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Ezekiel 4-7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

II. Before the Siege of Jerusalem

Chapter 4

Acts Symbolic of Siege and Exile. [a]You, son of man, take a clay tablet; place it in front of you, and draw on it a city, Jerusalem. Lay siege to it: build up siege works, raise a ramp against it, pitch camps and set up battering rams all around it. Then take an iron pan and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face toward it and put it under siege. So you must lay siege to it as a sign for the house of Israel. Then lie down on your left side, while I place the guilt of the house of Israel upon you. As many days as you lie like this, you shall bear their guilt. I allot you three hundred and ninety days[b] during which you must bear the guilt of the house of Israel, the same number of years they sinned. When you have completed this, you shall lie down a second time, on your right side to bear the guilt of the house of Judah forty days; I allot you one day for each year. Turning your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with bared arm[c] you shall prophesy against it. See, I bind you with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.

[d]Then take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them into a single pot and make them into bread. Eat it for as many days as you lie upon your side, three hundred and ninety days. 10 The food you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; each day you shall eat it. 11 And the water you drink shall be the sixth of a hin[e] by measure; each day you shall drink it. 12 And the barley cake you eat you must bake on human excrement in the sight of all. 13 The Lord said: Thus the Israelites shall eat their food, unclean, among the nations where I drive them. 14 “Oh no, Lord God,” I protested. “Never have I defiled myself nor have I eaten carrion flesh or flesh torn by wild beasts, nor from my youth till now has any unclean meat entered my mouth.” 15 Very well, he replied, I will let you use cow manure in place of human dung. You can bake your bread on that. 16 Then he said to me: Son of man, I am about to break the staff of bread[f] in Jerusalem so they shall eat bread which they have weighed out anxiously and drink water which they have measured out fearfully. 17 Because they lack bread and water they shall be devastated; each and every one will waste away because of their guilt.

Chapter 5

Now you, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it like a barber’s razor, to shave your head and your beard. Then take a balance scale for weighing and divide the hair. Set a third on fire within the city,[g] when the days of your siege are completed; place another third around the city and strike it with the sword; the final third scatter to the wind and then unsheathe the sword after it. But take a few of the hairs and tie them in the hem of your garment. Take some of these and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire. Because of this, fire will flash out against the whole house of Israel.

Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem! I placed it in the midst of the nations, surrounded by foreign lands. But it rebelled against my ordinances more wickedly than the nations, and against my statutes more than the foreign lands around it; they rejected my ordinances and did not walk in my statutes. Therefore, thus says the Lord God: Because you have caused more uproar than the nations surrounding you, not living by my statutes nor carrying out my judgments, nor even living by the ordinances of the surrounding nations; therefore, thus says the Lord God: See, I am coming against you![h] I will carry out judgments among you while the nations look on. Because of all your abominations I will do to you what I have never done before, the like of which I will never do again. 10 Therefore, parents will eat their children in your midst, and children will eat their parents.[i] I will inflict punishments upon you and scatter all who remain to the winds.

11 Therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your atrocities and all your abominations, I will surely withdraw and not look upon you with pity nor spare you. 12 A third of your people shall die of disease or starve to death within you; another third shall fall by the sword all around you; a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue them with the sword.

13 Thus my anger will spend itself; I will vent my wrath against them until I am satisfied. Then they will know that I the Lord spoke in my passion when I spend my wrath upon them. 14 I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of every passerby. 15 And you will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror to the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in angry wrath, with furious chastisements. I, the Lord, have spoken! 16 When I loose against you the deadly arrows of starvation that I am sending to destroy you, I will increase starvation and will break your staff of bread. 17 I will send against you starvation and wild beasts who will leave you childless, while disease and bloodshed sweep through you. I will bring the sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken.

Chapter 6

Against the Mountains of Israel. The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them: You shall say: Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God. Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: Pay attention! I am bringing a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places.[j] Your altars shall be laid waste, your incense stands smashed, and I will throw your slain down in front of your idols. Yes, I will lay the corpses of the Israelites in front of their idols, and scatter your bones around your altars.[k] Wherever you live, cities shall be ruined and high places laid waste, in order that your altars be laid waste and devastated, your idols broken and smashed, your incense altars hacked to pieces, and whatever you have made wiped out. The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.[l] But I will spare some of you from the sword to live as refugees among the nations when you are scattered to foreign lands. Then your refugees will remember me among the nations to which they have been exiled, after I have broken their lusting hearts that turned away from me and their eyes that lusted after idols. They will loathe themselves for all the evil they have done, for all their abominations. 10 Then they shall know that I the Lord did not threaten in vain to inflict this evil on them.

11 Thus says the Lord God: Clap your hands, stamp your feet,[m] and cry “Alas!” for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! They shall fall by the sword, starvation, and disease. 12 Those far off shall die of disease, those nearby shall fall by the sword, and those who survive and are spared shall perish by starvation; thus will I spend my fury upon them. 13 They shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain lie among their idols, all around their altars, on every high hill and mountaintop, beneath every green tree and leafy oak[n]—any place they offer sweet-smelling oblations to all their idols. 14 I will stretch out my hand against them; I will make the land a desolate waste, from the wilderness to Riblah,[o] wherever they live. Thus they shall know that I am the Lord.

Chapter 7

The End Has Come. The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, now say: Thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end comes upon the four corners of the land! Now the end is upon you; I will unleash my anger against you, judge you according to your ways, and hold against you all your abominations. My eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will hold your conduct against you, since your abominations remain within you; then shall you know that I am the Lord.

Thus says the Lord God: Evil upon evil! See it coming! An end is coming, the end is coming; it is ripe for you! See it coming! The crisis has come for you who dwell in the land! The time has come, near is the day: panic, no rejoicing on the mountains. Soon now I will pour out my fury upon you and spend my anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and hold against you all your abominations. My eye will not spare, nor will I take pity; I will hold your conduct against you since your abominations remain within you, then you shall know that it is I, the Lord, who strikes.

10 The day is here! Look! it is coming! The crisis has come! Lawlessness is blooming, insolence budding; 11 the violent have risen up to wield a scepter of wickedness. But none of them shall remain; none of their crowd, none of their wealth, for none of them are innocent. 12 [p]The time has come, the day dawns. The buyer must not rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is coming upon all the throng. 13 Assuredly, the seller shall not regain what was sold, as long as they all live; for the vision is for the whole crowd: it shall not be revoked! Yes, because of their guilt, they shall not hold on to life. 14 They will sound the trumpet and get everything ready, but no one will go out to battle, for my wrath weighs upon all the crowd.

15 The sword is outside; disease and hunger are within. Whoever is in the fields will die by the sword; whoever is in the city disease and hunger will devour. 16 If their survivors flee, they will die on the mountains, moaning like doves of the valley on account of their guilt. 17 All their hands will hang limp, and all their knees[q] turn to water. 18 They put on sackcloth, horror clothes them; shame is on all their faces, all their heads are shaved bald.[r] 19 They fling their silver into the streets, and their gold is considered unclean. Their silver and gold cannot save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their bellies, for it has been the occasion of their sin. 20 [s]In their beautiful ornaments they took pride; out of them they made their abominable images, their detestable things. For this reason I will make them unclean. 21 I will hand them over as spoils to foreigners, as plunder to the wicked of the earth, so that they may defile them. 22 I will turn my face away from them. My treasure will be defiled; the violent will enter and defile it. 23 They will wreak slaughter, for the land is filled with bloodshed and the city with violence. 24 I will bring in the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to their proud strength,[t] and their sanctuaries will be defiled. 25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there is none. 26 Disaster after disaster, rumor upon rumor. They keep seeking a vision from the prophet; instruction from the priest is missing, and counsel from the elders. 27 The king mourns, the prince is terror-stricken, the hands of the common people tremble. I will deal with them according to their ways, and according to their judgments I will judge them. They shall know that I am the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–5:4 The symbolic actions in this section prepare for the series of oracles that follow in 5:5–7:27.
  2. 4:5–6 Three hundred and ninety days…forty days: a symbol to represent the respective lengths of exile for the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Israel had already fallen to Assyria in 722/721 B.C. The numerical value of the Hebrew consonants in the phrase translated “the days of your siege” (v. 8) is three hundred and ninety. Forty years conventionally represents one generation.
  3. 4:7 Bared arm: a symbol of unrestrained power.
  4. 4:9–13 This action represents the scarcity of food during the siege of Jerusalem, and the consequent need to eat whatever is at hand. Twenty shekels: about nine ounces. The sixth of a hin: about one quart.
  5. 4:11 Hin: see note on 45:24.
  6. 4:16 Break the staff of bread: reducing the supply of bread that supports life as the walking staff supports a traveler; cf. 5:16; 14:13; Lv 26:26; Ps 105:16; Is 3:1.
  7. 5:2 The city: the one drawn on the tablet (4:1).
  8. 5:8 I am coming against you: an expression borrowed from the language of warfare in which an enemy attacked another with the sword. “You” in vv. 8–17 is Jerusalem.
  9. 5:10 Parents will eat their children…parents: the prophet describes the consequences of the prolonged Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in 587/586 B.C. See note on Lam 2:20.
  10. 6:3 High places: raised platforms usually built on hills outside towns for making sacrifices to the Lord or to Canaanite deities. They became synonymous with places of idolatry after the centralization of worship in the Jerusalem Temple.
  11. 6:5 Scatter your bones…altars: the bones of the dead defiled a place; cf. 2 Kgs 23:14.
  12. 6:7 You shall know that I am the Lord: this formula is repeated after most of Ezekiel’s oracles from this point on. Whatever happens to Israel happens at the Lord’s command; because the Lord uses the nations to punish or reward Israel for its behavior, Israel will learn that its God has sole rule over the nations and the universe, and will acknowledge that rule in obedience.
  13. 6:11 Clap your hands, stamp your feet: these gestures may express grief, even horror, at Israel’s infidelities; in 25:6, they are signs of gloating.
  14. 6:13 Every green tree and leafy oak: trees often identified with fertility deities and the “tree of life”; sacred groves had a long history in Palestine and throughout the Mediterranean basin as places of worship; cf. Dt 12:2.
  15. 6:14 From the wilderness to Riblah: the whole land, from the far south to the far north.
  16. 7:12–13 Normal affairs will cease to have any meaning in view of the disaster that is to come.
  17. 7:17 Hands…knees: image of profound terror; loss of control of body movement and functions.
  18. 7:18 Shaved bald: shaving the head was a sign of mourning.
  19. 7:20 Assyrian wall paintings show that statues of deities were often cast in precious metals and then decorated with jewelry. Cf. Is 40:19–20; 41:6–7; 44:9–20.
  20. 7:24 Proud strength: misplaced trust in the might and power of their kings and army. Cf. v. 22; 33:28 and related ideas in Is 2:12; 10:12; 13:11; Jer 48:29; Ez 24:21; 30:18.
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.

Ben Sira 28:1-12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 28

The vengeful will face the Lord’s vengeance;
    indeed he remembers their sins in detail.

Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you;
    then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Does anyone nourish anger against another
    and expect healing from the Lord?
Can one refuse mercy to a sinner like oneself,
    yet seek pardon for one’s own sins?
If a mere mortal cherishes wrath,
    who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days and set enmity aside;
    remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Remember the commandments and do not be angry with your neighbor;
    remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook faults.

Avoid strife and your sins will be fewer,
    for the hot-tempered kindle strife;
The sinner disrupts friendships
    and sows discord among those who are at peace.
10 The more the wood, the greater the fire,
    the more the cruelty, the fiercer the strife;
The greater the strength, the sterner the anger,
    the greater the wealth, the greater the wrath.
11 Pitch and resin make fire flare up,
    and a hasty quarrel provokes bloodshed.

The Evil Tongue[a]

12 If you blow on a spark, it turns into flame,
    if you spit on it, it dies out;
    yet both you do with your mouth!

Footnotes:

  1. 28:12–26 Further treatment of sins of the tongue and the havoc that results; cf. 5:9–6:1; 19:5–17; 20:18–26; 23:7–15. Gossips and the double-tongued destroy domestic peace (vv. 12–16). The whip, the sword, chains, even Sheol, are not so cruel as the suffering inflicted by an evil tongue (vv. 17–21). Not the godly but those who forsake the Lord are victims of their evil tongues (vv. 22–23). Therefore, guard your mouth and tongue as you would guard treasure against an enemy (vv. 24–26).
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 19:1-22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 19

[a]Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly. Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!” When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” [b]The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him. 10 So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered [him], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 12 Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.[c] Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him[d] on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.[e] And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” 15 They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.[f]

The Crucifixion of Jesus. So they took Jesus, 17 and carrying the cross himself[g] he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 [h]Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 20 Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Footnotes:

  1. 19:1 Luke places the mockery of Jesus at the midpoint in the trial when Jesus was sent to Herod. Mark and Matthew place the scourging and mockery at the end of the trial after the sentence of death. Scourging was an integral part of the crucifixion penalty.
  2. 19:7 Made himself the Son of God: this question was not raised in John’s account of the Jewish interrogations of Jesus as it was in the synoptic account. Nevertheless, see Jn 5:18; 8:53; 10:36.
  3. 19:12 Friend of Caesar: a Roman honorific title bestowed upon high-ranking officials for merit.
  4. 19:13 Seated him: others translate “(Pilate) sat down.” In John’s thought, Jesus is the real judge of the world, and John may here be portraying him seated on the judgment bench. Stone Pavement: in Greek lithostrotos; under the fortress Antonia, one of the conjectured locations of the praetorium, a massive stone pavement has been excavated. Gabbatha (Aramaic rather than Hebrew) probably means “ridge, elevation.”
  5. 19:14 Noon: Mk 15:25 has Jesus crucified “at the third hour,” which means either 9 a.m. or the period from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the time when, according to John, Jesus was sentenced to death, was the hour at which the priests began to slaughter Passover lambs in the temple; see Jn 1:29.
  6. 19:16 He handed him over to them to be crucified: in context this would seem to mean “handed him over to the chief priests.” Lk 23:25 has a similar ambiguity. There is a polemic tendency in the gospels to place the guilt of the crucifixion on the Jewish authorities and to exonerate the Romans from blame. But John later mentions the Roman soldiers (Jn 19:23), and it was to these soldiers that Pilate handed Jesus over.
  7. 19:17 Carrying the cross himself: a different picture from that of the synoptics, especially Lk 23:26, where Simon of Cyrene is made to carry the cross, walking behind Jesus. In John’s theology, Jesus remained in complete control and master of his destiny (cf. Jn 10:18). Place of the Skull: the Latin word for skull is Calvaria; hence “Calvary.” Golgotha is actually an Aramaic rather than a Hebrew word.
  8. 19:19 The inscription differs with slightly different words in each of the four gospels. John’s form is fullest and gives the equivalent of the Latin INRI = Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum. Only John mentions its polyglot character (Jn 19:20) and Pilate’s role in keeping the title unchanged (Jn 19:21–22).
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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