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Exodus 5-6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Pharaoh’s Hardness of Heart. Afterwards, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Let my people go, that they may hold a feast[a] for me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh answered, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord,[b] and I will not let Israel go.” They replied, “The God of the Hebrews has come to meet us. Let us go a three days’ journey in the wilderness, that we may offer sacrifice to the Lord, our God, so that he does not strike us with the plague or the sword.” The king of Egypt answered them, “Why, Moses and Aaron, do you make the people neglect their work? Off to your labors!” Pharaoh continued, “Look how they are already more numerous[c] than the people of the land, and yet you would give them rest from their labors!”

That very day Pharaoh gave the taskmasters of the people and their foremen[d] this order: “You shall no longer supply the people with straw for their brickmaking[e] as before. Let them go and gather their own straw! Yet you shall levy upon them the same quota of bricks as they made previously. Do not reduce it. They are lazy; that is why they are crying, ‘Let us go to offer sacrifice to our God.’ Increase the work for the men, so that they attend to it and not to deceitful words.”

10 So the taskmasters of the people and their foremen went out and told the people, “Thus says Pharaoh,[f] ‘I will not provide you with straw. 11 Go and get your own straw from wherever you can find it. But there will not be the slightest reduction in your work.’” 12 The people, then, scattered throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw, 13 while the taskmasters kept driving them on, saying, “Finish your work, the same daily amount as when the straw was supplied to you.” 14 The Israelite foremen, whom the taskmasters of Pharaoh had placed over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why have you not completed your prescribed amount of bricks yesterday and today, as before?”

Complaint of the Foremen. 15 Then the Israelite foremen came and cried out to Pharaoh:[g] “Why do you treat your servants in this manner? 16 No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! It is you who are at fault.” 17 He answered, “Lazy! You are lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now off to work! No straw will be supplied to you, but you must supply your quota of bricks.”

19 The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble, having been told, “Do not reduce your daily amount of bricks!” 20 So when they left Pharaoh they assailed Moses and Aaron, who were waiting to meet them, 21 and said to them, “The Lord look upon you and judge! You have made us offensive to Pharaoh and his servants, putting a sword into their hands to kill us.”

Renewal of God’s Promise. 22 Then Moses again had recourse to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have you treated this people badly? And why did you send me? 23 From the time I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has treated this people badly, and you have done nothing to rescue your people.”

Chapter 6

The Lord answered Moses: Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. For by a strong hand, he will let them go; by a strong hand,[h] he will drive them from his land.

Confirmation of the Promise to the Ancestors. [i]Then God spoke to Moses, and said to him: I am the Lord. As God the Almighty[j] I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but by my name, Lord, I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they were residing as aliens. Now that I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians have reduced to slavery, I am mindful of my covenant. Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the Lord. I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will redeem you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God; and you will know that I, the Lord, am your God who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians and I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your own possession—I, the Lord! But when Moses told this to the Israelites, they would not listen to him because of their dejection and hard slavery.

10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 11 Go, tell Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to let the Israelites leave his land. 12 However, Moses protested to the Lord, “If the Israelites did not listen to me, how is it possible that Pharaoh will listen to me, poor speaker[k] that I am!” 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and charged them to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

Genealogy of Moses and Aaron. 14 These are the heads of their ancestral houses.[l] The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the clans of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi, in their genealogical order: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived one hundred and thirty-seven years.

17 The sons of Gershon, by their clans: Libni and Shimei. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived one hundred and thirty-three years. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of Levi in their genealogical order.

20 Amram married his aunt[m] Jochebed, who bore him Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. Amram lived one hundred and thirty-seven years. 21 The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, Amminadab’s daughter, the sister of Nahshon; she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These are the clans of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron’s son, married one of Putiel’s daughters, who bore him Phinehas.[n] These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites by their clans. 26 These are the Aaron and the Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out from the land of Egypt, company by company.” 27 They are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to bring the Israelites out of Egypt—the same Moses and Aaron.

28 When the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt 29 the Lord said to Moses: I am the Lord. Say to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, all that I tell you. 30 But Moses protested to the Lord, “Since I am a poor speaker, how is it possible that Pharaoh will listen to me?”


  1. 5:1 Hold a feast: the Hebrew verb used here, hagag (“to celebrate a feast or a festival”; see 12:14; 23:14), refers to a community celebration marked above all by a procession to the sanctuary. It is used especially of three major feasts: Unleavened Bread, Pentecost (in 23:16, “the Feast of Harvest,” but customarily “the Feast of Weeks” [Shavuot]), and Succoth/Sukkoth (in 34:16, “the Feast of Ingathering,” but more frequently “of Booths, or Tabernacles,” as in Dt 16:13, 16; 31:10; Lv 23:34; Zec 14:16; passim) and—along with the related noun hag—the Passover in 12:14. See 23:14–18; 34:18–25.
  2. 5:2 I do not know the Lord: whether or not he had heard of the Lord, the God of Israel, Pharaoh here refuses to acknowledge the Lord’s authority. See note on 1:8.
  3. 5:5 They are already more numerous: a recollection of Pharaoh’s earlier words to his subjects in 1:9.
  4. 5:6 The taskmasters of the people and their foremen: the former were higher officials and probably Egyptians; the latter were lower officials (perhaps recordkeepers or clerks), chosen from the Israelites themselves. Cf. v. 14.
  5. 5:7 Straw was mixed with clay to give sun-dried bricks greater cohesion and durability.
  6. 5:10 Thus says Pharaoh: the standard formula for prophetic oracles, but with Pharaoh rather than the Lord as the subject. This heightens the sense of personal conflict between Pharaoh, who acts as if he were God, and the Lord, whose claims are spurned by Pharaoh.
  7. 5:15 Cried out to Pharaoh: the Hebrew verb translated “cry out” and its related noun are normally used of appeals to God by Moses (8:8; 14:15; 15:25; 17:4), the people (3:7, 9; 14:10), or an oppressed individual (22:22, 26). Here, by implication, these minor Israelite officials appeal to Pharaoh as if he were their God. See v. 10.
  8. 6:1 By a strong hand: by God’s hand or Pharaoh’s hand? The Hebrew is ambiguous; although it may be an allusion to God’s hand of 3:19–20, both interpretations are possible.
  9. 6:2–7:7 According to the standard source criticism of the Pentateuch, 6:2–7:7 represents a Priestly version of the JE call narrative in 3:1–4:17. But in context the present account does more than simply repeat the earlier passage. See note below.
  10. 6:3 God the Almighty: in Hebrew, El Shaddai. This traditional translation does not have a firm philological basis. But by my name…I did not make myself known to them: although the text implies that the name Lord was unknown previously, in context the emphasis in the passage falls on the understanding of God that comes with knowledge of the name. In this way God responds to the worsening plight of the Israelites and Moses’ complaint in 5:23 that God has done nothing at all to rescue them.
  11. 6:12 Poor speaker: lit., “uncircumcised of lips”: a metaphor expressing the hindrance of good communication expressed as “slow of speech and tongue” (4:10). Also used as a metaphor for impeded “heart” (Lv 26:41; Dt 10:16).
  12. 6:14 The purpose of the genealogy here is to give the line from which Moses and Aaron sprang, with special emphasis placed on the line of Aaron. Reuben and Simeon are mentioned first because, as older brothers of Levi, their names occur before his in the genealogy.
  13. 6:20 His aunt: more exactly, “his father’s sister.” Later on such a marriage was forbidden. Cf. Lv 18:12. Hence, the Greek and Latin versions render here, “his cousin.”
  14. 6:25 Phinehas: according to Nm 25:13, Phinehas was given by God “the covenant of an everlasting priesthood” because of his zeal for God when the Israelites committed apostasy by worshiping the Baal of Peor in the plains of Moab (see Nm 25:1–18).
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 34 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 34[a]

Thanksgiving to God Who Delivers the Just

Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech,[b] who drove him out and he went away.


I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall be always in my mouth.
My soul will glory in the Lord;
    let the poor hear and be glad.
Magnify the Lord with me;
    and let us exalt his name together.


I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
    delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him and be radiant,
    and your faces may not blush for shame.
This poor one cried out and the Lord heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and he saves them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him.
10 Fear the Lord, you his holy ones;
    nothing is lacking to those who fear him.
11 The rich grow poor and go hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.


12 Come, children,[c] listen to me;
    I will teach you fear of the Lord.
13 Who is the man who delights in life,
    who loves to see the good days?
14 Keep your tongue from evil,
    your lips from speaking lies.
15 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
16 The eyes of the Lord are directed toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
17 The Lord’s face is against evildoers
    to wipe out their memory from the earth.
18 The righteous cry out, the Lord hears
    and he rescues them from all their afflictions.
19 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,
    saves those whose spirit is crushed.
20 Many are the troubles of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all.
21 He watches over all his bones;
    not one of them shall be broken.
22 Evil will slay the wicked;
    those who hate the righteous are condemned.
23 The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of his servants;
    and none are condemned who take refuge in him.


  1. Psalm 34 A thanksgiving in acrostic form, each line beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In this Psalm one letter is missing and two are in reverse order. The psalmist, fresh from the experience of being rescued (Ps 34:5, 7), can teach the “poor,” those who are defenseless, to trust in God alone (Ps 34:4, 12). God will make them powerful (Ps 34:5–11) and give them protection (Ps 34:12–22).
  2. 34:1 Abimelech: a scribal error for Achish. In 1 Sm 21:13–16, David feigned madness before Achish, not Abimelech.
  3. 34:12 Children: the customary term for students in wisdom literature.
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 19:16-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”[a] 17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good.[b] If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 [c]He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 [d]The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect,[e] go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 [f]Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 [g]When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” 28 [h]Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. 30 [i]But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.


  1. 19:16 Gain eternal life: this is equivalent to “entering into life” (Mt 19:17) and “being saved” (Mt 19:25); the life is that of the new age after the final judgment (see Mt 25:46). It probably is also equivalent here to “entering the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:23) or “the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:24), but see notes on Mt 3:2; 4:17; 18:1 for the wider reference of the kingdom in Matthew.
  2. 19:17 By Matthew’s reformulation of the Marcan question and reply (Mk 10:17–18) Jesus’ repudiation of the term “good” for himself has been softened. Yet the Marcan assertion that “no one is good but God alone” stands, with only unimportant verbal modification.
  3. 19:18–19 The first five commandments cited are from the Decalogue (see Ex 20:12–16; Dt 5:16–20). Matthew omits Mark’s “you shall not defraud” (Mk 10:19; see Dt 24:14) and adds Lv 19:18. This combination of commandments of the Decalogue with Lv 19:18 is partially the same as Paul’s enumeration of the demands of Christian morality in Rom 13:9.
  4. 19:20 Young man: in Matthew alone of the synoptics the questioner is said to be a young man; thus the Marcan “from my youth” (Mk 10:20) is omitted.
  5. 19:21 If you wish to be perfect: to be perfect is demanded of all Christians; see Mt 5:48. In the case of this man, it involves selling his possessions and giving to the poor; only so can he follow Jesus.
  6. 19:23–24 Riches are an obstacle to entering the kingdom that cannot be overcome by human power. The comparison with the impossibility of a camel’s passing through the eye of a needle should not be mitigated by such suppositions as that the eye of a needle means a low or narrow gate. The kingdom of God: as in Mt 12:28; 21:31, 43 instead of Matthew’s usual kingdom of heaven.
  7. 19:25–26 See note on Mk 10:23–27.
  8. 19:28 This saying, directed to the Twelve, is from Q; see Lk 22:29–30. The new age: the Greek word here translated “new age” occurs in the New Testament only here and in Ti 3:5. Literally, it means “rebirth” or “regeneration,” and is used in Titus of spiritual rebirth through baptism. Here it means the “rebirth” effected by the coming of the kingdom. Since that coming has various stages (see notes on Mt 3:2; 4:17), the new age could be taken as referring to the time after the resurrection when the Twelve will govern the true Israel, i.e., the church of Jesus. (For “judge” in the sense of “govern,” cf. Jgs 12:8, 9, 11; 15:20; 16:31; Ps 2:10). But since it is connected here with the time when the Son of Man will be seated on his throne of glory, language that Matthew uses in Mt 25:31 for the time of final judgment, it is more likely that what the Twelve are promised is that they will be joined with Jesus then in judging the people of Israel.
  9. 19:30 Different interpretations have been given to this saying, which comes from Mk 10:31. In view of Matthew’s associating it with the following parable (Mt 20:1–15) and substantially repeating it (in reverse order) at the end of that parable (Mt 20:16), it may be that his meaning is that all who respond to the call of Jesus, at whatever time (first or last), will be the same in respect to inheriting the benefits of the kingdom, which is the gift of God.
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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