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Deuteronomy 6-7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

This then is the commandment, the statutes and the ordinances, which the Lord, your God, has commanded that you be taught to observe in the land you are about to cross into to possess, so that you, that is, you, your child, and your grandchild, may fear the Lord, your God, by keeping, as long as you live, all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you, and thus have long life. Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them, that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly; for the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you a land flowing with milk and honey.

The Great Commandment.[a] Hear, O Israel![b] The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them on your arm as a sign[c] and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.

Fidelity in Prosperity. 10 When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land which he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give you, a land with fine, large cities that you did not build, 11 with houses full of goods of all sorts that you did not garner, with cisterns that you did not dig, with vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant; and when, therefore, you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that house of slavery. 13 The Lord, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve,[d] and by his name shall you swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, any of the gods of the surrounding peoples— 15 for the Lord, your God who is in your midst, is a passionate God—lest the anger of the Lord, your God, flare up against you and he destroy you from upon the land.

16 You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test, as you did at Massah. 17 But keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, and the decrees and the statutes he has commanded you. 18 Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and you may enter in and possess the good land which the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 driving all your enemies out of your way, as the Lord has promised.

Instruction to Children. 20 Later on, when your son asks you, “What do these decrees and statutes and ordinances mean?” which the Lord, our God, has enjoined on you, 21 you shall say to your son, “We were once slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand 22 and wrought before our eyes signs and wonders, great and dire, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and his whole house. 23 He brought us from there to bring us in and give us the land he had promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes in fear of the Lord, our God, that we may always have as good a life as we have today. 25 This is our justice before the Lord, our God: to observe carefully this whole commandment he has enjoined on us.”

Chapter 7

Destruction of the Nations in the Land. When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land which you are about to enter to possess, and removes many nations before you—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you— and when the Lord, your God, gives them over to you and you defeat them, you shall put them under the ban. Make no covenant with them and do not be gracious to them. You shall not intermarry with them, neither giving your daughters to their sons nor taking their daughters for your sons. For they would turn your sons from following me to serving other gods, and then the anger of the Lord would flare up against you and he would quickly destroy you.

But this is how you must deal with them: Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, chop down their asherahs,[e] and destroy their idols by fire. For you are a people holy to the Lord, your God; the Lord, your God, has chosen you from all the peoples on the face of the earth to be a people specially his own. It was not because you are more numerous than all the peoples that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you; for you are really the smallest of all peoples. It was because the Lord loved you and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn to your ancestors, that the Lord brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know, then, that the Lord, your God, is God: the faithful God who keeps covenant mercy to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments, 10 but who repays with destruction those who hate him; he does not delay with those who hate him, but makes them pay for it. 11 Therefore carefully observe the commandment, the statutes and the ordinances which I command you today.

Blessings of Obedience. 12 As your reward for heeding these ordinances and keeping them carefully, the Lord, your God, will keep with you the covenant mercy he promised on oath to your ancestors. 13 He will love and bless and multiply you; he will bless the fruit of your womb and the produce of your soil, your grain and wine and oil, the young of your herds and the offspring of your flocks, in the land which he swore to your ancestors he would give you. 14 You will be blessed above all peoples; no man or woman among you shall be childless nor shall your livestock be barren. 15 The Lord will remove all sickness from you; he will not afflict you with any of the malignant diseases that you know from Egypt, but will leave them with all those who hate you.

16 You shall consume all the peoples which the Lord, your God, is giving over to you. You are not to look on them with pity, nor serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. 17 If you say to yourselves, “These nations are more numerous than we. How can we dispossess them?” 18 do not be afraid of them. Rather, remember clearly what the Lord, your God, did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great testings which your own eyes have seen, the signs and wonders, the strong hand and outstretched arm with which the Lord, your God, brought you out. The same also will he do to all the peoples of whom you are now afraid. 20 Moreover, the Lord, your God, will send hornets among them, until those who are left and those who are hiding from you are destroyed. 21 Therefore, do not be terrified by them, for the Lord, your God, who is in your midst, is a great and awesome God. 22 He will remove these nations before you little by little. You cannot finish with them quickly, lest the wild beasts become too numerous for you. 23 The Lord, your God, will give them over to you and throw them into utter panic until they are destroyed. 24 He will deliver their kings into your power, that you may make their names perish from under the heavens. No one will be able to stand up against you, till you have destroyed them. 25 The images of their gods you shall destroy by fire. Do not covet the silver or gold on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord, your God. 26 You shall not bring any abominable thing into your house, so as to be, like it, under the ban; loathe and abhor it utterly for it is under the ban.[f]

Footnotes:

  1. 6:4–5 This passage, an expansion of the first commandment (5:6–10), contains the basic principle of the whole Mosaic law, the keynote of the Book of Deuteronomy: since the Lord alone is God, Israel must love him with an undivided heart. Jesus cited these words as “the greatest and the first commandment,” embracing in itself the whole law of God (Mt 22:37–38; Mk 12:29–30; Lk 10:27).
  2. 6:4 Hear, O Israel!: in Hebrew, shema yisra’el; hence this passage (vv. 4–9), containing the Great Commandment, is called the Shema. In later Jewish tradition, 11:13–21 and Nm 15:37–41 were added to form a prayer recited every evening and morning. The Lord is our God, the Lord alone: other possible translations are “the Lord our God is one Lord”; “the Lord our God, the Lord is one”; “the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
  3. 6:8 Bind them…as a sign: these injunctions were probably meant merely in a figurative sense; cf. Ex 13:9, 16. In the late postexilic period, they were taken quite literally, and devout Jews tied on their arms and foreheads “phylacteries,” boxes containing strips of parchment on which these words were inscribed; cf. Mt 23:5.
  4. 6:13 Him shall you serve: the verb could be translated as either “serve” or “worship” (cf. 5:9).
  5. 7:5 Sacred pillars…asherahs: cut or uncut stones and wooden poles or trees (cf. 16:21) that had some cultic function. Fairly common religious artifacts, their association with the non-Israelite cults of Canaan and perhaps with Canaanite gods and goddesses, specifically the goddess Asherah, led to their condemnation in the Deuteronomic reform and possibly earlier.
  6. 7:26 Under the ban: and therefore doomed to destruction; see note on 2:34.
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 90 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Fourth Book—Psalms 90–106

Psalm 90[a]

God’s Eternity and Human Frailty

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

I

Lord, you have been our refuge
    through all generations.
Before the mountains were born,
    the earth and the world brought forth,
    from eternity to eternity you are God.
You turn humanity back into dust,[b]
    saying, “Return, you children of Adam!”
A thousand years in your eyes
    are merely a day gone by,
Before a watch passes in the night,
    [c]you wash them away;
They sleep,
    and in the morning they sprout again like an herb.
In the morning it blooms only to pass away;
    in the evening it is wilted and withered.[d]

II

Truly we are consumed by your anger,
    filled with terror by your wrath.
You have kept our faults before you,
    our hidden sins in the light of your face.
Our life ebbs away under your wrath;
    our years end like a sigh.
10 Seventy is the sum of our years,
    or eighty, if we are strong;
Most of them are toil and sorrow;
    they pass quickly, and we are gone.
11 Who comprehends the strength of your anger?
    Your wrath matches the fear it inspires.
12 Teach us to count our days aright,
    that we may gain wisdom of heart.

III

13 Relent, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14 Fill us at daybreak with your mercy,
    that all our days we may sing for joy.
15 Make us glad as many days as you humbled us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 Show your deeds to your servants,
    your glory to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God be ours.
    Prosper the work of our hands!
    Prosper the work of our hands!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 90 A communal lament that describes only in general terms the cause of the community’s distress. After confidently invoking God (Ps 90:1), the Psalm turns to a complaint contrasting God’s eternity with the brevity of human life (Ps 90:2–6) and sees in human suffering the punishment for sin (Ps 90:7–12). The Psalm concludes with a plea for God’s intervention (Ps 90:13–17).
  2. 90:3 Dust: one word of God is enough to return mortals to the dust from which they were created. Human beings were created from earth in Gn 2:7; 3:19.
  3. 90:5 You wash them away: the Hebrew of Ps 90:4–5 is unclear.
  4. 90:6 It is wilted and withered: the transitory nature of the grass under the scorching sun was proverbial, cf. Ps 129:6; Is 40:6–8.
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.

Acts 21:17-36 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

17 [a]When we reached Jerusalem the brothers welcomed us warmly. 18 The next day, Paul accompanied us on a visit to James, and all the presbyters were present. 19 He greeted them, then proceeded to tell them in detail what God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 They praised God when they heard it but said to him, “Brother, you see how many thousands of believers there are from among the Jews, and they are all zealous observers of the law. 21 They have been informed that you are teaching all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to abandon Moses and that you are telling them not to circumcise their children or to observe their customary practices. 22 What is to be done? They will surely hear that you have arrived. 23 [b]So do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow. 24 Take these men and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses[c] that they may have their heads shaved. In this way everyone will know that there is nothing to the reports they have been given about you but that you yourself live in observance of the law. 25 As for the Gentiles who have come to believe, we sent them our decision that they abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage.”[d] 26 So Paul took the men, and on the next day after purifying himself together with them entered the temple to give notice of the day when the purification would be completed and the offering made for each of them.

Paul’s Arrest. 27 When the seven days were nearly completed, the Jews from the province of Asia noticed him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd, and laid hands on him, 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us. This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place, and what is more, he has even brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this sacred place.”[e] 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him and supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 The whole city was in turmoil with people rushing together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the gates were closed. 31 While they were trying to kill him, a report reached the cohort commander[f] that all Jerusalem was rioting. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions and charged down on them. When they saw the commander and the soldiers they stopped beating Paul. 33 The cohort commander came forward, arrested him, and ordered him to be secured with two chains; he tried to find out who he might be and what he had done. 34 Some in the mob shouted one thing, others something else; so, since he was unable to ascertain the truth because of the uproar, he ordered Paul to be brought into the compound. 35 When he reached the steps, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob, 36 [g]for a crowd of people followed and shouted, “Away with him!”

Footnotes:

  1. 21:17–26 The leaders of the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem inform Paul that the Jews there believe he has encouraged the Jews of the diaspora to abandon the Mosaic law. According to Acts, Paul had no objection to the retention of the law by the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem and left the Jews of the diaspora who accepted Christianity free to follow the same practice.
  2. 21:23–26 The leaders of the community suggest that Paul, on behalf of four members of the Jerusalem community, make the customary payment for the sacrifices offered at the termination of the Nazirite vow (see Nm 6:1–24) in order to impress favorably the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem with his high regard for the Mosaic law. Since Paul himself had once made this vow (Acts 18:18), his respect for the law would be on public record.
  3. 21:24 Pay their expenses: according to Nm 6:14–15 the Nazirite had to present a yearling lamb for a holocaust, a yearling ewe lamb for a sin offering, and a ram for a peace offering, along with food and drink offerings, upon completion of the period of the vow.
  4. 21:25 Paul is informed about the apostolic decree, seemingly for the first time (see note on Acts 15:13–35). The allusion to the decree was probably introduced here by Luke to remind his readers that the Gentile Christians themselves were asked to respect certain Jewish practices deriving from the law.
  5. 21:28 The charges against Paul by the diaspora Jews are identical to the charges brought against Stephen by diaspora Jews in Acts 6:13. Brought Greeks into the temple: non-Jews were forbidden, under penalty of death, to go beyond the Court of the Gentiles. Inscriptions in Greek and Latin on a stone balustrade marked off the prohibited area.
  6. 21:31 Cohort commander: literally, “the leader of a thousand in a cohort.” At this period the Roman cohort commander usually led six hundred soldiers, a tenth of a legion; but the number in a cohort varied.
  7. 21:36 “Away with him!”: at the trial of Jesus before Pilate in Lk 23:18, the people similarly shout, “Away with this man.”
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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