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Exodus 16-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 16

The Wilderness of Sin. Having set out from Elim, the whole Israelite community came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month[a] after their departure from the land of Egypt. Here in the wilderness the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our kettles of meat and ate our fill of bread! But you have led us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of famine!”

The Quail and the Manna. Then the Lord said to Moses: I am going to rain down bread from heaven[b] for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in, let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days. So Moses and Aaron told all the Israelites, “At evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, when he hears your grumbling against him. But who are we that you should grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and in the morning your fill of bread, and hears the grumbling you utter against him, who then are we? Your grumbling is not against us, but against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole Israelite community: Approach the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.” 10 But while Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they turned in the direction of the wilderness, and there the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud! 11 The Lord said to Moses: 12 I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have your fill of bread, and then you will know that I, the Lord, am your God.

13 In the evening, quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning there was a layer of dew all about the camp, 14 and when the layer of dew evaporated, fine flakes were on the surface of the wilderness, fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. 15 On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”[c] for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.

Regulations Regarding the Manna. 16 “Now, this is what the Lord has commanded. Gather as much of it as each needs to eat, an omer[d] for each person for as many of you as there are, each of you providing for those in your own tent.” 17 The Israelites did so. Some gathered a large and some a small amount. 18 [e]But when they measured it out by the omer, the one who had gathered a large amount did not have too much, and the one who had gathered a small amount did not have too little. They gathered as much as each needed to eat. 19 Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some kept a part of it over until morning, and it became wormy and stank. Therefore Moses was angry with them.

21 Morning after morning they gathered it, as much as each needed to eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers for each person. When all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses, 23 he told them, “That is what the Lord has prescribed. Tomorrow is a day of rest, a holy sabbath of the Lord. Whatever you want to bake, bake; whatever you want to boil, boil; but whatever is left put away and keep until the morning.” 24 When they put it away until the morning, as Moses commanded, it did not stink nor were there worms in it. 25 Moses then said, “Eat it today, for today is the sabbath of the Lord. Today you will not find any in the field. 26 Six days you will gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, it will not be there.” 27 Still, on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather it, but they did not find any. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses: How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my instructions? 29 Take note! The Lord has given you the sabbath. That is why on the sixth day he gives you food for two days. Each of you stay where you are and let no one go out on the seventh day. 30 After that the people rested on the seventh day.

31 The house of Israel named this food manna. It was like coriander seed,[f] white, and it tasted like wafers made with honey.

32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded. Keep a full omer of it for your future generations, so that they may see the food I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.” 33 Moses then told Aaron, “Take a jar[g] and put a full omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to keep it for your future generations.” 34 As the Lord had commanded Moses, Aaron placed it in front of the covenant[h] to keep it.

35 The Israelites ate the manna for forty years, until they came to settled land; they ate the manna until they came to the borders of Canaan. 36 (An omer is one tenth of an ephah.)[i]

Chapter 17

Water from the Rock. From the wilderness of Sin the whole Israelite community journeyed by stages, as the Lord directed, and encamped at Rephidim.

But there was no water for the people to drink, and so they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to a test?” Here, then, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “Why then did you bring us up out of Egypt? To have us die of thirst with our children and our livestock?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? A little more and they will stone me!” The Lord answered Moses: Go on ahead of the people, and take along with you some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the Nile. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink. Moses did this, in the sight of the elders of Israel. The place was named Massah and Meribah,[j] because the Israelites quarreled there and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”

Battle with Amalek. Then Amalek[k] came and waged war against Israel in Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle while Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. 12 Moses’ hands, however, grew tired; so they took a rock and put it under him and he sat on it. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady until sunset. 13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses: Write this down in a book as something to be remembered, and recite it to Joshua: I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. 15 Moses built an altar there, which he named Yahweh-nissi;[l] 16 for he said, “Take up the banner of the Lord![m] The Lord has a war against Amalek through the ages.”

Footnotes:

  1. 16:1 On the fifteenth day of the second month: just one full month after their departure from Egypt. Cf. 12:2, 51; Nm 33:3–4. The Septuagint takes the date to be the beginning of the Israelites’ grumbling.
  2. 16:4 Bread from heaven: as a gift from God, the manna is said to come down from the sky. Cf. Ps 78:24–25; Wis 16:20. Perhaps it was similar to a natural substance that is still found in small quantities on the Sinai peninsula—probably the honey-like resin from the tamarisk tree—but here it is, at least in part, clearly an extraordinary sign of God’s providence. With reference to Jn 6:32, 49–52, the Christian tradition has regarded the manna as a type of the Eucharist. Test: as the text stands, it seems to leave open the question whether the test concerns trusting in God to provide them with the daily gift of food or observing the sabbath instructions.
  3. 16:15 What is this: the Hebrew man hu is thus rendered by the ancient versions, which understood the phrase as a popular etymology of the Hebrew word man, “manna”; but some render man hu, “This is manna.”
  4. 16:16 Omer: a dry measure of approximately two quarts.
  5. 16:18 Paul cites this passage as an example of equitable sharing (2 Cor 8:15).
  6. 16:31 Coriander seed: small, round, aromatic seeds of bright brown color; the comparison, therefore, refers merely to the size and shape, not to the taste or color of the manna.
  7. 16:33 Jar: according to the Greek translation, which is followed in Hb 9:4, this was a golden vessel.
  8. 16:34 The covenant: i.e., the ark of the covenant, in which were placed the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. Cf. 25:16, 21–22.
  9. 16:36 Omer…ephah: see note on Is 5:10.
  10. 17:7 Massah…Meribah: Hebrew words meaning, respectively, “the place of the test” and “the place of strife, of quarreling.”
  11. 17:8 Amalek: the Amalekites appear in the Bible as early inhabitants of southern Palestine and the Sinai peninsula prior to the appearance of the Israelites in the region. Cf. Nm 24:20.
  12. 17:15 Yahweh-nissi: meaning, “the Lord is my banner.”
  13. 17:16 Take up the banner of the Lord: lit., “a hand on the Lord’s banner,” apparently a war cry for the Israelite troops in the conduct of Holy War; however, the Hebrew text is difficult to interpret.
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 41 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 41[a]

Thanksgiving After Sickness

For the leader. A psalm of David.

I

Blessed the one concerned for the poor;[b]
    on a day of misfortune, the Lord delivers him.
The Lord keeps and preserves him,
    makes him blessed in the land,
    and does not betray him to his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed,
    you turn down his bedding whenever he is ill.[c]

II

Even I have said, “Lord, take note of me;
    heal me, although I have sinned against you.
My enemies say bad things against me:
    ‘When will he die and his name be forgotten?’
When someone comes to visit me, he speaks without sincerity.
    His heart stores up malice;
    when he leaves, he gossips.
All those who hate me whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst about me:
‘He has had ruin poured over him;
    that one lying down will never rise again.’
10 [d]Even my trusted friend,
    who ate my bread,
    has raised his heel against me.

III

11 “But you, Lord, take note of me to raise me up
    that I may repay them.”[e]

12 By this I will know you are pleased with me,
    that my enemy no longer shouts in triumph over me.
13 In my integrity may you support me
    and let me stand in your presence forever.
14 [f]Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from all eternity and forever.
    Amen. Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 41 A thanksgiving for rescue from illness (Ps 41:4, 5, 9). Many people, even friends, have interpreted the illness as a divine punishment for sin and have ostracized the psalmist (Ps 41:5–11). The healing shows the return of God’s favor and rebukes the psalmist’s detractors (Ps 41:12–13).
  2. 41:2 Blessed the one concerned for the poor: cf. Ps 32:1–2; 34:9; 40:5; 65:5. The psalmist’s statement about God’s love of the poor is based on the experience of being rescued (Ps 41:1–3).
  3. 41:4 You turn down his bedding whenever he is ill: the Hebrew is obscure. It suggests ongoing attentive care of the one who is sick.
  4. 41:10 Even my trusted friend…has raised his heel against me: Jn 13:18 cites this verse to characterize Judas as a false friend. Raised his heel against me: an interpretation of the unclear Hebrew, “made great the heel against me.”
  5. 41:11 That I may repay them: the healing itself is an act of judgment through which God decides for the psalmist and against the false friends. The prayer is not necessarily for strength to punish enemies.
  6. 41:14 The doxology, not part of the Psalm, marks the end of the first of the five books of the Psalter, cf. Ps 72:18–20; 89:53; 106:48.
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 23:1-22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 23[a]

Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees. Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, [b]saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens[c] [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. [d]All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. [e]They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ [f]As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. 10 Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 [g]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven[h] before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. [14 ][i]

15 [j]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

16 [k]“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ 17 Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ 19 You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; 21 one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; 22 one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.

Footnotes:

  1. 23:1–39 The final section of the narrative part of the fifth book of the gospel is a denunciation by Jesus of the scribes and the Pharisees (see note on Mt 3:7). It depends in part on Mark and Q (cf. Mk 12:38–39; Lk 11:37–52; 13:34–35), but in the main it is peculiar to Matthew. (For the reasons against considering this extensive body of sayings-material either as one of the structural discourses of this gospel or as part of the one that follows in Mt 24–25, see note on Mt 19:1–23:39.) While the tradition of a deep opposition between Jesus and the Pharisees is well founded, this speech reflects an opposition that goes beyond that of Jesus’ ministry and must be seen as expressing the bitter conflict between Pharisaic Judaism and the church of Matthew at the time when the gospel was composed. The complaint often made that the speech ignores the positive qualities of Pharisaism and of its better representatives is true, but the complaint overlooks the circumstances that gave rise to the invective. Nor is the speech purely anti-Pharisaic. The evangelist discerns in his church many of the same faults that he finds in its opponents and warns his fellow Christians to look to their own conduct and attitudes.
  2. 23:2–3 Have taken their seat…Moses: it is uncertain whether this is simply a metaphor for Mosaic teaching authority or refers to an actual chair on which the teacher sat. It has been proved that there was a seat so designated in synagogues of a later period than that of this gospel. Do and observe…they tell you: since the Matthean Jesus abrogates Mosaic law (Mt 5:31–42), warns his disciples against the teaching of the Pharisees (Mt 14:1–12), and, in this speech, denounces the Pharisees as blind guides in respect to their teaching on oaths (Mt 23:16–22), this commandment to observe all things whatsoever they (the scribes and Pharisees) tell you cannot be taken as the evangelist’s understanding of the proper standard of conduct for his church. The saying may reflect a period when the Matthean community was largely Jewish Christian and was still seeking to avoid a complete break with the synagogue. Matthew has incorporated this traditional material into the speech in accordance with his view of the course of salvation history, in which he portrays the time of Jesus’ ministry as marked by the fidelity to the law, although with significant pointers to the new situation that would exist after his death and resurrection (see note on Mt 5:17–20). The crowds and the disciples (Mt 23:1) are exhorted not to follow the example of the Jewish leaders, whose deeds do not conform to their teaching (Mt 23:3).
  3. 23:4 Tie up heavy burdens: see note on Mt 11:28.
  4. 23:5 To the charge of preaching but not practicing (Mt 23:3), Jesus adds that of acting in order to earn praise. The disciples have already been warned against this same fault (see note on Mt 6:1–18). Phylacteries: the Mosaic law required that during prayer small boxes containing parchments on which verses of scripture were written be worn on the left forearm and the forehead (see Ex 13:9, 16; Dt 6:8; 11:18). Tassels: see note on Mt 9:20. The widening of phylacteries and the lengthening of tassels were for the purpose of making these evidences of piety more noticeable.
  5. 23:6–7 Cf. Mk 12:38–39. ‘Rabbi’: literally, “my great one,” a title of respect for teachers and leaders.
  6. 23:8–12 These verses, warning against the use of various titles, are addressed to the disciples alone. While only the title ‘Rabbi’ has been said to be used in addressing the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:7), the implication is that Father and ‘Master’ also were. The prohibition of these titles to the disciples suggests that their use was present in Matthew’s church. The Matthean Jesus forbids not only the titles but the spirit of superiority and pride that is shown by their acceptance. Whoever exalts…will be exalted: cf. Lk 14:11.
  7. 23:13–36 This series of seven “woes,” directed against the scribes and Pharisees and addressed to them, is the heart of the speech. The phrase woe to occurs often in the prophetic and apocalyptic literature, expressing horror of a sin and punishment for those who commit it. Hypocrites: see note on Mt 6:2. The hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees consists in the difference between their speech and action (Mt 23:3) and in demonstrations of piety that have no other purpose than to enhance their reputation as religious persons (Mt 23:5).
  8. 23:13 You lock the kingdom of heaven: cf. Mt 16:19 where Jesus tells Peter that he will give him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The purpose of the authority expressed by that metaphor is to give entrance into the kingdom (the kingdom is closed only to those who reject the authority); here the charge is made that the authority of the scribes and Pharisees is exercised in such a way as to be an obstacle to entrance. Cf. Lk 11:52 where the accusation against the “scholars of the law” (Matthew’s scribes) is that they “have taken away the key of knowledge.”
  9. 23:14 Some manuscripts add a verse here or after Mt 23:12, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. Because of this, you will receive a very severe condemnation.” Cf. Mk 12:40; Lk 20:47. This “woe” is almost identical with Mk 12:40 and seems to be an interpolation derived from that text.
  10. 23:15 In the first century A.D. until the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66–70), many Pharisees conducted a vigorous missionary campaign among Gentiles. Convert: literally, “proselyte,” a Gentile who accepted Judaism fully by submitting to circumcision and all other requirements of Mosaic law. Child of Gehenna: worthy of everlasting punishment; for Gehenna, see note on Mt 5:22. Twice as much as yourselves: possibly this refers simply to the zeal of the convert, surpassing that of the one who converted him.
  11. 23:16–22 An attack on the casuistry that declared some oaths binding (one is obligated) and others not (it means nothing) and held the binding oath to be the one made by something of lesser value (the gold; the gift on the altar). Such teaching, which inverts the order of values, reveals the teachers to be blind guides; cf. Mt 15:14. Since the Matthean Jesus forbids all oaths to his disciples (Mt 5:33–37), this woe does not set up a standard for Christian moral conduct, but ridicules the Pharisees on their own terms.
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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