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Deuteronomy 33-34 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 33

Blessing upon the Tribes.[a] This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before he died.

He said:

The Lord came from Sinai
    and dawned on his people from Seir;
    he shone forth from Mount Paran.
With him were myriads of holy ones;
    at his right hand advanced the gods.[b]
Indeed, lover of the peoples,
    all the holy ones are at your side;
They follow at your heels,
    carry out your decisions.
Moses charged us with the law,
    as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
A king arose[c] in Jeshurun
    when the chiefs of the people assembled,
    and the tribes of Israel united.

May Reuben live and not die out,
    but let his numbers be few.

Of Judah he said this:

Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah,
    and bring him to his people.[d]
His own hands defend his cause;
    be a help against his foes.

Of Levi he said:

Give to Levi your Thummim,
    your Urim[e] to your faithful one;
Him you tested at Massah,
    contended against him at the waters of Meribah.
[f]He said of his father and mother,
    “I have no regard for them”;
His brothers he would not acknowledge,
    and his own children he did not recognize.
For they kept your words,
    and your covenant they upheld.
10 They teach your ordinances to Jacob,
    your law to Israel.
They bring incense to your nostrils,
    and burnt offerings to your altar.
11 Bless, Lord, his strength,
    be pleased with the work of his hands.
Crush the loins of his adversaries
    and of his foes, that they may not rise.

12 Of Benjamin he said:

The beloved of the Lord,
    he abides in safety beside him;
He shelters him all day long;
    the beloved abides at his breast.[g]

13 Of Joseph he said:

Blessed by the Lord is his land
    with the best of heaven above
    and of the abyss crouching beneath;
14 With the best of the produce of the sun,
    and the choicest yield of the months;
15 With the finest gifts of the ancient mountains
    and the best from the everlasting hills;
16 With the best of the earth and its fullness,
    and the favor of the one who dwells on Sinai.
Let these come upon the head of Joseph
    and upon the brow of the prince among his brothers.
17 His firstborn bull, majesty is his!
    His horns are the horns of a wild ox;
With them he gores the peoples,
    attacks the ends of the earth.
These are the myriads of Ephraim,
    and these the thousands of Manasseh.

18 Of Zebulun he said:

Rejoice, Zebulun, in your expeditions,
    exult, Issachar, in your tents!
19 They invite peoples to the mountain
    where they offer right sacrifices,
Because they suck up the abundance of the seas[h]
    and the hidden treasures of the sand.

20 Of Gad he said:

Blessed be the one who has made Gad so vast!
    He lies there like a lion;
    he tears the arm, the head as well.
21 He saw that the best should be his,
    for there the commander’s portion was assigned;
    he came at the head of the people.
He carried out the justice of the Lord
    and his ordinances for Israel.

22 Of Dan he said:

Dan is a lion’s cub,
    that springs away from a viper!

23 Of Naphtali he said:

Naphtali, abounding with favor,
    filled with the blessing of the Lord,
    take possession of the west and south.

24 Of Asher he said:

Most blessed[i] of sons be Asher!
    May he be the favorite among his brothers,
    and may he dip his foot in oil!
25 May the bolts of your gates be iron and bronze;
    may your strength endure through all your days!

26 There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
    who rides the heavens in his power,
    who rides the clouds in his majesty;
27 The God of old is a refuge;
    a support are the arms of the Everlasting.
He drove the enemy out of your way
    and he said, “Destroy!”
28 Israel abides securely,
    Jacob dwells apart,
In a land of grain and wine,
    where the heavens drip with dew.
29 Happy are you, Israel! Who is like you,
    a people delivered by the Lord,
Your help and shield,
    and the sword of your glory.
Your enemies cringe before you;
    you stride upon their backs.

IV. The Death of Moses

Chapter 34

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah which faces Jericho, and the Lord showed him all the land—Gilead, and as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, the plain (the valley of Jericho, the City of Palms), and as far as Zoar. The Lord then said to him, This is the land about which I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “I will give it to your descendants.” I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross over. So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the Lord, died as the Lord had said; and he was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; to this day no one knows the place of his burial. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days, till they had completed the period of grief and mourning for Moses.

Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid his hands upon him; and so the Israelites gave him their obedience, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

10 Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and all his servants and against all his land, 12 and all the great might and the awesome power that Moses displayed in the sight of all Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 33:1–29 This poem, called the Blessing of Moses, consists of a series of poetic characterizations of each of the tribes of Israel (vv. 6–25), introduced (vv. 2–3) and concluded (vv. 26–27) by a theophany; vv. 4–5 lead into the blessing proper; and the poem ends with a blessing on Israel as a whole (vv. 28–29). This catalog of the tribal units of the people Israel resembles the Blessing of Jacob (Gn 49) and the Song of Deborah (Jgs 5, especially vv. 14–18); all three poems seem to date from the early premonarchic period.
  2. 33:2 Gods: the divine beings who constitute the armies of the Lord, the heavenly hosts (Sabaoth); see note on 32:8. These “holy ones” (v. 3) are the retinue of the Lord, the warrior God, in his march from the southern mountains (Sinai, Seir, Paran).
  3. 33:5 A king arose: it is unclear whether this refers to divine kingship or the beginning of the monarchy in Israel. Jeshurun: see note on 32:15.
  4. 33:7 Bring him to his people: this probably refers to the isolated position of the tribe of Judah (cf. Jgs 1:17–19); according to some commentators the reference is to the divided kingdom.
  5. 33:8 Thummim…Urim: devices priests used for divination (cf. note on Ex 28:30).
  6. 33:9 The reference is probably to the Levites’ slaughter of other Israelites after the incident of the golden calf; cf. Ex 32:27–29.
  7. 33:12 Abides at his breast: an image of security under divine protection.
  8. 33:19 The abundance of the seas: perhaps the wealth that comes from sea trade or from fishing. The hidden treasures of the sand: possibly an allusion to the valuable purple dye extracted from certain marine shells found on the coast of northern Palestine.
  9. 33:24 Most blessed: Hebrew baruk; but the name Asher may suggest a play on the Hebrew ’ashre, “happy”; cf., e.g., v. 29; Ps 1:1. Oil: the land of the tribe of Asher was covered with olive groves.
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.

Psalm 104 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 104[a]

Praise of God the Creator

I

Bless the Lord, my soul!
    Lord, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and splendor,
    robed in light as with a cloak.
You spread out the heavens like a tent;
    setting the beams of your chambers upon the waters.[b]
You make the clouds your chariot;
    traveling on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers;
    flaming fire, your ministers.

II

[c]You fixed the earth on its foundation,
    so it can never be shaken.
The deeps covered it like a garment;
    above the mountains stood the waters.
At your rebuke they took flight;
    at the sound of your thunder they fled.
They rushed up the mountains, down the valleys
    to the place you had fixed for them.
You set a limit they cannot pass;
    never again will they cover the earth.

III

10 You made springs flow in wadies
    that wind among the mountains.
11 They give drink to every beast of the field;
    here wild asses quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of heaven nest;
    among the branches they sing.
13 You water the mountains from your chambers;
    from the fruit of your labor the earth abounds.
14 You make the grass grow for the cattle
    and plants for people’s work
    to bring forth food from the earth,
15 wine to gladden their hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread to sustain the human heart.
16 [d]The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
    the cedars of Lebanon, which you planted.
17 There the birds build their nests;
    the stork in the junipers, its home.
18 The high mountains are for wild goats;
    the rocky cliffs, a refuge for badgers.

IV

19 You made the moon to mark the seasons,
    the sun that knows the hour of its setting.
20 You bring darkness and night falls,
    then all the animals of the forest wander about.
21 Young lions roar for prey;
    they seek their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
    and settle down in their dens.
23 People go out to their work,
    to their labor till evening falls.

V

24 How varied are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you have made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, great and wide!
    It teems with countless beings,
    living things both large and small.
26 There ships ply their course
    and Leviathan,[e] whom you formed to play with.

VI

27 All of these look to you
    to give them food in due time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather;
    when you open your hand, they are well filled.
29 [f]When you hide your face, they panic.
    Take away their breath, they perish
    and return to the dust.
30 Send forth your spirit, they are created
    and you renew the face of the earth.

VII

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord be glad in his works!
32 Who looks at the earth and it trembles,
    touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God while I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him;
    I will rejoice in the Lord.
35 May sinners vanish from the earth,
    and the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, my soul! Hallelujah![g]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 104 A hymn praising God who easily and skillfully made rampaging waters and primordial night into a world vibrant with life. The psalmist describes God’s splendor in the heavens (Ps 104:1–4), how the chaotic waters were tamed to fertilize and feed the world (Ps 104:5–18), and how primordial night was made into a gentle time of refreshment (Ps 104:19–23). The picture is like Gn 1:1–2: a dark and watery chaos is made dry and lighted so that creatures might live. The psalmist reacts to the beauty of creation with awe (Ps 104:24–34). May sin not deface God’s work (Ps 104:35)!
  2. 104:3 Your chambers upon the waters: God’s heavenly dwelling above the upper waters of the sky, cf. Gn 1:6–7; Ps 29:10.
  3. 104:5–9 God places the gigantic disk of the earth securely on its foundation and then, as a warrior, chases away the enveloping waters and confines them under, above, and around the earth.
  4. 104:16–18 Even the exotic flora and fauna of the high mountains of the Lebanon range receive adequate water.
  5. 104:26 Leviathan: a sea monster symbolizing primeval chaos, cf. Ps 74:14; Is 27:1; Jb 40:25. God does not destroy chaos but makes it part of the created order.
  6. 104:29–30 On one level, the spirit (or wind) of God is the fall and winter rains that provide food for all creatures. On another, it is the breath (or spirit) of God that makes beings live.
  7. 104:35 Hallelujah: a frequent word in the last third of the Psalter. The word combines the plural imperative of praise (hallelu) with an abbreviated form of the divine name Yah(weh).
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.

1 Thessalonians 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

That is why, when we could bear it no longer, we decided to remain alone in Athens and sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one be disturbed in these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined[a] for this. For even when we were among you, we used to warn you in advance that we would undergo affliction, just as has happened, as you know. For this reason, when I too could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had put you to the test and our toil might come to nothing.

But just now Timothy has returned to us from you, bringing us the good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us and long to see us as we long to see you. Because of this, we have been reassured about you, brothers, in our every distress and affliction, through your faith. For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

Concluding Thanksgiving and Prayer. [b]What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before our God? 10 Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith. 11 Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, 13 so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. [Amen.]

Footnotes:

  1. 3:3 We are destined: the Greek phraseology and the context suggest Paul’s concern to alert his readers to difficulties he knew they would necessarily face and to enable them to see their present experience in the light of what he warned them would happen in the future. This line of thought is followed in 2 Thes 2:1–15.
  2. 3:9–10 The tension between Paul’s optimism concerning the Thessalonians’ faith and his worries about their perseverance remains unresolved. Perhaps this is accounted for not only by the continuing harassment but also by the shortness of his own stay in Thessalonica (even if that were over twice as long as the conventional three weeks that Luke assigns to it, Acts 17:2).
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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