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Ezekiel 38-39 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 38

First Prophecy Against Gog. The word of the Lord came to me:[a] Son of man, turn your face against Gog[b] of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. Say: Thus says the Lord God: See! I am coming against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with all your army, horses and riders, all well armed, a great company, all of them with bucklers and shields, carrying swords: Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all with shields and helmets; Gomer and all its troops, Beth-togarmah from the recesses of Zaphon and all its troops—many nations will accompany you. Prepare and get ready, you and the company mobilized for you, but in my service. After many days you will be called to battle; in the last years you will invade a land that has survived the sword—a people gathered from many nations back to the long-deserted mountains of Israel, brought forth from the nations to dwell securely. You shall come up like a sudden storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and the many nations with you.

10 Thus says the Lord God: On that day thoughts shall cross your mind, and you shall devise an evil plan. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of open villages and attack a peaceful people who live in security—all of them living without city walls, bars, or gates”— 12 in order to plunder and pillage, turning your hand against resettled ruins, against a people gathered from the nations, a people whose concern is cattle and goods, dwelling at the center[c] of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish and all its “young lions” shall ask you: “Have you come here to plunder? Have you summoned your army for pillage, to carry off silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to seize much plunder?”

Second Prophecy Against Gog. 14 Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog: Thus says the Lord God: On that day, when my people Israel dwell securely, will you not take action, 15 leaving your base in the recesses of Zaphon,[d] you and many nations with you, all mounted on horses, a great company, a mighty army? 16 You shall rise up over my people Israel like a cloud covering the land. In those last days, I will let you invade my land so that the nations acknowledge me, when in their sight I show my holiness through you, Gog.

17 Thus says the Lord God: About you I spoke in earlier times through my servants, the prophets of Israel, who prophesied at that time that I would let you invade them. 18 But on that day, the day Gog invades the land of Israel—oracle of the Lord God—my fury will flare up in my anger, 19 and in my jealousy, with fiery wrath, I swear on that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 Before me will tremble the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, the beasts of the field and everything that crawls on the ground, and everyone on the face of the earth. Mountains will be overturned, terraces will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 Against him I will summon every terror—oracle of the Lord God; every man’s sword will be raised against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment on him: disease and bloodshed; flooding rain and hailstones, fire and brimstone, I will rain down on him, on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and holiness and make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Chapter 39

Third Prophecy Against Gog. You, son of man, prophesy against Gog, saying: Thus says the Lord God: Here I am, Gog, coming at you, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, even though I urged you on and brought you up from the recesses of Zaphon and let you attack the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike the bow from your left hand and make the arrows drop from your right. Upon the mountains of Israel you shall fall, you and all your troops and the peoples with you. I will give you as food to birds of prey of every kind and to wild beasts to be eaten. In the open field you shall fall, for I have spoken—oracle of the Lord God.

I will send fire against Magog and against those who live securely on the seacoast, and they will know that I am the Lord. I will reveal my holy name among my people Israel, and I will never again allow my holy name to be defiled. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. Yes, it is coming! It shall happen—oracle of the Lord God. This is the day I decreed.

Everyone living in the cities of Israel shall go out and set fire to the weapons, buckler and shield, bows and arrows, clubs and spears; for seven years they shall make fires with them. 10 They will not need to bring in wood from the fields or cut down trees in the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons, plundering those who plundered them, pillaging those who pillaged them—oracle of the Lord God.

11 On that day I will give Gog a place for his tomb in Israel, the Valley of Abarim,[e] east of the sea. It will block the way of travelers. There Gog shall be buried with all his horde; it shall be called “Valley of Hamon-Gog.” 12 For seven months the house of Israel shall bury them in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land shall take part in the burials, making a name for themselves on the day I am glorified—oracle of the Lord God. 14 Men shall be permanently assigned to pass through the land, burying those who lie unburied in order to cleanse the land. For seven months they shall keep searching. 15 When these pass through the land and see a human bone, they must set up a marker beside it, until the gravediggers bury it in the Valley of Hamon-Gog. 16 Also the name of the city is Hamonah. Thus the land will be cleansed.

17 As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God: Say to birds of every kind and to every wild beast: “Assemble! Come from all sides for the sacrifice I am making for you, a great slaughter on the mountains of Israel. You shall eat flesh and drink blood! 18 You shall eat the flesh of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth: rams, lambs, and goats, bulls and fatlings from Bashan, all of them. 19 From the sacrifice I slaughtered for you, you shall eat fat until you are sated and drink blood until you are drunk. 20 At my table you shall be sated with horse and rider, with warrior and soldier of every kind—oracle of the Lord God.

Israel’s Return. 21 Then I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I executed, the hand I laid upon them. 22 From that day forward the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord, their God. 23 The nations shall know that the house of Israel went into exile because of its sins. Because they betrayed me, I hid my face from them, handing them over to their foes, so they all fell by the sword. 24 According to their defilement and their crimes I dealt with them, hiding my face from them.

25 Therefore, thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and take pity on the whole house of Israel; I am zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the infidelities they committed against me when they live securely on their own land with no one to frighten them. 27 When I bring them back from the nations and gather them from the lands of their enemies, I will show my holiness through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord, am their God, since I who exiled them among the nations will gather them back to their land, not leaving any of them behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them once I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel—oracle of the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. 38:1–39:20 These three oracles against Gog (38:2–13; 14–23; 39:1–20) describe a mythic attack of God against a final enemy of his people sometime in the future. Like the oracles against the nations, their purpose is to strengthen Israel’s hope in God, since they end with God’s triumph on behalf of the people.
  2. 38:2 Gog: the name is symbolic, probably derived from Gyges, king of Lydia. The gloss Magog may be an Akkadian expression, mat-Gog, “the land of Gog.” Meshech and Tubal, as well as Gomer and Beth-togarmah (v. 6), were countries around the Black Sea, the northernmost countries known to the Israelites. The north was the traditional direction from which invasion was expected; cf. Jer 1:13–15.
  3. 38:12 Center: lit., “navel.” Many ancient peoples spoke of their own homelands as “the navel,” that is, the center of the earth.
  4. 38:15 Zaphon: cf. note on Jb 37:22.
  5. 39:11 The Valley of Abarim: in the Abarim mountains, east of the Jordan. “Abarim” plays on the word ’oberim, “travelers.” Hamon-Gog: “the horde of Gog.”
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 35 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 35[a]

To keep the law is to make many offerings;
    whoever observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
By works of charity one offers fine flour,[b]
    and one who gives alms presents a sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the Lord,
    and to avoid injustice is atonement.

Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,
    for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The offering of the just enriches the altar:
    a sweet odor before the Most High.
The sacrifice of the just is accepted,
    never to be forgotten.
10 With a generous spirit pay homage to the Lord,
    and do not spare your freewill gifts.
11 With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
    and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
12 Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
    generously, according to your means.
13 For he is a God who always repays
    and will give back to you sevenfold.

14 But offer no bribes; these he does not accept!
15     Do not trust in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion,
For he is a God of justice,
    who shows no partiality.
16 He shows no partiality to the weak
    but hears the grievance of the oppressed.[c]
17 He does not forsake the cry of the orphan,
    nor the widow when she pours out her complaint.
18 Do not the tears that stream down her cheek
19     cry out against the one that causes them to fall?
20 Those who serve God to please him are accepted;
    their petition reaches the clouds.
21 The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds;
    it does not rest till it reaches its goal;
Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds,
22     judges justly and affirms the right.

God indeed will not delay,
    and like a warrior, will not be still
Till he breaks the backs of the merciless
23     and wreaks vengeance upon the nations;
Till he destroys the scepter of the proud,
    and cuts off the staff of the wicked;
24 Till he requites everyone according to their deeds,
    and repays them according to their thoughts;
25 Till he defends the cause of his people,
    and makes them glad by his salvation.
26 Welcome is his mercy in time of distress
    as rain clouds in time of drought.

Footnotes:

  1. 35:1–26 Keeping the commandments of the law and avoiding injustice constitute sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God (vv. 1–5). Offerings also should be made to him, cheerfully and generously; these he repays sevenfold (vv. 6–13). Extortion from widows and orphans is injustice, and God will hear their cries (vv. 14–22a). Punishing the proud and the merciless and coming to the aid of the distressed, he requites everyone according to their deeds (vv. 22b–26).
  2. 35:3 Fine flour, together with oil and frankincense, was a prescribed offering to God; cf. Lv 2:1–3.
  3. 35:16 Cf. Lv 19:15; Dt 1:17. The divine impartiality is paradoxical, for it is tilted toward the poor.
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 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. God and the Lamb in Heaven

Chapter 4

Vision of Heavenly Worship.[a] After this I had a vision of an open door[b] to heaven, and I heard the trumpetlike voice that had spoken to me before, saying, “Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.” [c]At once I was caught up in spirit. A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian. Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald. Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones on which twenty-four elders[d] sat, dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder.[e] Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. In front of the throne was something that resembled a sea of glass like crystal.[f]

In the center and around the throne, there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a human being, and the fourth looked like an eagle[g] in flight. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,[h] were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
    who was, and who is, and who is to come.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before the one who sits on the throne and worship him, who lives forever and ever. They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:

11 “Worthy are you, Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
    because of your will they came to be and were created.”

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–11 The seer now describes a vision of the heavenly court in worship of God enthroned. He reverently avoids naming or describing God but pictures twenty-four elders in priestly and regal attire (Rev 4:4) and God’s throne and its surroundings made of precious gems and other symbols that traditionally express the majesty of God (Rev 4:5–6). Universal creation is represented by the four living creatures (Rev 4:6–7). Along with the twenty-four elders, they praise God unceasingly in humble adoration (Rev 4:8–11).
  2. 4:1 The ancients viewed heaven as a solid vault, entered by way of actual doors.
  3. 4:2–8 Much of the imagery here is taken from Ez 1 and 10.
  4. 4:4 Twenty-four elders: these represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles; cf. Rev 21:12–14.
  5. 4:5 Flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder: as in other descriptions of God’s appearance or activity; cf. Rev 8:5; 11:19; 16:18; Ex 19:16; Ez 1:4, 13. The seven spirits of God: the seven “angels of the presence” as in Rev 8:2 and Tb 12:15.
  6. 4:6 A sea of glass like crystal: an image adapted from Ez 1:22–26. Four living creatures: these are symbols taken from Ez 1:5–21; they are identified as cherubim in Ez 10:20. Covered with eyes: these suggest God’s knowledge and concern.
  7. 4:7 Lion…calf…human being…eagle: these symbolize, respectively, what is noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in creation. Calf: traditionally translated “ox,” the Greek word refers to a heifer or young bull. Since the second century, these four creatures have been used as symbols of the evangelists Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John, respectively.
  8. 4:8 Six wings: like the seraphim of Is 6:2.
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.

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