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Ezekiel 45-46 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 45

The Holy Portion. When you apportion the land heritage by heritage, you shall set apart a holy portion for the Lord, holier than the rest of the land—twenty-five thousand cubits long and twenty thousand cubits wide; the entire area shall be holy. Of this land a square plot, five hundred by five hundred cubits, shall be assigned to the sanctuary, with fifty cubits of free space around it. From this tract also measure off a length of twenty-five thousand cubits and a width of ten thousand cubits; on it the sanctuary, the holy of holies, shall stand. This shall be the sacred part of the land belonging to the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, who draw near to minister to the Lord; it shall be a place for their homes and an area set apart for the sanctuary. There shall also be a strip twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand wide for the Levites, the ministers of the temple, so they have cities to live in. You shall assign a strip five thousand cubits wide and twenty-five thousand long as the property of the city parallel to the sacred tract; this shall belong to the whole house of Israel. A section shall belong to the prince, bordering both sides of the sacred tract and city combined, extending westward on the west side and eastward on the east side, corresponding in length to one of the tribal portions from the west boundary to the east boundary of the land. This shall be his property in Israel so that my princes will no longer oppress my people, but will leave the land to the house of Israel according to its tribes. Thus says the Lord God: Enough, you princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and do what is just and right! Stop evicting my people!—oracle of the Lord God.

Weights and Measures.[a] 10 You shall have honest scales, an honest ephah, and an honest bath. 11 The ephah and the bath shall be the same size: the bath equal to one tenth of a homer, and the ephah equal to one tenth of a homer; their capacity is based on the homer. 12 The shekel shall be twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels make up a mina[b] for you.

Offerings. 13 This is the offering you must make: one sixth of an ephah from each homer of wheat and one sixth of an ephah from each homer of barley. 14 This is the regulation for oil: for every bath of oil, one tenth of a bath, computed by the kor,[c] made up of ten baths, that is, a homer, for ten baths make a homer. 15 Also, one sheep from the flock for every two hundred from the pasture land of Israel, for the grain offering, the burnt offering, and communion offerings, to make atonement on their behalf—oracle of the Lord God. 16 All the people of the land shall be responsible for these offerings to the prince in Israel. 17 It shall be the duty of the prince to provide burnt offerings, grain offerings, and libations on feast days, new moons, and sabbaths, on all the festivals of the house of Israel. He shall provide the purification offering, grain offering, burnt offering, and communion offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel.

The Passover. 18 Thus says the Lord God: On the first day of the first month you shall take an unblemished young bull to purify the sanctuary. 19 The priest shall take some of the blood from the purification offering and smear it on the doorposts of the house, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the doorposts of the gates of the inner courtyard. 20 You shall repeat this on the seventh day of the month for those who have sinned inadvertently or out of ignorance; thus you shall purge the temple. 21 On the fourteenth day of the first month you shall observe the feast of Passover; for seven days unleavened bread must be eaten. 22 On that day the prince shall sacrifice, on his own behalf and on behalf of all the people of the land, a bull as a purification offering. 23 On each of the seven days of the feast he shall sacrifice, as a burnt offering to the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams without blemish, and as a purification offering he shall sacrifice one male goat each day. 24 As a grain offering he shall offer one ephah for each bull and one ephah for each ram and one hin[d] of oil for each ephah.

The Feast of Booths. 25 In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, on the feast day and for the next seven days, he shall make the same offerings: the same purification offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, and offerings of oil.

Chapter 46

Sabbaths. Thus says the Lord God: The gate of the inner court facing east shall remain closed throughout the six working days, but on the sabbath and on the day of the new moon it shall be open. [e]Then the prince shall enter from outside by way of the vestibule of the gate and remain standing at the doorpost of the gateway while the priests sacrifice his burnt offerings and communion offerings; then he shall bow down in worship at the opening of the gate and leave. But the gate shall not be closed until evening. The people of the land also shall bow down in worship before the Lord at the opening of this gate on the sabbaths and new moons. The burnt offerings which the prince sacrifices to the Lord on the sabbath shall consist of six unblemished lambs and an unblemished ram, together with a grain offering of one ephah for the ram and whatever he pleases for the lambs, and a hin of oil for each ephah. On the day of the new moon, he shall provide an unblemished young bull, six lambs, and a ram without blemish, with a grain offering of one ephah for the bull and an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs whatever he can, and for each ephah a hin of oil.

Ritual Laws. When the prince enters, he shall always enter and depart by the vestibule of the gate. When the people of the land come before the Lord to bow down on the festivals, if they enter by the north gate they shall leave by the south gate, and if they enter by the south gate they shall leave by the north gate. They shall not go back by the gate through which they entered; everyone shall leave by the opposite gate. 10 When they come in, the prince shall be with them; he shall also leave with them. 11 On feasts and festivals, the grain offering shall be an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, but for the lambs whatever they please, and a hin of oil with each ephah. 12 When the prince makes a freewill offering to the Lord, whether a burnt offering or communion offering, the gate facing east shall be opened for him, and he shall bring his burnt offering or peace offering as he does on the sabbath. Then he shall leave, and the gate shall be closed after his departure. 13 Every day you shall bring as a burnt offering to the Lord an unblemished year-old lamb; you shall offer it every morning, 14 and with it every morning a grain offering of one sixth of an ephah, with a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour. This grain offering for the Lord is a perpetual statute. 15 The lamb, the grain offering, and the oil you must bring every morning as a perpetual burnt offering.

The Prince and the Land. 16 Thus says the Lord God: If the prince makes a gift of part of his heritage to any of his sons, it belongs to his sons; that property is their heritage. 17 But if he makes a gift of part of his heritage to one of his servants, it belongs to him until the year of release;[f] then it reverts to the prince. Only the heritage given to his sons belongs to him. 18 The prince shall not seize any part of the heritage of the people by forcing them off their property. From his own property he shall provide heritage for his sons, so that none of my people will be driven off their property.

The Temple Kitchens. 19 Then he brought me through the entrance at the side of the gateway to the chambers reserved for the priests, which faced north. There I saw a place at the far west end, 20 about which he said to me, “This is the place where the priests cook the reparation offerings and the purification offerings and bake the grain offerings, so they do not have to bring them into the outer court and so transmit holiness to the people.”[g] 21 Then he led me into the outer court and had me cross to the four corners of the court, and there, in each corner, was another court! 22 In all four corners of the courtyard there were courts set off, each forty cubits long by thirty cubits wide, all four of them the same size. 23 A stone wall surrounded them on four sides, and ovens were built along the bottom of the walls all the way around. 24 He said to me, “These are the kitchens where the temple ministers cook the sacrifices of the people.”

Footnotes:

  1. 45:10–12 Besides the land monopoly fostered by royal greed and collusion with the wealthy (Mi 2:2; Is 3:12–15; 5:8–10), one grave social evil of preexilic Israel was dishonesty in business; cf. Hos 12:8; Am 8:5. Ephah, bath: see note on Is 5:10.
  2. 45:12 Mina: before the exile, a mina was worth fifty shekels; later, in imitation of Babylonian practice, its value increased to sixty shekels. A shekel weighed slightly less than half an ounce. A shekel’s monetary value depended on whether it was gold or silver.
  3. 45:14 Kor: a liquid and a dry measure, equal to a homer.
  4. 45:24 Hin: one sixth of the liquid measure known as a bath.
  5. 46:2–12 The prophet describes the inner eastern gateway opening on the inner court of the priests in front of the Temple itself where the altar of sacrifice stands. The people may watch the priests making offerings on sabbaths and feast days only by looking through the open gate; the prince, however, may stand inside the gate, in the vestibule on the edge of the inner court, to observe the offerings. Only priests could stand in the court itself.
  6. 46:17 The year of release: the jubilee year; cf. Lv 25:23–55.
  7. 46:20 Cf. note on 44:19.
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 37:1-15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 37

Every friend declares friendship,
    but there are friends who are friends in name only.
Is it not a sorrow unto death
    when your other self becomes your enemy?
“Alas, my companion! Why were you created
    to fill the earth with deceit?”
A harmful friend will look to your table,
    but in time of trouble he stands aloof.
A good friend will fight with you against the foe,
    and against your enemies he will hold up your shield.
Do not forget your comrade during the battle,
    and do not neglect him when you distribute your spoils.

Every counselor points out a way,
    but some counsel ways of their own.
Watch out when one offers advice;
    find out first of all what he wants.
For he also may be thinking of himself—
    Why should the opportunity fall to him?
He may tell you how good your way will be,
    and then stand by to see you impoverished.
10 Seek no advice from your father-in-law,
    and from one who is envious of you, keep your intentions hidden.
11 Seek no advice from a woman about her rival,
    from a coward about war,
    from a merchant about business,
    from a buyer about value,
    from a miser about generosity,
    from a cruel person about well-being,
    from a worthless worker about his work,
    from a seasonal laborer about the harvest,
    from an idle slave about a great task—
    pay no attention to any advice they give.

12 Instead, associate with a religious person,
    who you know keeps the commandments;
Who is like-minded with yourself
    and will grieve for you if you fall.
13 Then, too, heed your own heart’s counsel;
    for there is nothing you can depend on more.
14 The heart can reveal your situation
    better than seven sentinels on a tower.
15 Then with all this, pray to God
    to make your steps firm in the true path.

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 7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7[a]

The 144,000 Sealed. After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,[b] holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on land or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel come up from the East,[c] holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked[d] from every tribe of the Israelites: twelve thousand were marked from the tribe of Judah,[e] twelve thousand from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand from the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand from the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand from the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand from the tribe of Manasseh, twelve thousand from the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand from the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand from the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand from the tribe of Zebulun, twelve thousand from the tribe of Joseph, and twelve thousand were marked from the tribe of Benjamin.

Triumph of the Elect. After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches[f] in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from[g] our God, who is seated on the throne,
    and from the Lamb.”

11 All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, 12 and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
    honor, power, and might
    be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;[h] they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 “For this reason they stand before God’s throne
    and worship him day and night in his temple.
    The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
16 They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
    nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
17 For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
    and lead them to springs of life-giving water,[i]
    and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–17 An interlude of two visions precedes the breaking of the seventh seal, just as two more will separate the sixth and seventh trumpets (Rev 10). In the first vision (Rev 7:1–8), the elect receive the seal of the living God as protection against the coming cataclysm; cf. Rev 14:1; Ez 9:4–6; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30. The second vision (Rev 7:9–17) portrays the faithful Christians before God’s throne to encourage those on earth to persevere to the end, even to death.
  2. 7:1 The four corners of the earth: the earth is seen as a table or rectangular surface.
  3. 7:2 East: literally, “rising of the sun.” The east was considered the source of light and the place of paradise (Gn 2:8). Seal: whatever was marked by the impression of one’s signet ring belonged to that person and was under his protection.
  4. 7:4–9 One hundred and forty-four thousand: the square of twelve (the number of Israel’s tribes) multiplied by a thousand, symbolic of the new Israel (cf. Rev 14:1–5; Gal 6:16; Jas 1:1) that embraces people from every nation, race, people, and tongue (Rev 7:9).
  5. 7:5–8 Judah is placed first because of Christ; cf. “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev 5:5). Dan is omitted because of a later tradition that the antichrist would arise from it.
  6. 7:9 White robes…palm branches: symbols of joy and victory; see note on Rev 3:5.
  7. 7:10 Salvation comes from: literally, “(let) salvation (be ascribed) to.” A similar hymn of praise is found at the fall of the dragon (Rev 12:10) and of Babylon (Rev 19:1).
  8. 7:14 Time of great distress: fierce persecution by the Romans; cf. Introduction.
  9. 7:17 Life-giving water: literally, “the water of life,” God’s grace, which flows from Christ; cf. Rev 21:6; 22:1, 17; Jn 4:10, 14.
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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