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Exodus 10-11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

Eighth Plague: The Locusts. Then the Lord said to Moses: Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants obstinate in order that I may perform these signs of mine among them and that you may recount to your son and grandson how I made a fool of the Egyptians and what signs I did among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord.

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go to serve me. For if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. They will cover the surface of the earth, so that the earth itself will not be visible. They will eat up the remnant you saved undamaged from the hail, as well as all the trees that are growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and the houses of your servants and of all the Egyptians—something your parents and your grandparents have not seen from the day they appeared on this soil until today.” With that he turned and left Pharaoh.

But Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will he be a snare for us? Let the people go to serve the Lord, their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is being destroyed?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, who said to them, “Go, serve the Lord, your God. But who exactly will go?” Moses answered, “With our young and old we must go; with our sons and daughters, with our flocks and herds we must go. It is a pilgrimage feast of the Lord for us.” 10 “The Lord help you,”[a] Pharaoh replied, “if I let your little ones go with you! Clearly, you have some evil in mind. 11 By no means! Just you men go and serve the Lord.[b] After all, that is what you have been asking for.” With that they were driven from Pharaoh’s presence.

12 The Lord then said to Moses: Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon it and eat up all the land’s vegetation, whatever the hail has left. 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord drove an east wind[c] over the land all that day and all night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over the whole land of Egypt and settled down over all its territory. Never before had there been such a fierce swarm of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15 They covered the surface of the whole land, so that it became black. They ate up all the vegetation in the land and all the fruit of the trees the hail had spared. Nothing green was left on any tree or plant in the fields throughout the land of Egypt.

16 Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord, your God, and against you. 17 But now, do forgive me my sin only this once, and pray to the Lord, your God, only to take this death from me.” 18 When Moses left Pharaoh, he prayed to the Lord, 19 and the Lord caused the wind to shift to a very strong west wind, which took up the locusts and hurled them into the Red Sea.[d] Not a single locust remained within the whole territory of Egypt. 20 Yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

Ninth Plague: The Darkness. 21 Then the Lord said to Moses: Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that over the land of Egypt there may be such darkness[e] that one can feel it. 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was dense darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. 23 People could not see one another, nor could they get up from where they were, for three days. But all the Israelites had light where they lived.

24 Pharaoh then summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, serve the Lord. Only your flocks and herds will be detained. Even your little ones may go with you.” 25 But Moses replied, “You also must give us sacrifices and burnt offerings to make to the Lord, our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us. Not an animal must be left behind, for some of them we will select for service[f] to the Lord, our God; but we will not know with which ones we are to serve the Lord until we arrive there.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Leave me, and see to it that you do not see my face again! For the day you do see my face you will die!” 29 Moses replied, “You are right! I will never see your face again.”

Chapter 11

Tenth Plague: The Death of the Firstborn. Then the Lord spoke to Moses: One more plague I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. After that he will let you depart. In fact, when he finally lets you go, he will drive you away. Instruct the people that every man is to ask his neighbor, and every woman her neighbor, for silver and gold articles and for clothing. The Lord indeed made the Egyptians well-disposed toward the people; Moses himself was very highly regarded by Pharaoh’s servants and the people in the land of Egypt.

Moses then said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go forth through Egypt. Every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl who is at the handmill,[g] as well as all the firstborn of the animals. Then there will be loud wailing throughout the land of Egypt, such as has never been, nor will ever be again. But among all the Israelites, among human beings and animals alike, not even a dog will growl, so that you may know that the Lord distinguishes between Egypt and Israel. All these servants of yours will then come down to me and bow down before me, saying: Leave, you and all your followers! Then I will depart.” With that he left Pharaoh’s presence in hot anger.

The Lord said to Moses: Pharaoh will not listen to you so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. 10 Thus, although Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders in Pharaoh’s presence, the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go from his land.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:10 The Lord help you…: lit., “May the Lord be with you in the same way as I let you…”; a sarcastic blessing intended as a curse.
  2. 10:11 Pharaoh realized that if the men alone went they would have to return to their families. He suspected that the Hebrews had no intention of returning.
  3. 10:13 East wind: coming across the desert from Arabia, the strong east wind brings Egypt the burning sirocco and, at times, locusts. Cf. 14:21.
  4. 10:19 The Red Sea: the traditional translation, cf. Septuagint and other Versions; but the Hebrew literally means “sea of reeds” or “reedy sea,” which could probably be applied to a number of bodies of shallow water, most likely somewhat to the north of the present deep Red Sea.
  5. 10:21 Darkness: commentators note that at times a storm from the south, called the khamsin, blackens the sky of Egypt with sand from the Sahara; the dust in the air is then so thick that the darkness can, in a sense, “be felt.” But such observations should not obscure the fact that for the biblical author what transpires in each of the plagues is clearly something extraordinary, an event which witnesses to the unrivaled power of Israel’s God.
  6. 10:26 Service: as is obvious from v. 25, the service in question here is the offering of sacrifice. The continued use of the verb ‘bd “to serve” and related nouns for both the people’s bondage in Egypt and their subsequent service to the Lord dramatizes the point of the conflict between Pharaoh and the God of Israel, who demands from the Israelites an attachment which is exclusive. See Lv 25:55.
  7. 11:5 Handmill: two pieces of stone were used to grind grain. A smaller upper stone was moved back and forth over a larger stationary stone. This menial work was done by slaves and captives.
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 37 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 37[a]

The Fate of Sinners and the Reward of the Just

Of David.

Aleph

Do not be provoked by evildoers;
    do not envy those who do wrong.
Like grass they wither quickly;
    like green plants they wilt away.

Beth

Trust in the Lord and do good
    that you may dwell in the land[b] and live secure.
Find your delight in the Lord
    who will give you your heart’s desire.

Gimel

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will act
And make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
    your justice like noonday.

Daleth

Be still before the Lord;
    wait for him.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
    nor by malicious schemers.

He

Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
    do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
Those who do evil will be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord will inherit the earth.

Waw

10 Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more;
    look for them and they will not be there.
11 But the poor will inherit the earth,
    will delight in great prosperity.

Zayin

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
    and gnash their teeth at them;
13 But my Lord laughs at them,
    because he sees that their day is coming.

Heth

14 The wicked unsheath their swords;
    they string their bows
To fell the poor and oppressed,
    to slaughter those whose way is upright.
15 Their swords will pierce their own hearts;
    their bows will be broken.

Teth

16 Better the meagerness of the righteous one
    than the plenty of the wicked.
17 The arms of the wicked will be broken,
    while the Lord will sustain the righteous.

Yodh

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless;
    their heritage lasts forever.
19 They will not be ashamed when times are bad;
    in days of famine they will be satisfied.

Kaph

20 The wicked perish,
    enemies of the Lord;
They shall be consumed like fattened lambs;
    like smoke they disappear.

Lamedh

21 The wicked one borrows but does not repay;
    the righteous one is generous and gives.
22 For those blessed by the Lord will inherit the earth,
    but those accursed will be cut off.

Mem

23 The valiant one whose steps are guided by the Lord,
    who will delight in his way,
24 May stumble, but he will never fall,
    for the Lord holds his hand.

Nun

25 Neither in my youth, nor now in old age
    have I seen the righteous one abandoned
    or his offspring begging for bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
    and his offspring become a blessing.

Samekh

27 Turn from evil and do good,
    that you may be settled forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice
    and does not abandon the faithful.

Ayin

When the unjust are destroyed,
    and the offspring of the wicked cut off,
29 The righteous will inherit the earth
    and dwell in it forever.

Pe

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
    his tongue speaks what is right.
31 God’s teaching is in his heart;
    his steps do not falter.

Sadhe

32 The wicked spies on the righteous
    and seeks to kill him.
33 But the Lord does not abandon him in his power,
    nor let him be condemned when tried.

Qoph

34 Wait eagerly for the Lord,
    and keep his way;
He will raise you up to inherit the earth;
    you will see when the wicked are cut off.

Resh

35 I have seen a ruthless scoundrel,
    spreading out like a green cedar.
36 When I passed by again, he was gone;
    though I searched, he could not be found.

Shin

37 Observe the person of integrity and mark the upright;
    Because there is a future for a man of peace.
38 Sinners will be destroyed together;
    the future of the wicked will be cut off.

Taw

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,
    their refuge in a time of distress.
40 The Lord helps and rescues them,
    rescues and saves them from the wicked,
    because they take refuge in him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 37 The Psalm responds to the problem of evil, which the Old Testament often expresses as a question: why do the wicked prosper and the good suffer? The Psalm answers that the situation is only temporary. God will reverse things, rewarding the good and punishing the wicked here on earth. The perspective is concrete and earthbound: people’s very actions place them among the ranks of the good or wicked. Each group or “way” has its own inherent dynamism—eventual frustration for the wicked, eventual reward for the just. The Psalm is an acrostic, i.e., each section begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each section has its own imagery and logic.
  2. 37:3 The land: the promised land, Israel, which became for later interpreters a type or figure of heaven, cf. Hb 11:9–10, 13–16. The New Testament Beatitudes (Mt 5:3–12; Lk 6:20–26) have been influenced by the Psalm, especially their total reversal of the present and their interpretation of the happy future as possession of the land.
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.

Matthew 21:1-22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 21

The Entry into Jerusalem.[a] When they drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage[b] on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her.[c] Untie them and bring them here to me. And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, ‘The master has need of them.’ Then he will send them at once.” [d]This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

“Say to daughter Zion,
‘Behold, your king comes to you,
    meek and riding on an ass,
        and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them. [e]They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them. [f]The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying:

“Hosanna[g] to the Son of David;
    blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”

10 And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken[h] and asked, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet,[i] from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Cleansing of the Temple.[j] 12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.[k] 13 And he said to them, “It is written:

‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’[l]
    but you are making it a den of thieves.”

14 The blind and the lame[m] approached him in the temple area, and he cured them. 15 When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wondrous things[n] he was doing, and the children crying out in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant 16 [o]and said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; and have you never read the text, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praise’?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany, and there he spent the night.

The Cursing of the Fig Tree.[p] 18 When he was going back to the city in the morning, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went over to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again.” And immediately the fig tree withered. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed and said, “How was it that the fig tree withered immediately?” 21 [q]Jesus said to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.”

The Authority of Jesus Questioned.[r]

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1–11 Jesus’ coming to Jerusalem is in accordance with the divine will that he must go there (cf. Mt 16:21) to suffer, die, and be raised. He prepares for his entry into the city in such a way as to make it a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zec 9:9 (Mt 21:2) that emphasizes the humility of the king who comes (Mt 21:5). That prophecy, absent from the Marcan parallel account (Mk 11:1–11) although found also in the Johannine account of the entry (Jn 12:15), is the center of the Matthean story. During the procession from Bethphage to Jerusalem, Jesus is acclaimed as the Davidic messianic king by the crowds who accompany him (Mt 21:9). On his arrival the whole city was shaken, and to the inquiry of the amazed populace about Jesus’ identity the crowds with him reply that he is the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee (Mt 21:10, 11).
  2. 21:1 Bethphage: a village that can no longer be certainly identified. Mark mentions it before Bethany (Mk 11:1), which suggests that it lay to the east of the latter. The Mount of Olives: the hill east of Jerusalem that is spoken of in Zec 14:4 as the place where the Lord will come to rescue Jerusalem from the enemy nations.
  3. 21:2 An ass tethered, and a colt with her: instead of the one animal of Mk 11:2, Matthew has two, as demanded by his understanding of Zec 9:9.
  4. 21:4–5 The prophet: this fulfillment citation is actually composed of two distinct Old Testament texts, Is 62:11 (Say to daughter Zion) and Zec 9:9. The ass and the colt are the same animal in the prophecy, mentioned twice in different ways, the common Hebrew literary device of poetic parallelism. That Matthew takes them as two is one of the reasons why some scholars think that he was a Gentile rather than a Jewish Christian who would presumably not make that mistake (see Introduction).
  5. 21:7 Upon them: upon the two animals; an awkward picture resulting from Matthew’s misunderstanding of the prophecy.
  6. 21:8 Spread…on the road: cf. 2 Kgs 9:13. There is a similarity between the cutting and strewing of the branches and the festivities of Tabernacles (Lv 23:39–40); see also 2 Mc 10:5–8 where the celebration of the rededication of the temple is compared to that of Tabernacles.
  7. 21:9 Hosanna: the Hebrew means “(O Lord) grant salvation”; see Ps 118:25, but that invocation had become an acclamation of jubilation and welcome. Blessed is he…in the name of the Lord: see Ps 118:26 and the note on Jn 12:13. In the highest: probably only an intensification of the acclamation, although Hosanna in the highest could be taken as a prayer, “May God save (him).”
  8. 21:10 Was shaken: in the gospels this verb is peculiar to Matthew where it is used also of the earthquake at the time of the crucifixion (Mt 27:51) and of the terror of the guards of Jesus’ tomb at the appearance of the angel (Mt 28:4). For Matthew’s use of the cognate noun, see note on Mt 8:24.
  9. 21:11 The prophet: see Mt 16:14 (“one of the prophets”) and 21:46.
  10. 21:12–17 Matthew changes the order of (Mk 11:11, 12, 15) and places the cleansing of the temple on the same day as the entry into Jerusalem, immediately after it. The activities going on in the temple area were not secular but connected with the temple worship. Thus Jesus’ attack on those so engaged and his charge that they were making God’s house of prayer a den of thieves (Mt 21:12–13) constituted a claim to authority over the religious practices of Israel and were a challenge to the priestly authorities. Mt 21:14–17 are peculiar to Matthew. Jesus’ healings and his countenancing the children’s cries of praise rouse the indignation of the chief priests and the scribes (Mt 21:15). These two groups appear in the infancy narrative (Mt 2:4) and have been mentioned in the first and third passion predictions (Mt 16:21; 20:18). Now, as the passion approaches, they come on the scene again, exhibiting their hostility to Jesus.
  11. 21:12 These activities were carried on in the court of the Gentiles, the outermost court of the temple area. Animals for sacrifice were sold; the doves were for those who could not afford a more expensive offering; see Lv 5:7. Tables of the money changers: only the coinage of Tyre could be used for the purchases; other money had to be exchanged for that.
  12. 21:13 ‘My house…prayer’: cf. Is 56:7. Matthew omits the final words of the quotation, “for all peoples” (“all nations”), possibly because for him the worship of the God of Israel by all nations belongs to the time after the resurrection; see Mt 28:19. A den of thieves: the phrase is taken from Jer 7:11.
  13. 21:14 The blind and the lame: according to 2 Sm 5:8 LXX the blind and the lame were forbidden to enter “the house of the Lord,” the temple. These are the last of Jesus’ healings in Matthew.
  14. 21:15 The wondrous things: the healings.
  15. 21:16 ‘Out of the mouths…praise’: cf. Ps 8:3 LXX.
  16. 21:18–22 In Mark the effect of Jesus’ cursing the fig tree is not immediate; see Mk 11:14, 20. By making it so, Matthew has heightened the miracle. Jesus’ act seems arbitrary and ill-tempered, but it is a prophetic action similar to those of Old Testament prophets that vividly symbolize some part of their preaching; see, e.g., Ez 12:1–20. It is a sign of the judgment that is to come upon the Israel that with all its apparent piety lacks the fruit of good deeds (Mt 3:10) and will soon bear the punishment of its fruitlessness (Mt 21:43). Some scholars propose that this story is the development in tradition of a parable of Jesus about the destiny of a fruitless tree, such as Lk 13:6–9. Jesus’ answer to the question of the amazed disciples (Mt 21:20) makes the miracle an example of the power of prayer made with unwavering faith (Mt 21:21–22).
  17. 21:21 See Mt 17:20.
  18. 21:23–27 Cf. Mk 11:27–33. This is the first of five controversies between Jesus and the religious authorities of Judaism in Mt 21:23–22:46, presented in the form of questions and answers.
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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