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Exodus 22-23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 22

[If a thief is caught[a] in the act of housebreaking and beaten to death, there is no bloodguilt involved. But if after sunrise he is thus beaten, there is bloodguilt.] He must make full restitution. If he has nothing, he shall be sold to pay for his theft. If what he stole is found alive in his possession, be it an ox, a donkey or a sheep, he shall make twofold restitution.

When someone causes a field or a vineyard to be grazed over, by sending his cattle to graze in another’s field, he must make restitution with the best produce of his own field or vineyard. If a fire breaks out, catches on to thorn bushes, and consumes shocked grain, standing grain, or the field itself, the one who started the fire must make full restitution.

Trusts and Loans. When someone gives money or articles to another for safekeeping and they are stolen from the latter’s house, the thief, if caught, must make twofold restitution. If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house shall be brought to God,[b] to swear that he himself did not lay hands on his neighbor’s property. In every case of dishonest appropriation, whether it be about an ox, or a donkey, or a sheep, or a garment, or anything else that has disappeared, where another claims that the thing is his, the claim of both parties shall be brought before God; the one whom God convicts must make twofold restitution to the other.

When someone gives an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any other animal to another for safekeeping, if it dies, or is maimed or snatched away, without anyone witnessing the fact, 10 there shall be an oath before the Lord between the two of them that the guardian did not lay hands on his neighbor’s property; the owner must accept the oath, and no restitution is to be made. 11 But if the guardian has actually stolen from it, then he must make restitution to the owner. 12 If it has been killed by a wild beast, let him bring it as evidence; he need not make restitution for the mangled animal.

13 When someone borrows an animal from a neighbor, if it is maimed or dies while the owner is not present, that one must make restitution. 14 But if the owner is present, that one need not make restitution. If it was hired, this was covered by the price of its hire.

Social Laws. 15 When a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall make her his wife by paying the bride price. 16 If her father refuses to give her to him, he must still pay him the bride price for virgins.[c]

17 You shall not let a woman who practices sorcery live.

18 Anyone who lies with an animal shall be put to death.

19 Whoever sacrifices to any god, except to the Lord alone, shall be put under the ban.

20 You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt. 21 You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. 22 If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely listen to their cry. 23 My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.

24 If you lend money to my people, the poor among you, you must not be like a money lender; you must not demand interest from them. 25 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; 26 for this is his only covering; it is the cloak for his body. What will he sleep in? If he cries out to me, I will listen; for I am compassionate.

27 You shall not despise God,[d] nor curse a leader of your people.

28 You shall not delay the offering of your harvest and your press. You shall give me the firstborn of your sons. 29 You must do the same with your oxen and your sheep; for seven days the firstling may stay with its mother, but on the eighth day you must give it to me.

30 You shall be a people sacred to me. Flesh torn to pieces in the field you shall not eat; you must throw it to the dogs.

Chapter 23

You shall not repeat a false report. Do not join your hand with the wicked to be a witness supporting violence. You shall not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When testifying in a lawsuit, you shall not follow the crowd in perverting justice. You shall not favor the poor in a lawsuit.

When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you must see to it that it is returned. When you notice the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you should not desert him; you must help him with it.

You shall not pervert justice for the needy among you in a lawsuit. You shall keep away from anything dishonest. The innocent and the just you shall not put to death, for I will not acquit the guilty. Never take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and distorts the words of the just. You shall not oppress a resident alien; you well know how it feels to be an alien, since you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.

Religious Laws. 10 For six years you may sow your land and gather in its produce. 11 But the seventh year you shall let the land lie untilled and fallow, that the poor of your people may eat of it and their leftovers the wild animals may eat. So also shall you do in regard to your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 For six days you may do your work, but on the seventh day you must rest, that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and that the son of your maidservant and the resident alien may be refreshed. 13 Give heed to all that I have told you.

You shall not mention the name of any other god; it shall not be heard from your lips.

14 Three times a year you shall celebrate a pilgrim feast to me.[e] 15 You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread. As I have commanded you, you must eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for it was then that you came out of Egypt. No one shall appear before me[f] empty-handed. 16 You shall also keep the feast of the grain harvest with the first fruits of the crop that you sow in the field; and finally, the feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you collect your produce from the fields. 17 Three times a year shall all your men appear before the Lord God.

18 You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened; nor shall the fat of my feast be kept overnight till the next day. 19 The choicest first fruits of your soil you shall bring to the house of the Lord, your God.

You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.[g]

Reward of Fidelity. 20 See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Be attentive to him and obey him. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority is within him.[h] 22 If you obey him and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.

23 My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out. 24 Therefore, you shall not bow down to their gods and serve them, nor shall you act as they do; rather, you must demolish them and smash their sacred stones.[i] 25 You shall serve the Lord, your God; then he will bless your food and drink, and I will remove sickness from your midst; 26 no woman in your land will be barren or miscarry; and I will give you a full span of life.

27 I will have the terror of me precede you, so that I will throw into panic every nation you reach. I will make all your enemies turn from you in flight, 28 and ahead of you I will send hornets[j] to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them all out before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild animals multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have grown numerous enough to take possession of the land. 31 I will set your boundaries from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines,[k] and from the wilderness to the Euphrates; all who dwell in this land I will hand over to you and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall not make a covenant with them or their gods. 33 They must not live in your land. For if you serve their gods, this will become a snare to you.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:1–2 If a thief is caught: this seems to be a fragment of what was once a longer law on housebreaking, which has been inserted here into the middle of a law on stealing animals. At night the householder would be justified in killing a burglar outright, but not so in the daytime, when the burglar could more easily be caught alive. He must make full restitution: this stood originally immediately after 21:37.
  2. 22:7 Brought to God: either within the household or at the sanctuary, the owner of the house is required to take an oath before God.
  3. 22:16 The bride price for virgins: fifty shekels according to Dt 22:29.
  4. 22:27 Despise God: a turning away from God’s authority and so failing to honor God (cf. 1 Sm 2:30).
  5. 23:14 These three feasts—Passover/Unleavened Bread, Weeks (Pentecost), and Booths (Tabernacles or Succoth/Sukkoth)—are also listed in 34:18–26; Lv 23; Dt 16.
  6. 23:15 Appear before me: the original expression was “see my face”; so also in several other places, as 23:17; 34:23–24; Dt 16:16; 31:11.
  7. 23:19 Boil a young goat in its mother’s milk: this command, repeated in 34:26 and Dt 14:21, is difficult to understand. It may originate from a taboo that forbade killing the young that were still nursing from the mother, or that forbade the mixing of life and death: the slaughtered young goat with the milk that previously had nourished its life. The Jewish dietary custom of keeping meat and dairy products separate is based on this command.
  8. 23:21 My authority is within him: lit., “My name is within him.”
  9. 23:24 Sacred stones: objects that symbolized the presence of Canaanite deities. In general, standing stones served as memorials for deities, persons, or significant events such as military victories or covenant-making. See 24:4.
  10. 23:28 Hornets: the Hebrew sir’ah is a disputed term, but according to ancient interpreters it refers to hornets that were unleashed against the enemy to sting them and cause panic (cf. Dt 7:20; Jos 24:12; Wis 12:8). Others associate the word with plagues or troublesome afflictions.
  11. 23:31 The sea of the Philistines: the Mediterranean. Only in the time of David and Solomon did the territory of Israel come near to reaching such distant borders.
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 45 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 45[a]

Song for a Royal Wedding

For the leader; according to “Lilies.” A maskil of the Korahites. A love song.

I

My heart is stirred by a noble theme,
    as I sing my ode to the king.
    My tongue is the pen of a nimble scribe.

II

You are the most handsome of men;
    fair speech has graced your lips,
    for God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword upon your hip, mighty warrior!
    In splendor and majesty ride on triumphant!
In the cause of truth, meekness, and justice
    may your right hand show your wondrous deeds.
Your arrows are sharp;
    peoples will cower at your feet;
    the king’s enemies will lose heart.
Your throne, O God,[b] stands forever;
    your royal scepter is a scepter for justice.
You love justice and hate wrongdoing;
    therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.
With myrrh, aloes, and cassia
    your robes are fragrant.
From ivory-paneled palaces[c]
    stringed instruments bring you joy.
10 Daughters of kings are your lovely wives;
    a princess arrayed in Ophir’s gold[d]
    comes to stand at your right hand.

III

11 Listen, my daughter, and understand;
    pay me careful heed.
Forget your people and your father’s house,[e]
12     that the king might desire your beauty.
He is your lord;
13     honor him, daughter of Tyre.
Then the richest of the people
    will seek your favor with gifts.
14 All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters,
    her raiment threaded with gold;
15 In embroidered apparel she is led to the king.
    The maids of her train are presented to the king.
16 They are led in with glad and joyous acclaim;
    they enter the palace of the king.

IV

17 The throne of your fathers your sons will have;
    you shall make them princes through all the land.
18 I will make your name renowned through all generations;
    thus nations shall praise you forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 45 A song for the Davidic king’s marriage to a foreign princess from Tyre in Phoenicia. The court poet sings (Ps 45:2, 18) of God’s choice of the king (Ps 45:3, 8), of his role in establishing divine rule (Ps 45:4–8), and of his splendor as he waits for his bride (Ps 45:9–10). The woman is to forget her own house when she becomes wife to the king (Ps 45:11–13). Her majestic beauty today is a sign of the future prosperity of the royal house (Ps 45:14–17). The Psalm was retained in the collection when there was no reigning king, and came to be applied to the king who was to come, the messiah.
  2. 45:7 O God: the king, in courtly language, is called “god,” i.e., more than human, representing God to the people. Hb 1:8–9 applies Ps 45:7–8 to Christ.
  3. 45:9 Ivory-paneled palaces: lit., “palaces of ivory.” Ivory paneling and furniture decoration have been found in Samaria and other ancient Near Eastern cities, cf. Am 3:15.
  4. 45:10 Ophir’s gold: uncertain location, possibly a region on the coast of southern Arabia or eastern Africa, famous for its gold, cf. 1 Kgs 9:28; 10:11; Jb 22:24.
  5. 45:11 Forget your people and your father’s house: the bride should no longer consider herself a daughter of her father’s house, but the wife of the king—the queen.
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 24:23-44 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

23 If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. 26 So if they say to you, ‘He is in the desert,’ do not go out there; if they say, ‘He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.[a] 27 For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man. 29 [b]“Immediately after the tribulation of those days,

the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30 And then the sign of the Son of Man[c] will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels[d] with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree.[e] 32 “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates. 34 Amen, I say to you, this generation[f] will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The Unknown Day and Hour.[g] 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[h] but the Father alone. 37 [i]For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 In [those] days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. 39 They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be [also] at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 [j]Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. 42 [k]Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. 43 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. 44 So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant.[l]

Footnotes:

  1. 24:26–28 Claims that the Messiah is to be found in some distant or secret place must be ignored. The coming of the Son of Man will be as clear as lightning is to all and as the corpse of an animal is to vultures; cf. Lk 17:24, 37. Here there is clear identification of the Son of Man and the Messiah; cf. Mt 24:23.
  2. 24:29 The answer to the question of Mt 24:3b, “What will be the sign of your coming?” Immediately after…those days: the shortening of time between the preceding tribulation and the parousia has been explained as Matthew’s use of a supposed device of Old Testament prophecy whereby certainty that a predicted event will occur is expressed by depicting it as imminent. While it is questionable that that is an acceptable understanding of the Old Testament predictions, it may be applicable here, for Matthew knew that the parousia had not come immediately after the fall of Jerusalem, and it is unlikely that he is attributing a mistaken calculation of time to Jesus. The sun…be shaken: cf. Is 13:10, 13.
  3. 24:30 The sign of the Son of Man: perhaps this means the sign that is the glorious appearance of the Son of Man; cf. Mt 12:39–40 where “the sign of Jonah” is Jonah’s being in the “belly of the whale.” Tribes of the earth will mourn: peculiar to Matthew; cf. Zec 12:12–14. Coming upon the clouds…glory: cf. Dn 7:13, although there the “one like a son of man” comes to God to receive kingship; here the Son of Man comes from heaven for judgment.
  4. 24:31 Send out his angels: cf. Mt 13:41 where they are sent out to collect the wicked for punishment. Trumpet blast: cf. Is 27:13; 1 Thes 4:16.
  5. 24:32–35 Cf. Mk 13:28–31.
  6. 24:34 The difficulty raised by this verse cannot be satisfactorily removed by the supposition that this generation means the Jewish people throughout the course of their history, much less the entire human race. Perhaps for Matthew it means the generation to which he and his community belonged.
  7. 24:36–44 The statement of Mt 24:34 is now counterbalanced by one that declares that the exact time of the parousia is known only to the Father (Mt 24:36), and the disciples are warned to be always ready for it. This section is drawn from Mark and Q (cf. Lk 17:26–27, 34–35; 12:39–40).
  8. 24:36 Many textual witnesses omit nor the Son, which follows Mk 13:32. Since its omission can be explained by reluctance to attribute this ignorance to the Son, the reading that includes it is probably original.
  9. 24:37–39 Cf. Lk 17:26–27. In the days of Noah: the Old Testament account of the flood lays no emphasis upon what is central for Matthew, i.e., the unexpected coming of the flood upon those who were unprepared for it.
  10. 24:40–41 Cf. Lk 17:34–35. Taken…left: the former probably means taken into the kingdom; the latter, left for destruction. People in the same situation will be dealt with in opposite ways. In this context, the discrimination between them will be based on their readiness for the coming of the Son of Man.
  11. 24:42–44 Cf. Lk 12:39–40. The theme of vigilance and readiness is continued with the bold comparison of the Son of Man to a thief who comes to break into a house.
  12. 24:45–51 The second part of the discourse (see note on Mt 24:1–25:46) begins with this parable of the faithful or unfaithful servant; cf. Lk 12:41–46. It is addressed to the leaders of Matthew’s church; the servant has been put in charge of his master’s household (Mt 24:45) even though that household is composed of those who are his fellow servants (Mt 24:49).
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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