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Ezekiel 29-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 29

Egypt the Crocodile. In the tenth year, on the twelfth day of the tenth month,[a] the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, turn your face toward Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt.[b] Say to him: Thus says the Lord God:

Pay attention! I am against you,
    Pharaoh, king of Egypt,
Great dragon[c] crouching
    in the midst of the Nile,
Who says, “The Nile belongs to me;
    I made it myself!”
[d]I will put hooks in your jaws
    and make all the fish of your Nile
Cling to your scales;
    I will drag you up from your Nile,
With all the fish of your Nile
    clinging to your scales.
I will hurl you into the wilderness,
    you and all the fish of your Nile.
You will fall into an open field,
    you will not be picked up or gathered together.
To the beasts of the earth
    and the birds of the sky
    I give you as food.
Then all the inhabitants of Egypt
    will know that I am the Lord.
Because you were a staff of reeds[e]
    for the house of Israel:
When they took hold of you, you would splinter,
    throwing shoulders out of joint.
When they leaned on you, you would break,
    pitching them down headlong.
Therefore thus says the Lord God:
Look! I am bringing the sword against you
    to cut off from you people and animals.
The land of Egypt shall become a desolate waste;
    then they shall know that I am the Lord.
Because you said, “The Nile belongs to me;
    I made it!”
10 Beware! I am against you
    and against your Nile.
I will turn the land of Egypt into ruins,
    into a dry, desolate waste,
From Migdol to Syene,[f]
    up to the border of Ethiopia.
11 No foot shall pass through it,
    no human being or beast cross it;
    it will remain uninhabited for forty years.
12 I will make the land of Egypt the most desolate
    among desolate lands;
Its cities, the most deserted
    among deserted cities for forty years;
I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations
    and disperse them throughout other lands.
13 But thus says the Lord God:
    At the end of forty years
I will gather the Egyptians
    from among the peoples
    where they are scattered;
14 I will restore Egypt’s fortunes,
    bringing them back to the land of Pathros,[g]
    the land of their origin.
But there it will be a lowly kingdom,
15     lower than any other kingdom,
    no longer able to set itself above the nations.
I will make them few in number,
    so they cannot rule other nations.
16 No longer shall they be security
    for the house of Israel,
But a reminder of its iniquity
    in turning away to follow them.
Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.

Wages for Nebuchadnezzar. 17 In the twenty-seventh year on the first day of the first month,[h] the word of the Lord came to me: 18 Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, has made his army wage a hard campaign against Tyre;[i] their heads grew bald, their shoulders rubbed raw, yet neither he nor his army received compensation from Tyre for all the effort they expended against it. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: See! I am giving to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the land of Egypt! He will carry off its wealth, plundering and pillaging whatever he can find to provide pay for his army. 20 As payment for his toil I give him the land of Egypt—oracle of the Lord God.

21 On that day I will make a horn[j] sprout for the house of Israel, and I will let you again open your mouth in their midst; then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Chapter 30

The Day of the Lord Against Egypt. The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord God:

Wail: “Alas the day!”
Yes, a day approaches,
    a day of the Lord approaches:
A day of dark cloud,
    a time appointed for the nations.
A sword will come against Egypt,
    there will be anguish in Ethiopia,
When the slain fall in Egypt
    when its hordes are seized,
    its foundations razed.
Ethiopia, Put, and Lud,
    all the mixed rabble[k] and Kub,
and the people of allied lands
    shall fall by the sword with them.
Thus says the Lord:
The pillars of Egypt shall fall,
    and its proud strength sink;
From Migdol to Syene,
    its people will fall by the sword—
    oracle of the Lord God.
It shall be the most desolate
    among desolate lands,
Its cities the most ruined
    among ruined cities.
They shall know that I am the Lord,
    when I set fire to Egypt,
    and all its allies are shattered.
On that day, messengers from me
    will go forth in ships
    to terrorize confident Ethiopia.
Anguish will be among them
    on Egypt’s day—it is certainly coming![l]
10 Thus says the Lord God:
I will put an end to Egypt’s hordes
    by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon:
11 He and his army with him,
    the most ruthless of nations,
    will be brought in to devastate the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt
    and fill the land with the slain.
12 Then I will dry up the streams of the Nile,
    and sell the land into evil hands;
By the hand of foreigners I will devastate
    the land and everything in it.
    I, the Lord, have spoken.
13 [m]Thus says the Lord God:
I will destroy idols,
    and put an end to images in Memphis.
There will never again be a prince
    over the land of Egypt.
Instead, I will spread fear
    throughout the land of Egypt.
14 I will devastate Pathros,
    set fire to Zoan,
    and execute judgment against Thebes.
15 I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
    the fortress of Egypt,
    and cut off the troops of Thebes.
16 I will set fire to Egypt;
    Pelusium will writhe in anguish,
Thebes will be breached,
    and Memphis besieged in daylight.
17 The warriors of On and Pi-beseth
    will fall by the sword,
    the cities taken captive.
18 In Tahpanhes, the day will turn dark
    when I break the scepter of Egypt there
    and put an end to its proud strength.
Dark clouds will cover it,
    and its women will go into captivity.
19 I will execute judgment against Egypt
    that they may know that I am the Lord.

Pharaoh’s Broken Arm. 20 On the seventh day of the first month in the eleventh year,[n] the word of the Lord came to me: 21 [o]Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. See! It has not been immobilized for healing, nor set with a splint to make it strong enough to grasp a sword. 22 Therefore thus says the Lord God: See! I am coming against Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the strong one and the broken one, making the sword fall from his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout other lands. 24 I will, however, strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand so he can bring it against Egypt for plunder and pillage. 25 When I strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh collapse, they shall know that I am the Lord, because I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon to wield against the land of Egypt. 26 When I scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout other lands, they shall know that I am the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 29:1 The date is calculated to be January 7, 587 B.C. The siege of Jerusalem had begun a year earlier; cf. 24:1.
  2. 29:2 Egypt was allied with Judah against the Babylonians.
  3. 29:3 Dragon: Hebrew reads tannim, usually translated “jackals,” here a byform of tannin, the mythical dragon, or sea monster, representing chaos (cf. Is 27:1; 51:9; Jer 51:34; Ps 91:13; Jb 7:12), and the crocodile native to the Nile. Nile: the many rivulets of the Nile that branch out into the Delta.
  4. 29:4–5 Ezekiel’s repetition of detail creates a vivid picture of Egypt’s destruction: God hauls the crocodile (Pharaoh) and the fish clinging to it for protection (the Egyptian populace) out of the Nile and lands them in an open field, where their corpses are torn apart by wildlife rather than being properly buried (cf. Dt 28:26; 2 Kgs 9:36–37; Jer 34:20; Ez 39:17–20).
  5. 29:6 Staff of reeds: Pharaoh is like a reed that looks sturdy but breaks under pressure. For a similar image, cf. 2 Kgs 18:21 (Is 36:6).
  6. 29:10 From Migdol to Syene: from the northeastern to the southern limits of Egypt. Syene is the modern Aswan, at the first cataract of the Nile; Ethiopia (Heb. kush) is the territory south of Aswan.
  7. 29:14 Pathros: an Egyptian word for upper, i.e., southern, Egypt, above Memphis/Thebes. As silt filled the Delta region and richer land became available there, the population spread north, creating the tradition of a migration from the south (Is 11:11; Jer 44:1, 15).
  8. 29:17 In the twenty-seventh year on the first day of the first month: April 26, 571 B.C. This is the latest date attached to any of Ezekiel’s prophecies.
  9. 29:18–19 Nebuchadnezzar’s thirteen-year siege (587–574 B.C.) ended with Tyre’s surrender on the condition that the Babylonian army would not loot and pillage (pace 26:3–14). According to Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar and his army should collect their wages for serving as God’s instrument in Tyre’s punishment, by plundering and controlling Egypt.
  10. 29:21 A horn: God will give Israel renewed strength. For horn as a symbol of strength, cf. Dt 33:17; Ps 92:11; 132:17. Ezekiel suggests that the Babylonian conquest of Egypt precedes Israel’s restoration, an event he expects to witness and acknowledge when God removes his muteness.
  11. 30:5 Mixed rabble: mercenaries.
  12. 30:9 God spreads panic throughout Ethiopia, ancient Cush, by sending messengers with news of Egypt’s fall. Rivers at its borders insulated Ethiopia and made it inaccessible except by boat.
  13. 30:13–19 The prophet enumerates a list of major Egyptian cities that shall each bear the judgment proclaimed in the previous oracle, vv. 1–12.
  14. 30:20 The seventh day of the first month in the eleventh year: April 29, 587 B.C.
  15. 30:21–26 This oracle was delivered more than a year into the siege of Jerusalem (24:1). When Pharaoh Hophra came to help Jerusalem, the Babylonians temporarily lifted the siege; cf. Jer 34:21; 37:6–7. In Ezekiel’s eyes, Hophra was interfering with the punishment God intended the Babylonians to inflict on Judah. The Babylonians routed the Egyptians, who could not offer Jerusalem any more help; cf. chap. 31.
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 33:1-15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 33

No evil can harm the one who fears the Lord;
    through trials, again and again he is rescued.
Whoever hates the law is without wisdom,
    and is tossed about like a boat in a storm.
The prudent trust in the word of the Lord,
    and the law is dependable for them as a divine oracle.[a]
Prepare your words and then you will be listened to;
    draw upon your training, and give your answer.

Like the wheel of a cart is the mind of a fool,
    and his thoughts like a turning axle.
A mocking friend is like a stallion
    that neighs, no matter who the rider may be.

[b]Why is one day more important than another,
    when the same sun lights up every day of the year?
By the Lord’s knowledge they are kept distinct;
    and he designates the seasons and feasts.
Some he exalts and sanctifies,
    and others he lists as ordinary days.
10 Likewise, all people are of clay,
    and from earth humankind was formed;
11 In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them,
    and he designated their different ways.
12 Some he blessed and exalted,
    and some he sanctified and drew to himself.
Others he cursed and brought low,
    and expelled them from their place.
13 Like clay in the hands of a potter,
    to be molded according to his pleasure,
So are people in the hands of their Maker,
    to be dealt with as he decides.
14 As evil contrasts with good, and death with life,
    so are sinners in contrast with the godly.
15 See now all the works of the Most High:
    they come in pairs, one the opposite of the other.

Footnotes:

  1. 33:3 Oracle: as the answer given through the Urim and Thummim to the high priest is true, so the law proves itself true to those who obey it. Cf. Ex 28:30; Nm 27:21.
  2. 33:7–15 An important doctrine of Ben Sira is his view of the polarities in creation and history; cf. v. 15; 42:24. Contrasts observable in the physical universe as well as in the moral order serve the purposes of divine wisdom (vv. 5–9). All creatures are like clay in the hands of their Maker—the fool and the wise, the sinner and the just (vv. 10–15). This does not imply that some are created to be sinners: God is not the author of wickedness. Divine determinism and human freedom are a mysterious mix.
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.

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

[a]The Presbyter to the beloved Gaius whom I love in truth.

Beloved, I hope you are prospering in every respect and are in good health, just as your soul is prospering. I rejoiced greatly when some of the brothers[b] came and testified to how truly you walk in the truth. Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Beloved, you are faithful in all you do[c] for the brothers, especially for strangers; they have testified to your love before the church. Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.[d] For they have set out for the sake of the Name[e] and are accepting nothing from the pagans. Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to dominate,[f] does not acknowledge us. 10 Therefore, if I come,[g] I will draw attention to what he is doing, spreading evil nonsense about us. And not content with that, he will not receive the brothers, hindering those who wish to do so and expelling them from the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate evil[h] but imitate good. Whoever does what is good is of God; whoever does what is evil has never seen God. 12 Demetrius[i] receives a good report from all, even from the truth itself. We give our testimonial as well, and you know our testimony is true.

13 I have much to write to you, but I do not wish to write with pen and ink. 14 Instead, I hope to see you soon, when we can talk face to face. 15 Peace be with you. The friends greet you; greet the friends[j] there each by name.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Beloved Gaius: a frequent form of address for fellow Christians in New Testament epistolary literature.
  2. 3 The brothers: in this letter, the term may refer to Christians who have been missionaries and received hospitality from Gaius (3 Jn 5–6). Walk in the truth: the common Johannine term to describe Christian living; this description presents Gaius as following the teachings of the Presbyter in contrast to Diotrephes.
  3. 5 You are faithful in all you do: Gaius’s aid to the missionaries is a manifestation of his true Christian faith.
  4. 6 Help them…to continue their journey: the Presbyter asks Gaius not only to continue to welcome the missionaries to his community but also to equip them for further travels.
  5. 7 The Name: of Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 5:41; 1 Jn 2:12; 3:23; 5:13). Accepting nothing: not expecting support from the pagans to whom they preach the gospel, so that they will not be considered as beggars; they required support from other Christians; cf. Paul’s complaints to the Corinthians (1 Cor 9:3–12).
  6. 9 Who loves to dominate: the Presbyter does not deny Diotrephes’ place as leader but indicates that his ambition may have caused him to disregard his letter and his influence.
  7. 10 If I come: the Presbyter may visit the community to challenge the actions of Diotrephes toward himself and the missionaries. Will not receive the brothers: Diotrephes may have been critical of the teachings of the Presbyter and sought to maintain doctrinal purity; cf. 1 Jn 2:19 and 2 Jn 10–11.
  8. 11 Do not imitate evil: Gaius should not be influenced by the behavior of Diotrephes.
  9. 12 Demetrius: because of the fear of false teachers, Demetrius, perhaps the bearer of the letter, is provided with a recommendation from the Presbyter; cf. 2 Cor 3:1; Rom 16:1. Even from the truth itself: this refers probably to the manner of Demetrius’s life that testifies to his true belief; cf. Gaius above (3 Jn 3).
  10. 15 Friends: although a Johannine term for Christians (Jn 15:15), the word here may refer to those in the community loyal to the Presbyter and to Gaius.
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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