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Ezekiel 8-10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month,[a] as I was sitting in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there. I looked up and there was a figure that looked like a man.[b] Downward from what looked like his waist, there was fire; from his waist upward, like the brilliance of polished bronze.

Vision of Abominations in the Temple. He stretched out the form of a hand and seized me by the hair of my head. The spirit lifted me up[c] between earth and heaven and brought me in divine vision to Jerusalem to the entrance of the inner gate facing north where the statue of jealousy that provokes jealousy stood. There I saw the glory of the God of Israel, like the vision I had seen in the plain. He said to me: Son of man, lift your eyes to the north! I looked to the north and there in the entry north of the altar gate was this statue of jealousy. He asked, Son of man, do you see what they are doing? Do you see the great abominations that the house of Israel is practicing here, so that I must depart from my sanctuary? You shall see even greater abominations!

Then he brought me to the entrance of the courtyard, and there I saw a hole in the wall. Son of man, he ordered, dig through the wall. I dug through the wall—there was a doorway. Go in, he said to me, and see the evil abominations they are doing here. 10 I went in and looked—figures of all kinds of creeping things and loathsome beasts,[d] all the idols of the house of Israel, pictured around the wall. 11 Before them stood seventy of the elders of the house of Israel. Among them stood Jaazaniah, son of Shaphan, each with censer in hand; a cloud of incense drifted upward. 12 Then he said to me: Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his idol chamber? They think: “The Lord cannot see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.” 13 He said: You will see them practicing even greater abominations.

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord. There women sat and wept for Tammuz.[e] 15 He said to me: Do you see this, son of man? You will see other abominations, greater than these!

16 Then he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord. There at the door of the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the Lord’s temple and their faces toward the east; they were bowing eastward[f] to the sun. 17 He said: Do you see, son of man? Are the abominable things the house of Judah has done here so slight that they should also fill the land with violence, provoking me again and again? Now they are putting the branch to my nose![g] 18 Therefore I in turn will act furiously: my eye will not spare, nor will I take pity. Even if they cry out in a loud voice for me to hear, I shall not listen to them.

Chapter 9

Slaughter of the Idolaters. Then he cried aloud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! And there were six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with a weapon of destruction in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a scribe’s case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. Then the glory of the God of Israel moved off the cherub and went up to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man dressed in linen with the scribe’s case at his waist, and the Lord said to him:[h] Pass through the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and mark an X on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the abominations practiced within it. To the others he said in my hearing: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not let your eyes spare; do not take pity. Old and young, male and female, women and children—wipe them out! But do not touch anyone marked with the X. Begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Defile the temple, he said to them, fill its courts with the slain. Then go out and strike in the city.

As they were striking, I was left alone. I fell on my face, crying out, “Alas, Lord God! Will you destroy all that is left of Israel when you pour out your fury on Jerusalem?” He answered me: The guilt of the house of Israel and the house of Judah is too great to measure; the land is filled with bloodshed, the city with lawlessness. They think that the Lord has abandoned the land, that he does not see them. 10 My eye, however, will not spare, nor shall I take pity, but I will bring their conduct down upon their heads.

11 Just then the man dressed in linen with the scribe’s case at his waist made his report: “I have done as you commanded!”

Chapter 10

Then I looked and there above the firmament over the heads of the cherubim was something like a sapphire, something that looked like a throne. [i]And he said to the man dressed in linen: Go within the wheelwork under the cherubim; fill both your hands with burning coals from the place among the cherubim, then scatter them over the city. As I watched, he entered. Now the cherubim were standing to the south of the temple when the man went in and a cloud filled the inner court. The glory of the Lord had moved off the cherubim to the threshold of the temple; the temple was filled with the cloud, the whole court brilliant with the glory of the Lord. The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far as the outer court; it was like the voice of God Almighty speaking. He commanded the man dressed in linen: Take fire from within the wheelwork among the cherubim. The man entered and stood by one of the wheels. Thereupon a cherub stretched out a hand from among the cherubim toward the fire in the midst of the cherubim, took some, and put it in the hands of the one dressed in linen. He took it and came out. Something like a human hand was visible under the wings of the cherubim. I also saw four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub, and the wheels appeared to have the sparkle of yellow topaz. 10 And the appearance of the four all seemed alike, as though one wheel were inside the other. 11 When they moved, they went in any of the four directions without veering as they moved; in whatever direction the first cherub faced, the others followed without veering as they went. 12 Their entire bodies—backs, hands, and wings—and wheels were covered with eyes all around like the four wheels. 13 I heard the wheels called “wheelwork.” 14 Each living creature had four faces: the first a cherub, the second a human being, the third a lion, the fourth an eagle. 15 [j]When the cherubim rose up, they were indeed the living creatures I had seen by the river Chebar. 16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels went beside them; when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the earth, even then the wheels did not leave their sides. 17 When they stood still, the wheels stood still; when they rose up, the wheels rose up with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in them. 18 Then the glory of the Lord left the threshold of the temple and took its place upon the cherubim. 19 The cherubim lifted their wings and rose up from the earth before my eyes as they departed with the wheels beside them. They stopped at the entrance of the eastern gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them. 20 [k]These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar. Now I knew they were cherubim. 21 Each of them had four faces and four wings, and something like human hands under their wings. 22 Their faces looked just like the faces I had seen by the river Chebar; and each one went straight ahead.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:1 In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month: September, 592 B.C.
  2. 8:2 Looked like a man: the divine presence which accompanies Ezekiel in these visions. Cf. 40:3–4.
  3. 8:3 The spirit lifted me up: the prophet is transported in vision from Babylon to Jerusalem. Ezekiel may be drawing on his memory of the Temple from before his exile in 598 B.C. The statue of jealousy: the statue which provokes the Lord’s outrage against the insults of his own people; perhaps the statue of the goddess Asherah set up by Manasseh, king of Judah (cf. 2 Kgs 21:7; 2 Chr 33:7, 15). Although his successor, Josiah, had removed it (2 Kgs 23:6), the statue may have been set up again after his death.
  4. 8:10 Creeping things and loathsome beasts: perhaps images of Egyptian deities, often represented in animal form. During the last days of Jerusalem Zedekiah, king of Judah, was allied with Egypt, hoping for protection against the Babylonians.
  5. 8:14 Wept for Tammuz: the withering of trees and plants that began in late spring was attributed to the descent of Tammuz, the Mesopotamian god of fertility, to the world of the dead beneath the earth. During the fourth month of the year, female worshipers of Tammuz would wail and mourn the god’s disappearance.
  6. 8:16 Bowing eastward: sun worship was perhaps introduced as a condition of alliance with other nations. While Josiah removed some elements of this worship (2 Kgs 23:11), Manasseh, for example, built altars to all the “hosts of heaven” in two Temple courtyards (2 Kgs 21:5).
  7. 8:17 Putting the branch to my nose: the meaning is uncertain. It may be connected with the social injustice mentioned in v. 17b and in 9:9, e.g., “with their violence they tweak my nose,” i.e., “goad my fury.” The Masoretic text reads “their noses” as a euphemism for “my nose,” thus avoiding the impropriety of these idolaters coming into contact with God even figuratively.
  8. 9:4 Ezekiel emphasizes personal accountability; the innocent inhabitants of Jerusalem are spared while the idolatrous are punished. An X: lit., the Hebrew letter taw.
  9. 10:2–13 The burning coals, a sign of the divine presence (cf. 28:14; Ps 18:9), represent the judgment of destruction that God is visiting upon the city; they may also represent the judgment of purification that prepares the land to become the Lord’s sanctuary (cf. Is 6:6–7).
  10. 10:15–19 The throne represents God’s presence as ruler and protector of the land. In chap. 1, God is revealed as the lord of the world who can appear even in a far-off land; here God is about to abandon the Temple, that is, hand the city over to its enemies. God and the throne return again in 43:1–3.
  11. 10:20–22 The repetition of description from the preceding verses is a device intended to suggest the rapid, constantly changing motion of the vision and the difficulty of describing the divine in human language.
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 28:13-26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

13 Cursed be gossips and the double-tongued,
    for they destroy the peace of many.
14 A meddlesome tongue subverts many,
    and makes them refugees among peoples.
It destroys strong cities,
    and overthrows the houses of the great.
15 A meddlesome tongue drives virtuous women from their homes,
    and robs them of the fruit of their toil.
16 Whoever heed it will find no rest,
    nor will they dwell in peace.

17 A blow from a whip raises a welt,
    but a blow from the tongue will break bones.
18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
    but not as many as by the tongue.
19 Happy the one who is sheltered from it,
    and has not endured its wrath;
Who has not borne its yoke
    nor been bound with its chains.
20 For its yoke is a yoke of iron,
    and its chains are chains of bronze;
21 The death it inflicts is an evil death,
    even Sheol is preferable to it.
22 It will have no power over the godly,
    nor will they be burned in its flame.
23 But those who forsake the Lord will fall victim to it,
    as it burns among them unquenchably;
It will hurl itself against them like a lion,
    and like a leopard, it will tear them to pieces.
24 As you fence in your property with thorns,
    so make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
25 As you lock up your silver and gold,
    so make balances and scales for your words.
26 Take care not to slip by your tongue
    and fall victim to one lying in ambush.

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 19:23-42 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

23 [a]When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. 24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled [that says]:

“They divided my garments among them,
    and for my vesture they cast lots.”

This is what the soldiers did. 25 [b]Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother[c] and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

28 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled,[d] Jesus said, “I thirst.” 29 There was a vessel filled with common wine.[e] So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. 30 [f]When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

The Blood and Water. 31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 [g]but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows[h] that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:

“Not a bone of it will be broken.”

37 And again another passage says:

“They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

The Burial of Jesus.[i] 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42 So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Footnotes:

  1. 19:23–25a While all four gospels describe the soldiers casting lots to divide Jesus’ garments (see note on Mt 27:35), only John quotes the underlying passage from Ps 22:19, and only John sees each line of the poetic parallelism literally carried out in two separate actions (Jn 19:23–24).
  2. 19:25 It is not clear whether four women are meant, or three (i.e., Mary the wife of Cl[e]opas [cf. Lk 24:18] is in apposition with his mother’s sister) or two (his mother and his mother’s sister, i.e., Mary of Cl[e]opas and Mary of Magdala). Only John mentions the mother of Jesus here. The synoptics have a group of women looking on from a distance at the cross (Mk 15:40).
  3. 19:26–27 This scene has been interpreted literally, of Jesus’ concern for his mother; and symbolically, e.g., in the light of the Cana story in Jn 2 (the presence of the mother of Jesus, the address woman, and the mention of the hour) and of the upper room in Jn 13 (the presence of the beloved disciple; the hour). Now that the hour has come (Jn 19:28), Mary (a symbol of the church?) is given a role as the mother of Christians (personified by the beloved disciple); or, as a representative of those seeking salvation, she is supported by the disciple who interprets Jesus’ revelation; or Jewish and Gentile Christianity (or Israel and the Christian community) are reconciled.
  4. 19:28 The scripture…fulfilled: either in the scene of Jn 19:25–27, or in the I thirst of Jn 19:28. If the latter, Ps 22:16; 69:22 deserve consideration.
  5. 19:29 Wine: John does not mention the drugged wine, a narcotic that Jesus refused as the crucifixion began (Mk 15:23), but only this final gesture of kindness at the end (Mk 15:36). Hyssop, a small plant, is scarcely suitable for carrying a sponge (Mark mentions a reed) and may be a symbolic reference to the hyssop used to daub the blood of the paschal lamb on the doorpost of the Hebrews (Ex 12:22).
  6. 19:30 Handed over the spirit: there is a double nuance of dying (giving up the last breath or spirit) and that of passing on the holy Spirit; see Jn 7:39, which connects the giving of the Spirit with Jesus’ glorious return to the Father, and Jn 20:22, where the author portrays the conferral of the Spirit.
  7. 19:34–35 John probably emphasizes these verses to show the reality of Jesus’ death, against the docetic heretics. In the blood and water there may also be a symbolic reference to the Eucharist and baptism.
  8. 19:35 He knows: it is not certain from the Greek that this he is the eyewitness of the first part of the sentence. May [come to] believe: see note on Jn 20:31.
  9. 19:38–42 In the first three gospels there is no anointing on Friday. In Matthew and Luke the women come to the tomb on Sunday morning precisely to anoint Jesus.
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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