Paneas.
  14. 11:17 Antiochus III, the Great, betrothed his daughter to Ptolemy Epiphanes in 197 B.C.
  15. 11:18 The Roman general Scipio defeated Antiochus at Magnesia in 190 B.C.
  16. 11:20 Seleucus IV, who sent Heliodorus to Jerusalem (cf. 2 Mc 3).
  17. 11:21 Here begins the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
  18. 11:22 The prince of the covenant: the high priest Onias III, who was murdered.
  19. 11:28 He: the king of the north, probably Antiochus IV.
  20. 11:30 Kittim: originally this word meant Cypriots or other westerners. It is sometimes used for the Greeks (1 Mc 1:1). Here it refers to the Romans, who forced Antiochus to withdraw from Egypt during his second campaign there.
  21. 11:34 Helped: this may be a reference to the Maccabean revolt. The apocalyptic author expects deliverance from God and has little regard for human efforts. In fact, the Maccabees routed the Syrian troops, recaptured Jerusalem, purified and rededicated the Temple, and brought to an end the Syrian persecution.
  22. 11:37 The one in whom women delight: Tammuz. Antiochus favored the cult of Zeus. Daniel takes this to imply the neglect of all other gods, although this does not appear to have been the case.
  23. 11:38 The god of strongholds: the god worshiped in the fortress Akra, which Antiochus established in Jerusalem.
  24. 11:40–45 In these concluding verses, the events described no longer correspond to the history of the Maccabean period. Daniel imagines the death of Antiochus on the model of Gog in Ez 38–39. Antiochus actually died in Persia.
  25. 12:1 Written in the book: cf. 10:21.
  26. 12:2 Many of those who sleep: Daniel does not envisage the universal resurrection as later developed. Two groups are distinguished, one that rises to eternal life, the other to reproach and disgrace. Then “those with insight” (11:33–35) are singled out for special honor.
  27. 12:3 Like the stars: like the heavenly host, or angels. Cf. Mt 22:30.
  28. 12:7 A time, two times, and half a time: see note on 7:25.
  29. 12:11 The specific numbers of days given in vv. 11–12 represent attempts to calculate the precise duration of the three and a half years. Most probably, when the first date (1,290 days) passed, the author attempted another calculation. Another, earlier calculation is preserved in 8:14. It is noteworthy, however, that the contradictory numbers were allowed to stand in the text; this is a reminder that it is not possible to calculate a precise date for God’s judgment; cf. Mk 13:32.
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 40:18-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

18 Wealth or wages can make life sweet,[a]
    but better than either, finding a treasure.
19 A child or a city will preserve one’s name,
    but better than either, finding wisdom.
Cattle and orchards make a person flourish;
    but better than either, a devoted wife.
20 Wine and strong drink delight the soul,
    but better than either, love of friends.
21 Flute and harp offer sweet melody,
    but better than either, a pure tongue.
22 Grace and beauty delight the eye,
    but better than either, the produce of the field.
23 A friend and a neighbor are timely guides,
    but better than either, a sensible wife.
24 Relatives and helpers for times of stress;
    but better than either, charity that rescues.
25 Gold and silver make one’s way secure,
    but better than either, sound judgment.
26 Wealth and vigor make the heart exult,
    but better than either, fear of God.
In the fear of the Lord there is no want;
    whoever has it need seek no other support.
27 The fear of God is a paradise of blessings;
    its canopy is over all that is glorious.

28 My son, do not live the life of a beggar;[b]
    better to die than to beg.
29 When one has to look to a stranger’s table,
    life is not worth living.
The delicacies offered bring revulsion of spirit,
    and to the intelligent, inward torture.
30 In the mouth of the shameless begging is sweet,
    but within him it burns like fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 40:18–27 Of the many treasures making life sweet, such as children, friends, music, vigor, the best are called true married love, wisdom, and above all, fear of God; cf. 25:6–11.
  2. 40:28–30 Among the Jews, begging was considered degrading to human dignity; it was agreeable only to the shameless, who had lost their sense of honor. Cf. 29:22–23.
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 14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

The Lamb’s Companions.[a] Then I looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,[b] and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. They were singing [what seemed to be] a new hymn before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women; they are virgins[c] and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the firstfruits of the human race for God and the Lamb. On their lips no deceit[d] has been found; they are unblemished.

The Three Angels.[e] Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, with everlasting good news[f] to announce to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for his time has come to sit in judgment. Worship him who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.”

A second angel followed, saying:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great,
    that made all the nations drink
    the wine of her licentious passion.”[g]

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, “Anyone who worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, 10 will also drink the wine of God’s fury,[h] poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. 11 The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.” 12 Here is what sustains the holy ones who keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus.[i]

13 I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” said the Spirit, “let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.”[j]

The Harvest of the Earth.[k] 14 Then I looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” 16 So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven who also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel [came] from the altar,[l] [who] was in charge of the fire, and cried out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury. 20 The wine press was trodden outside the city and blood poured out of the wine press to the height of a horse’s bridle for two hundred miles.[m]

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1–5 Now follows a tender and consoling vision of the Lamb and his companions.
  2. 14:1 Mount Zion: in Jerusalem, the traditional place where the true remnant, the Israel of faith, is to be gathered in the messianic reign; cf. 2 Kgs 19:30–31; Jl 3:5; Ob 17; Mi 4:6–8; Zep 3:12–20. A hundred and forty-four thousand: see note on Rev 7:4–9. His Father’s name…foreheads: in contrast to the pagans who were marked with the name or number of the beast (Rev 13:16–17).
  3. 14:4 Virgins: metaphorically, because they never indulged in any idolatrous practices, which are considered in the Old Testament to be adultery and fornication (Rev 2:14–15, 20–22; 17:1–6; cf. Ez 16:1–58; 23:1–49). The parallel passages (Rev 7:3; 22:4) indicate that the 144,000 whose foreheads are sealed represent all Christian people.
  4. 14:5 No deceit: because they did not deny Christ or do homage to the beast. Lying is characteristic of the opponents of Christ (Jn 8:44), but the Suffering Servant spoke no falsehood (Is 53:9; 1 Pt 2:22). Unblemished: a cultic term taken from the vocabulary of sacrificial ritual.
  5. 14:6–13 Three angels proclaim imminent judgment on the pagan world, calling all peoples to worship God the creator. Babylon (Rome) will fall, and its supporters will be tormented forever.
  6. 14:6 Everlasting good news: that God’s eternal reign is about to begin; see note on Rev 10:7.
  7. 14:8 This verse anticipates the lengthy dirge over Babylon (Rome) in Rev 18:1–19:4. The oracle of Is 21:9 to Babylon is applied here.
  8. 14:10–11 The wine of God’s fury: image taken from Is 51:17; Jer 25:15–16; 49:12; 51:7; Ez 23:31–34. Eternal punishment in the fiery pool of burning sulfur (or “fire and brimstone”; cf. Gn 19:24) is also reserved for the Devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Rev 19:20; 20:10; 21:8).
  9. 14:12 In addition to faith in Jesus, the seer insists upon the necessity and value of works, as in Rev 2:23; 20:12–13; 22:12; cf. Mt 16:27; Rom 2:6.
  10. 14:13 See note on Rev 1:3. According to Jewish thought, people’s actions followed them as witnesses before the court of God.
  11. 14:14–20 The reaping of the harvest symbolizes the gathering of the elect in the final judgment, while the reaping and treading of the grapes symbolizes the doom of the ungodly (cf. Jl 4:12–13; Is 63:1–6) that will come in Rev 19:11–21.
  12. 14:18 Altar: there was only one altar in the heavenly temple; see notes above on Rev 6:9; 8:3; 11:1.
  13. 14:20 Two hundred miles: literally sixteen hundred stades. The stadion, a Greek unit of measurement, was about 607 feet in length, approximately the length of a furlong.
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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