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Ezekiel 14-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Idolatry and Unfaithfulness. Some elders of Israel came and sat down before me. Then the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, these men keep the memory of their idols alive in their hearts, setting the stumbling block of their sin before them. Should I allow myself to be consulted by them? Therefore say to them: Thus says the Lord God: If any of the house of Israel who keep the memory of their idols in their hearts, setting the stumbling block of their sin before them, come to a prophet, I the Lord will answer in person because of their many idols, in order to catch the hearts of the house of Israel, estranged from me because of all their idols.

Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord God: Return, turn away from your idols; from all your abominations, turn your faces. For if anyone of the house of Israel or any alien residing in Israel who are estranged from me and who keep their idols in their hearts, setting the stumbling block of their sin before them, come to ask a prophet to consult me on their behalf, I the Lord will answer them in person. I will set my face against them and make them a sign and a byword, and cut them off from the midst of my people. Thus you shall know that I am the Lord.

As for the prophet, if he speaks a deceiving word, I the Lord am the one who deceives that prophet.[a] I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 They will be punished for their own sins, the inquirer and the prophet alike, 11 so that the house of Israel may no longer stray from me, no longer defile themselves by all their sins. Then they shall be my people, and I shall be their God—oracle of the Lord God.

Just Cause.[b] 12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 Son of man, if a land sins against me by breaking faith, and I stretch out my hand against it, breaking its staff of bread and setting famine loose upon it, cutting off from it human being and beast alike— 14 even if these three were in it, Noah, Daniel, and Job,[c] they could only save themselves by their righteousness—oracle of the Lord God. 15 If I summoned wild beasts to prowl the land, depopulating it so that it became a wasteland which no one would cross because of the wild beasts, 16 and these three were in it, as I live—oracle of the Lord God—I swear they could save neither sons nor daughters; they alone would be saved, but the land would become a wasteland. 17 Or if I bring the sword upon this land, commanding the sword to pass through the land cutting off from it human being and beast alike, 18 and these three were in it, as I live—oracle of the Lord God—they could save neither sons nor daughters; they alone would be saved. 19 Or if I send plague into this land, pouring out upon it my bloody wrath, cutting off from it human being and beast alike, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live—oracle of the Lord God—they could save neither son nor daughter; they would save only themselves by their righteousness.

21 Thus says the Lord God: Even though I send against Jerusalem my four evil punishments—sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague—to cut off from it human being and beast alike, 22 there will still be some survivors in it who will bring out sons and daughters. When they come out to you and you see their ways and their deeds, you shall be consoled regarding the evil I brought on Jerusalem, everything I brought upon it. 23 They shall console you when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that not without reason did I do to it everything I did—oracle of the Lord God.

Chapter 15

Parable of the Vine. [d]The word of the Lord came to me:

Son of man,
    what makes the wood of the vine
Better than the wood of branches
    found on the trees in the forest?
Can wood be taken from it
    to make something useful?
Can someone make even a peg out of it
    on which to hang a vessel?
Of course not! If it is fed to the fire for fuel,
    and the fire devours both ends of it,
Leaving the middle charred,
    is it useful for anything then?
Even when it is whole
    it cannot be used for anything;
So when fire has devoured and charred it,
    how useful can it be?
Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
Like vine wood among forest trees,
    which I have given as fuel for fire,
So I will give the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
I will set my face against them:
Although they have escaped the fire,
    the fire will still devour them;
You shall know that I am the Lord,
    when I set my face against them.
Yes, I will make the land desolate,
    because they are so unfaithful—
    oracle of the Lord God.

Chapter 16

A Parable of Infidelity. The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations. You shall say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you belong to the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite, your mother a Hittite.[e] [f]As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut; you were not washed with water or anointed; you were not rubbed with salt or wrapped in swaddling clothes. No eye looked on you with pity or compassion to do any of these things for you. Rather, on the day you were born you were left out in the field, rejected.

Then I passed by and saw you struggling in your blood, and I said to you in your blood, “Live!” I helped you grow up like a field plant, so that you grew, maturing into a woman with breasts developed and hair grown; but still you were stark naked. I passed by you again and saw that you were now old enough for love. So I spread the corner of my cloak[g] over you to cover your nakedness; I swore an oath to you and entered into covenant with you—oracle of the Lord God—and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you with an embroidered gown, put leather sandals on your feet; I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear. 11 I adorned you with jewelry, putting bracelets on your arms, a necklace about your neck, 12 a ring in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver; your garments made of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. Fine flour, honey, and olive oil were your food. You were very, very beautiful, fit for royalty. 14 You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfected by the splendor I showered on you—oracle of the Lord God.

15 But you trusted in your own beauty and used your renown to serve as a prostitute. You poured out your prostitution on every passerby—let it be his. 16 [h]You took some of your garments and made for yourself gaudy high places, where you served as a prostitute. It has never happened before, nor will it happen again! 17 You took the splendid gold and silver ornaments that I had given you and made for yourself male images and served as a prostitute with them. 18 You took your embroidered garments to cover them; my oil and my incense you set before them; 19 the food I had given you, the fine flour, the oil, and the honey with which I fed you, you set before them as a pleasant odor, says the Lord God. 20 [i]The sons and daughters you bore for me you took and offered as sacrifices for them to devour! Was it not enough that you had become a prostitute? 21 You slaughtered and immolated my children to them, making them pass through fire. 22 In all your abominations and prostitutions you did not remember the days of your youth when you were stark naked, struggling in your blood.

23 Then after all your evildoing—woe, woe to you! oracle of the Lord God 24 you built yourself a platform and raised up a dais[j] in every public place. 25 At every intersection you built yourself a dais so that you could degrade your beauty by spreading your legs for every passerby, multiplying your prostitutions. 26 You served as a prostitute with the Egyptians, your big-membered neighbors, and multiplied your prostitutions to provoke me. 27 Therefore I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your allotment, and delivered you over to the whim of your enemies, the Philistines,[k] who were revolted by your depraved conduct. 28 You also served as a prostitute for the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied. Even after serving as a prostitute for them, you were still not satisfied. 29 You increased your prostitutions again, now going to Chaldea, the land of traders; but despite this, you were still not satisfied.

30 How wild your lust!—oracle of the Lord God—that you did all these works of a shameless prostitute, 31 when you built your platform at every intersection and set up your high place in every public square. But unlike a prostitute, you disdained payment. 32 Adulterous wife, taking strangers in place of her husband! 33 Prostitutes usually receive gifts. But you bestowed gifts on all your lovers, bribing them to come to you for prostitution from every side. 34 Thus in your prostitution you were different from any other woman. No one solicited you for prostitution. Instead, you yourself offered payment; what a reversal!

35 Therefore, prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! 36 Thus says the Lord God: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your nakedness in your prostitution with your lovers and your abominable idols, because you gave the life-blood of your children to them, 37 therefore, I will now gather together all your lovers with whom you found pleasure, both those you loved and those you hated; I will gather them against you from all sides and expose you naked for them to see. 38 [l]I will inflict on you the sentence of adultery and murder; I will bring on you bloody wrath and jealous anger. 39 I will hand you over to them to tear down your platform and demolish your high place, to strip you of your garments and take away your splendid ornaments, leaving you stark naked. 40 They shall lead an assembly against you to stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. 41 They shall set fire to your homes and inflict punishments on you while many women watch. Thus I will put an end to your prostitution, and you shall never again offer payment. 42 When I have spent my fury upon you I will stop being jealous about you, and calm down, no longer angry. 43 Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, see, I am bringing down your ways upon your head—oracle of the Lord God. Have you not added depravity to your other abominations?

44 See, everyone who makes proverbs will make this proverb about you, “Like mother, like daughter.” 45 Yes, you are truly the daughter of your mother[m] who rejected her husband and children: you are truly a sister to your sisters who rejected their husbands and children—your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 [n]Your elder sister was Samaria with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister was Sodom and her daughters, south of you. 47 Not only did you walk in their ways and act as abominably as they did, but in a very short time you became more corrupt in all your ways than they were. 48 As I live—oracle of the Lord God—I swear that your sister Sodom with her daughters have not done the things you and your daughters have done! 49 Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy. 50 Instead, they became arrogant and committed abominations before me; then, as you have seen, I removed them. 51 Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more abominable things than they did. You even made your sisters look righteous, with all the abominations you have done. 52 You, then, must bear your disgrace, for you have made a case for your sisters! Because your sins are more abominable than theirs, they seem righteous compared to you. Blush for shame, and bear the disgrace of having made your sisters appear righteous.

53 I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters—and your fortunes along with them. 54 Thus you must bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done to bring them comfort. 55 Yes, your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, Samaria and her daughters, shall return to the way they were, and you and your daughters shall return to the way you were. 56 Did you not hold your sister Sodom in bad repute while you felt proud of yourself, 57 before your evil was exposed? Now you are like her, reproached by the Arameans and all their neighbors, despised on all sides by the Philistines. 58 The penalty of your depravity and your abominations—you must bear it all—oracle of the Lord.

59 For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you for what you did; you despised an oath by breaking a covenant. 60 But I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young; I will set up an everlasting covenant[o] with you. 61 Then you shall remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, those older and younger than you; I give them to you as daughters, but not by reason of your covenant. 62 For I will re-establish my covenant with you, that you may know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be ashamed, and never again open your mouth because of your disgrace, when I pardon you for all you have done—oracle of the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:9 The ancient Israelites thought that God could use deception as a means of promoting divine justice; cf. 2 Sm 24:1–3; 1 Kgs 22:19–23.
  2. 14:12–23 According to Ezekiel, the people in Jerusalem deserve destruction because they are corrupt. Yet he admits an exception to the principle of individual responsibility when he affirms that some of those deserving death will survive and be reunited with family in exile. The depravity of Jerusalem testifies that the punishment of Jerusalem was just and necessary.
  3. 14:14 Noah, Daniel, and Job: righteous folk heroes whom Israel shared with other ancient Near Eastern cultures. Daniel was the just judge celebrated in Ugaritic literature, perhaps the model for the hero of Dn 13.
  4. 15:1–8 Verses 2–5 point out that the wood of the vinestock may be burned for fuel, fit only for destruction. In vv. 6–8 Ezekiel asserts that Jerusalem has the same destiny.
  5. 16:3–4 By origin and birth…Hittite: Jerusalem’s pre-Israelite origins are the breeding ground for its inability to respond faithfully to the Lord’s generosity.
  6. 16:4–5 In this chapter, Ezekiel represents Jerusalem and Samaria as unwanted, abandoned sisters whom the Lord rescues and cares for. Here the prophet depicts Jerusalem as a newborn female, abandoned and left to die, an accepted practice in antiquity for females, who were considered financial liabilities by their families. That the infant has no one, not even her mother, to tie off her umbilical cord, wash her clean, and wrap her in swaddling clothes emphasizes Jerusalem’s death-like isolation and accentuates the Lord’s gracious action in her behalf. The practice of rubbing the skin of newborns with salt is an attested Palestinian custom that survived into the twentieth century.
  7. 16:8 I spread the corner of my cloak: one way to acquire a woman for marriage; cf. Ru 3:9. In Dt 23:1 a son’s illicit sexual relations with his father’s wife is described as “uncovering the edge of the father’s garment.”
  8. 16:16 In the allegory of this chapter the viewpoint often shifts from the figure (prostitution) to the reality (idolatry). A symbol of the woman’s depravity supersedes her parents’ cruel abandonment when she was an infant. It overrides the loyalty she owes her covenant partner and the care she owes their children.
  9. 16:20–21 Also a reference to the practice of child sacrifice introduced under Judah’s impious kings; cf. 2 Kgs 16:3; 17:17; Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35.
  10. 16:24 A platform…a dais: associated with rituals borrowed from the Canaanites.
  11. 16:27 Philistines: lit., “daughters of the Philistines,” a common expression when referring to the various towns that make up a territory.
  12. 16:38 As a jealous husband, Yhwh severely punishes Jerusalem for her adultery: i.e., her worship of idols. Adultery was considered a capital crime in ancient Israel; cf. Lv 20:10–14; Nm 5:11–28; Dt 22:22.
  13. 16:45 Truly the daughter of your mother: Jerusalem’s depraved behavior follows from the bad behavior of its non-Israelite forebears; cf. v. 3.
  14. 16:46–47 Jerusalem is so much more corrupt than Samaria, the elder sister in size, and the smaller Sodom that both now appear just and righteous. Ezekiel’s reference to Sodom indicates that the city’s identification with wickedness and evil was already an established tradition in fifth century B.C. Judah.
  15. 16:60 Everlasting covenant: Ezekiel foresees God renewing the covenant of Sinai in a new and spirit-empowered way that will not be fatally broken as in the present exile or force God to abandon Israel again; cf. 11:19–21; 36:25–27; 37:26–28.
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.

Ben Sira 29:14-28 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

14 [a]A good person will be surety for a neighbor,
    but whoever has lost a sense of shame will fail him.
15 Do not forget the kindness of your backer,
    for he has given his very life for you.
16 A sinner will turn the favor of a pledge into misfortune,
17     and the ungrateful will abandon his rescuer.
18 Going surety has ruined many who were prosperous
    and tossed them about like waves of the sea;
It has exiled the prominent
    and sent them wandering through foreign lands.
19 The sinner will come to grief through surety,
    and whoever undertakes too much will fall into lawsuits.
20 Help your neighbor according to your means,
    but take care lest you fall yourself.

Frugality and Its Rewards[b]

21 Life’s prime needs are water, bread, and clothing,
    and also a house for decent privacy.
22 Better is the life of the poor under the shadow of their own roof
    than sumptuous banquets among strangers.
23 Whether little or much, be content with what you have:
    then you will hear no reproach as a parasite.
24 It is a miserable life to go from house to house,
    for where you are a guest you dare not open your mouth.
25 You will entertain and provide drink without being thanked;
    besides, you will hear these bitter words:
26 “Come here, you parasite, set the table,
    let me eat the food you have there!
27 Go away, you parasite, for one more worthy;
    for my relative’s visit I need the room!”
28 Painful things to a sensitive person
    are rebuke as a parasite and insults from creditors.

Footnotes:

  1. 29:14–17 Ben Sira is more lenient on going surety than earlier sages; cf. Prv 6:1–5.
  2. 29:21–28 Those who provide their own basic needs of food, clothing and dwelling, and are content with what they have, preserve their freedom and self-respect (vv. 21–23). But if they live as guests, even among the rich, they expose themselves to insult and rebuke (vv. 24–28).
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.

John 21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

IV. Epilogue: The Resurrection Appearance in Galilee

Chapter 21

The Appearance to the Seven Disciples. [a]After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons,[b] and two others of his disciples. [c]Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. [d]When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three[e] large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him,[f] “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. 14 [g]This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

Jesus and Peter.[h] 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,[i] “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”[j] He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 [k]Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Beloved Disciple. 20 Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?[l] What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” 23 [m]So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? [What concern is it of yours?]”

Conclusion. 24 It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them,[n] and we know that his testimony is true. 25 There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1–23 There are many non-Johannine peculiarities in this chapter, some suggesting Lucan Greek style; yet this passage is closer to John than Jn 7:53–8:11. There are many Johannine features as well. Its closest parallels in the synoptic gospels are found in Lk 5:1–11 and Mt 14:28–31. Perhaps the tradition was ultimately derived from John but preserved by some disciple other than the writer of the rest of the gospel. The appearances narrated seem to be independent of those in Jn 20. Even if a later addition, the chapter was added before publication of the gospel, for it appears in all manuscripts.
  2. 21:2 Zebedee’s sons: the only reference to James and John in this gospel (but see note on Jn 1:37). Perhaps the phrase was originally a gloss to identify, among the five, the two others of his disciples. The anonymity of the latter phrase is more Johannine (Jn 1:35). The total of seven may suggest the community of the disciples in its fullness.
  3. 21:3–6 This may be a variant of Luke’s account of the catch of fish; see note on Lk 5:1–11.
  4. 21:9, 12–13 It is strange that Jesus already has fish since none have yet been brought ashore. This meal may have had eucharistic significance for early Christians since Jn 21:13 recalls Jn 6:11 which uses the vocabulary of Jesus’ action at the Last Supper; but see also note on Mt 14:19.
  5. 21:11 The exact number 153 is probably meant to have a symbolic meaning in relation to the apostles’ universal mission; Jerome claims that Greek zoologists catalogued 153 species of fish. Or 153 is the sum of the numbers from 1 to 17. Others invoke Ez 47:10.
  6. 21:12 None…dared to ask him: is Jesus’ appearance strange to them? Cf. Lk 24:16; Mk 16:12; Jn 20:14. The disciples do, however, recognize Jesus before the breaking of the bread (opposed to Lk 24:35).
  7. 21:14 This verse connects Jn 20 and 21; cf. Jn 20:19, 26.
  8. 21:15–23 This section constitutes Peter’s rehabilitation and emphasizes his role in the church.
  9. 21:15–17 In these three verses there is a remarkable variety of synonyms: two different Greek verbs for love (see note on Jn 15:13); two verbs for feed/tend; two nouns for sheep; two verbs for know. But apparently there is no difference of meaning. The threefold confession of Peter is meant to counteract his earlier threefold denial (Jn 18:17, 25, 27). The First Vatican Council cited these verses in defining that Jesus after his resurrection gave Peter the jurisdiction of supreme shepherd and ruler over the whole flock.
  10. 21:15 More than these: probably “more than these disciples do” rather than “more than you love them” or “more than you love these things [fishing, etc.].”
  11. 21:18 Originally probably a proverb about old age, now used as a figurative reference to the crucifixion of Peter.
  12. 21:22 Until I come: a reference to the parousia.
  13. 21:23 This whole scene takes on more significance if the disciple is already dead. The death of the apostolic generation caused problems in the church because of a belief that Jesus was to have returned first. Loss of faith sometimes resulted; cf. 2 Pt 3:4.
  14. 21:24 Who…has written them: this does not necessarily mean he wrote them with his own hand. The same expression is used in Jn 19:22 of Pilate, who certainly would not have written the inscription himself. We know: i.e., the Christian community; cf. Jn 1:14, 16.
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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