Exodus 18-19 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Meeting with Jethro. 1 Now Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel: how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 So his father-in-law Jethro took along Zipporah, Moses’ wife—now this was after Moses had sent her back—[a] 3 and her two sons. One of these was named Gershom; for he said, “I am a resident alien in a foreign land.” 4 The other was named Eliezer; for he said, “The God of my father is my help; he has rescued me from Pharaoh’s sword.” 5 Together with Moses’ wife and sons, then, his father-in-law Jethro came to him in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God,[b] 6 and he sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, along with your wife and her two sons.”
7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and then kissed him. Having greeted each other, they went into the tent. 8 Moses then told his father-in-law of all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for the sake of Israel, and of all the hardships that had beset them on their journey, and how the Lord had rescued them. 9 Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness that the Lord had shown Israel in rescuing them from the power of the Egyptians. 10 “Blessed be the Lord,” he said, “who has rescued you from the power of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; for he rescued the people from the power of the Egyptians when they treated them arrogantly.” 12 Then Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, brought a burnt offering[c] and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to share with Moses’ father-in-law in the meal before God.
Appointment of Minor Judges. 13 The next day Moses sat in judgment for the people, while they stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he asked, “What is this business that you are conducting for the people? Why do you sit alone while all the people have to stand about you from morning till evening?” 15 Moses answered his father-in-law, “The people come to me to consult God. 16 Whenever they have a disagreement, they come to me to have me settle the matter between them and make known to them God’s statutes and instructions.”
17 “What you are doing is not wise,” Moses’ father-in-law replied. 18 “You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 [d]Now, listen to me, and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. Act as the people’s representative before God, and bring their disputes to God. 20 Enlighten them in regard to the statutes and instructions, showing them how they are to conduct themselves and what they are to do. 21 But you should also look among all the people for able and God-fearing men, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and set them over the people as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 Let these render decisions for the people in all routine cases. Every important case they should refer to you, but every lesser case they can settle themselves. Lighten your burden by letting them bear it with you! 23 If you do this, and God so commands you,[e] you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people, too, will go home content.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 He picked out able men from all Israel and put them in charge of the people as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 They rendered decisions for the people in all routine cases. The more difficult cases they referred to Moses, but all the lesser cases they settled themselves. 27 Then Moses said farewell to his father-in-law, who went off to his own country.
VI. Covenant and Legislation at Mount Sinai
Arrival at Sinai. 1 In the third month after the Israelites’ departure from the land of Egypt, on the first day, they came to the wilderness of Sinai. 2 After they made the journey from Rephidim and entered the wilderness of Sinai, they then pitched camp in the wilderness.[f]
While Israel was encamped there in front of the mountain, 3 Moses went up to the mountain of God. Then the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying: This is what you will say to the house of Jacob; tell the Israelites: 4 You have seen how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now, if you obey me completely and keep my covenant,[g] you will be my treasured possession among all peoples, though all the earth is mine. 6 You will be to me a kingdom of priests,[h] a holy nation. That is what you must tell the Israelites. 7 So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people. When he set before them all that the Lord had ordered him to tell them, 8 all the people answered together, “Everything the Lord has said, we will do.” Then Moses brought back to the Lord the response of the people.
9 The Lord said to Moses: I am coming to you now in a dense cloud, so that when the people hear me speaking with you, they will also remain faithful to you.
When Moses, then, had reported the response of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses: Go to the people and have them sanctify themselves today and tomorrow. Have them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Set limits for the people all around, saying: Take care not to go up the mountain, or even to touch its edge. All who touch the mountain must be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch them, but they must be stoned to death or killed with arrows. Whether human being or beast, they must not be allowed to live. Only when the ram’s horn sounds may they go up on the mountain.[i] 14 Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and had them sanctify themselves, and they washed their garments. 15 He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day. Do not approach a woman.”
The Great Theophany. 16 On the morning of the third day there were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud blast of the shofar,[j] so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the Lord had come down upon it in fire. The smoke rose from it as though from a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 The blast of the shofar grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking and God was answering him with thunder.
20 [k]When the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 Then the Lord told Moses: Go down and warn the people not to break through to the Lord in order to see him; otherwise many of them will be struck down. 22 For their part, the priests, who approach the Lord must sanctify themselves; else the Lord will break out in anger against them. 23 But Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot go up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying: Set limits around the mountain to make it sacred.” 24 So the Lord said to him: Go down and come up along with Aaron. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord; else he will break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
Psalm 42-43 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Second Book—Psalms 42–72
Longing for God’s Presence in the Temple
1 For the leader. A maskil of the Korahites.[b]
2 As the deer longs for streams of water,
7 My soul is downcast within me;
1 Grant me justice, O God;
Matthew 23:23-39 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes[a] of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. [But] these you should have done, without neglecting the others. 24 [b]Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
25 [c]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.
27 [d]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. 28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.
29 [e]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,[f] you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ 31 Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; 32 now fill up what your ancestors measured out! 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna? 34 [g]Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
The Lament over Jerusalem.[h] 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! 38 Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate. 39 I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”