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Ezekiel 31-32 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 31

Allegory of the Cedar. On the first day of the third month in the eleventh year,[a] the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, say to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and to his hordes: In your greatness, whom do you resemble?

Assyria! It is Assyria![b]
    A cedar of Lebanon—
Beautiful branches,
    thick shade,
Towering heights,
    its crown in the clouds!
The waters made it grow,
    the deep made it tall,
Letting its currents flow
    around the place it was planted,
Then sending its channels
    to all the other trees of the field.
Thereupon it towered in height
    above all the trees in the field;
Its branches were numerous
    and its boughs long,
Because of the many waters
    sent to its shoots.
In its branches nested
    all the birds of the sky;
Under its boughs all the wild animals
    gave birth,
And in its shade[c] dwelt
    all the mighty nations.
It was magnificent in size
    and in the length of its branches,
For its roots reached down
    to the many waters.
In the garden of God,
    no cedars could rival it,
No juniper could equal its branches,
    no plane tree match its boughs.
No tree in the garden of God
    could match its beauty.
I made it beautiful
    with abundant foliage,
So that all the trees in Eden
    were envious of it.[d]
10 Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
Because it was arrogant about its height,
    lifting its crown among the clouds
    and exalting itself because of its size,
11 I handed it over to a ruler of nations
    to deal with it according to its evil.
I have cast it off,
12     and foreigners have cut it down,
The most ruthless nations,
    have hurled it on the mountains.
Its boughs fell into every valley
    and its branches lay broken
    in every ravine in the land.
All the peoples of the earth
    departed from its shade
    when it was hurled down.
13 On its fallen trunk
    sit all the birds of the sky;
Beside its fallen branches,
    are found all the beasts of the field.
14 This has happened so no well-watered tree
    will gain such lofty height,
    or lift its crown to the clouds.
Not one of those fed by water
    will tower in height over the rest.
For all of them are destined for death,
    for the underworld, among mere mortals,
    with those who go down to the pit.
15 Thus says the Lord God:
On the day it went down to Sheol,
    I made the deep close up
    in mourning for it.
I restrained the currents of the deep,
    and held back the many waters.
I darkened Lebanon because of it,
    and all the trees of the field
    languished because of it.
16 At the sound of its fall,
    I made nations shudder,
When I cast it down to Sheol
    with those who go down to the pit.
In the underworld
    all the trees of Eden took comfort:
Lebanon’s choicest and best,
    all that were fed by the waters.
17 They too will go down to Sheol,
    to those slain by the sword,
Its allies[e] who dwelt
    in its shade among the nations.
18 To whom among the trees of Eden
    do you compare in glory and greatness?
You will be brought down
    with the trees of Eden to the underworld,
And lie among the uncircumcised,
    with those slain by the sword.
Such is Pharaoh and all his hordes—
    oracle of the Lord God.

Chapter 32

Lament over Pharaoh. On the first day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year,[f] the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, utter a lament over Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and say to him:

You liken yourself to a lion among nations,
    but you are like the monster in the sea!
Thrashing about in your streams,
    churning the water with your feet,
    polluting the streams.
Thus says the Lord God:
I will cast my net over you
    by assembling many armies,
    and I will hoist you up in my mesh.
I will hurl you onto the land,
    cast you into an open field.
I will make all the birds of the sky
    roost upon you,
The beasts of the whole earth
    gorge themselves on you.
I will strew your flesh on the mountains,
    and fill the valleys with your corpse.
I will drench the land,
    pouring out your blood on the mountain;
    filling up the ravines with you.
When I extinguish you,
    I will cover the heavens
    and darken all its stars.
The sun I will cover with clouds;
    the moon will not give light.
All the shining lights in the heavens
    I will darken over you;
I will spread darkness over your land—
    oracle of the Lord God.
I will trouble the hearts
    of many peoples,
When I bring you captive
    among the nations,
    to lands you do not know.
10 I will fill many nations with horror;
    their kings will shudder at you,
    when I brandish my sword in their faces.
They will tremble violently
    fearing for their lives on the day of your fall.
11 For thus says the Lord God:
The sword of the king of Babylon
    will come against you.
12 I will cut down your hordes
    with the swords of warriors,
    all of them, ruthless nations;
They will lay waste the glory of Egypt,
    and all its hordes will be destroyed.
13 I will wipe out all the livestock
    from the banks of its many waters;
No human foot will disturb them again,
    no animal hoof stir them up.
14 Then I will make their waters clear
    and their streams flow like oil—
    oracle of the Lord God.
15 When I make Egypt a wasteland
    and the land destitute of everything,
When I strike down all its inhabitants
    they shall know that I am the Lord.
16 This is the lamentation
    women of all nations will chant;
They will raise it over Egypt;
    over all its hordes they will chant it—
    oracle of the Lord God.

Another Lament over Egypt. 17 [g]On the fifteenth day of that month in the twelfth year, the word of the Lord came to me:

18 Son of man, wail over the hordes of Egypt—
    you and the women of mighty nations—
Send them down to the underworld,
    with those who go down into the pit.
19 Whom do you excel in beauty? Go down!
    Be laid to rest with the uncircumcised!
20 Among those slain by the sword they will fall,
    for the sword has been appointed!
Seize Egypt and all its hordes.
21 Out of Sheol the mighty warriors
    will speak to him and his allies:
Let them descend and lie down among the uncircumcised,
    those slain by the sword!
22 There is Assyria and all its company,
    around it are its graves,
    all of them slain, fallen by the sword.
23 The graves are set
    in the recesses of the pit;
Its company is assembled
    around its grave,
All of them slain, fallen by the sword,
    those who spread terror in the land of the living.
24 There is Elam and all its horde
    around its grave,
All of them slain, fallen by the sword;
    they descended uncircumcised
    into the underworld,
Those who spread their terror
    in the land of the living.
They bear their disgrace
    with those who go down into the pit.
25 Among the slain is set its bed,
    with all its horde around its grave;
All of them uncircumcised,
    slain by the sword
Because of the terror they spread
    in the land of the living.
They bear their disgrace
    with those who go down into the pit.
    Among the slain it is set!
26 There is Meshech and Tubal[h] and all the hordes
    surrounding it with their graves.
All of them uncircumcised,
    slain by the sword
Because they spread their terror
    in the land of the living.
27 They do not rest with the warriors
    who fell in ancient times,
    who went down to Sheol fully armed.
Their swords were placed under their heads
    and their shields laid over their bones;
For there was terror of these warriors
    in the land of the living.
28 But as for you, among the uncircumcised
    you will be broken and laid to rest
    with those slain by the sword.
29 There is Edom, all its kings and princes,
    who, despite their might,
    are put with those slain by the sword.
They lie among the uncircumcised,
    with those who go down into the pit.
30 There are the generals of the north
    and all the Sidonians
Who have gone down with the slain,
    because of the terror their might inspired.
They lie uncircumcised
    with those slain by the sword,
And bear their shame with those
    who have gone down into the pit.
31 When Pharaoh sees them,
    he will be consoled on behalf of all his hordes,
    slain by the sword—
Pharaoh and all his army—
    oracle of the Lord God.
32 I spread terror of him
    in the land of the living;
Now he is laid among the uncircumcised,
    with those slain by the sword—
Pharaoh and all his horde—
    oracle of the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. 31:1 The first day of the third month in the eleventh year: June 21, 587 B.C.
  2. 31:3 Assyria: this translates te’ashshur, which some interpret as “cypress tree.” The oracle, however, compares the fate of Pharaoh to the terrible demise of Assyria because of its arrogant pride (cf. Na 1–3). Ezekiel may have drawn on an ancient myth of a cosmic tree of life to emphasize the greatness of Egypt’s fall.
  3. 31:6 Shade: a metaphor for protection (cf. Lam 4:20).
  4. 31:9 Here Israel’s God is responsible for Assyria’s splendor, whereas in Is 10:13 Assyria claims to have created its own might.
  5. 31:17 Allies: lit., “arm.”
  6. 32:1 The first day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year: March 3, 585 B.C.
  7. 32:17–32 The description of Pharaoh in Sheol shifts rapidly between the single individual and the collective body, between corpses speaking and corpses lying inert, between singular (his, hers, its) and plural (them, theirs) pronouns to emphasize that all the enemies of Israel come to the same end.
  8. 32:26 Meshech and Tubal: see note on 38:2.
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 33:16-33 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 Now I am the last to keep vigil,[a]
    like a gleaner following the grape-pickers;
17 Since by the Lord’s blessing I have made progress
    till like a grape-picker I have filled my wine press,
18 Consider that not for myself only have I labored,
    but for all who seek instruction.

Property and Servants[b]

19 Listen to me, leaders of the people;
    rulers of the congregation, pay heed!
20a Let neither son nor wife, neither brother nor friend,
    have power over you as long as you live.
21 While breath of life is still in you,
    let no one take your place.
20b Do not give your wealth to another,
    lest you must plead for support yourself.
22 Far better that your children plead with you
    than that you should look for a handout from them.
23 Keep control over all your affairs;
    bring no stain on your honor.
24 When your few days reach their limit,
    at the time of death distribute your inheritance.

25 Fodder and whip and loads for a donkey;
    food, correction and work for a slave.
26 Make a slave work, and he will look for rest;
    let his hands be idle and he will seek to be free.
27 The yoke and harness will bow the neck;
    and for a wicked slave, punishment in the stocks.
28 Force him to work that he be not idle,
29     for idleness teaches much mischief.
30 Put him to work, as is fitting for him;
    and if he does not obey, load him with chains.
But never lord it over any human being,
    and do nothing unjust.
31 If you have but one slave, treat him like yourself,
    for you have acquired him with your life’s blood;
If you have but one slave, deal with him as a brother,
    for you need him as you need your life.
32 If you mistreat him and he runs away,
33     in what direction will you look for him?

Footnotes:

  1. 33:16–18 Ben Sira refers to himself as the most recent of the biblical writers who have endeavored to present true wisdom to their readers.
  2. 33:19–33 Public officials should reject every influence that would restrict their freedom in the management of their affairs. They must make their own household subservient to them rather than be subservient to it (vv. 19–24). Slaves are to be given food and work and correction but never to be treated unjustly (vv. 25–30). Great care should be taken of good slaves (vv. 31–33).
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.

Revelation 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Prologue[a]

Chapter 1

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must happen soon. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who gives witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw. Blessed is the one[b] who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

II. Letters to the Churches of Asia

Greeting.[c] John, to the seven churches in Asia:[d] grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us[e] from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever [and ever]. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
    and every eye will see him,
    even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
    Yes. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,”[f] says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”

The First Vision.[g] I, John, your brother, who share with you the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus, found myself on the island called Patmos[h] because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus. 10 I was caught up in spirit on the Lord’s day[i] and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, 11 which said, “Write on a scroll[j] what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” 12 [k]Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,[l] wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest. 14 The hair of his head was as white as white wool or as snow,[m] and his eyes were like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like polished brass refined in a furnace,[n] and his voice was like the sound of rushing water. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars.[o] A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face shone like the sun at its brightest.

17 When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead.[p] He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18 the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.[q] 19 Write down, therefore, what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.[r] 20 This is the secret meaning[s] of the seven stars you saw in my right hand, and of the seven gold lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–3 This prologue describes the source, contents, and audience of the book and forms an inclusion with the epilogue (Rev 22:6–21), with its similar themes and expressions.
  2. 1:3 Blessed is the one: this is the first of seven beatitudes in this book; the others are in Rev 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. This prophetic message: literally, “the words of the prophecy”; so Rev 22:7, 10, 18, 19 by inclusion. The appointed time: when Jesus will return in glory; cf. Rev 1:7; 3:11; 22:7, 10, 12, 20.
  3. 1:4–8 Although Revelation begins and ends (Rev 22:21) with Christian epistolary formulae, there is nothing between Rev 4; 22 resembling a letter. The author here employs the standard word order for greetings in Greek letter writing: “N. to N., greetings…”; see note on Rom 1:1.
  4. 1:4 Seven churches in Asia: Asia refers to the Roman province of that name in western Asia Minor (modern Turkey); these representative churches are mentioned by name in Rev 1:11, and each is the recipient of a message (Rev 2:1–3:22). Seven is the biblical number suggesting fullness and completeness; thus the seer is writing for the whole church.
  5. 1:5 Freed us: the majority of Greek manuscripts and several early versions read “washed us”; but “freed us” is supported by the best manuscripts and fits well with Old Testament imagery, e.g., Is 40:2.
  6. 1:8 The Alpha and the Omega: the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Rev 22:13 the same words occur together with the expressions “the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”; cf. Rev 1:17; 2:8; 21:6; Is 41:4; 44:6.
  7. 1:9–20 In this first vision, the seer is commanded to write what he sees to the seven churches (Rev 1:9–11). He sees Christ in glory, whom he depicts in stock apocalyptic imagery (Rev 1:12–16), and hears him describe himself in terms meant to encourage Christians by emphasizing his victory over death (Rev 1:17–20).
  8. 1:9 Island called Patmos: one of the Sporades islands in the Aegean Sea, some fifty miles south of Ephesus, used by the Romans as a penal colony. Because I proclaimed God’s word: literally, “on account of God’s word.”
  9. 1:10 The Lord’s day: Sunday. As loud as a trumpet: the imagery is derived from the theophany at Sinai (Ex 19:16, 19; cf. Hb 12:19 and the trumpet in other eschatological settings in Is 27:13; Jl 2:1; Mt 24:31; 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thes 4:16).
  10. 1:11 Scroll: a papyrus roll.
  11. 1:12–16 A symbolic description of Christ in glory. The metaphorical language is not to be understood literally; cf. Introduction.
  12. 1:13 Son of man: see note on Mk 8:31. Ankle-length robe: Christ is priest; cf. Ex 28:4; 29:5; Wis 18:24; Zec 3:4. Gold sash: Christ is king; cf. Ex 28:4; 1 Mc 10:89; 11:58; Dn 10:5.
  13. 1:14 Hair…as white as white wool or as snow: Christ is eternal, clothed with the dignity that belonged to the “Ancient of Days”; cf. Rev 1:18; Dn 7:9. His eyes were like a fiery flame: Christ is portrayed as all-knowing; cf. Rev 2:23; Ps 7:10; Jer 17:10; and similar expressions in Rev 2:18; 19:12; cf. Dn 10:6.
  14. 1:15 His feet…furnace: Christ is depicted as unchangeable; cf. Ez 1:27; Dn 10:6. The Greek word translated “refined” is unconnected grammatically with any other word in the sentence. His voice…water: Christ speaks with divine authority; cf. Ez 1:24.
  15. 1:16 Seven stars: in the pagan world, Mithras and the Caesars were represented with seven stars in their right hand, symbolizing their universal dominion. A sharp two-edged sword: this refers to the word of God (cf. Eph 6:17; Hb 4:12) that will destroy unrepentant sinners; cf. Rev 2:16; 19:15; Wis 18:15; Is 11:4; 49:2. His face…brightest: this symbolizes the divine majesty of Christ; cf. Rev 10:1; 21:23; Jgs 5:31; Is 60:19; Mt 17:2.
  16. 1:17 It was an Old Testament belief that for sinful human beings to see God was to die; cf. Ex 19:21; 33:20; Jgs 6:22–23; Is 6:5.
  17. 1:18 Netherworld: Greek Hades, Hebrew Sheol, the abode of the dead; cf. Rev 20:13–14; Nm 16:33.
  18. 1:19 What you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards: the three parts of the Book of Revelation, the vision (Rev 1:10–20), the situation in the seven churches (Rev 2–3), and the events of Rev 6–22.
  19. 1:20 Secret meaning: literally, “mystery.” Angels: these are the presiding spirits of the seven churches. Angels were thought to be in charge of the physical world (cf. Rev 7:1; 14:18; 16:5) and of nations (Dn 10:13; 12:1), communities (the seven churches), and individuals (Mt 18:10; Acts 12:15). Some have seen in the “angel” of each of the seven churches its pastor or a personification of the spirit of the congregation.
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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