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Genesis 14-15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

The Four Kings. [a]When Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim made war on Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar), all the latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea[b]). For twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El-paran, close by the wilderness. They then turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they subdued the whole country of both the Amalekites and the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar. Thereupon the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out, and in the Valley of Siddim they went into battle against them: against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah fled, they fell into these, while the rest fled to the mountains. 11 The victors seized all the possessions and food supplies of Sodom and Gomorrah and then went their way. 12 They took with them Abram’s nephew Lot, who had been living in Sodom, as well as his possessions, and departed.

13 A survivor came and brought the news to Abram the Hebrew,[c] who was camping at the oak of Mamre the Amorite, a kinsman of Eshcol and Aner; these were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been captured, he mustered three hundred and eighteen of his retainers,[d] born in his house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He and his servants deployed against them at night, defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the possessions. He also recovered his kinsman Lot and his possessions, along with the women and the other people.

17 When Abram returned from his defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 Melchizedek, king of Salem,[e] brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed Abram with these words:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    the creator of heaven and earth;
20 And blessed be God Most High,
    who delivered your foes into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the captives; the goods you may keep.” 22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom: “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High,[f] the creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take so much as a thread or a sandal strap from anything that is yours, so that you cannot say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 Nothing for me except what my servants have consumed and the share that is due to the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol and Mamre; let them take their share.”

Chapter 15

The Covenant with Abram.[g] Some time afterward, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.

But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: No, that one will not be your heir; your own offspring will be your heir. He took him outside and said: Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so, he added, will your descendants be. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness.[h]

He then said to him: I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession. “Lord God,” he asked, “how will I know that I will possess it?” [i]He answered him: Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up. 11 Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram scared them away. 12 As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great, dark dread descended upon him.

13 [j]Then the Lord said to Abram: Know for certain that your descendants will reside as aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and after this they will go out with great wealth. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace; you will be buried at a ripe old age. 16 In the fourth generation[k] your descendants will return here, for the wickedness of the Amorites is not yet complete.

17 When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. 18 [l]On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1 Abraham plays a role with other world leaders. He defeats a coalition of five kings from the east (where, later, Israel’s enemies lived) and is recognized by a Canaanite king as blessed by God Most High. The historicity of the events is controverted; apart from Shinar (Babylon), Tidal (Hittite Tudhaliya), and Elam, the names and places cannot be identified with certainty. The five cities were apparently at the southern end of the Dead Sea, and all but Bela (i.e., Zoar) were destined for destruction (19:20–24; Hos 11:8). The passage belongs to none of the traditional Genesis sources; it has some resemblance to reports of military campaigns in Babylonian and Assyrian royal annals.
  2. 14:3 The Salt Sea: the Dead Sea.
  3. 14:13 Abram the Hebrew: “Hebrew” was used by biblical writers for the pre-Israelite ancestors. Linguistically, it is an ethnic term; it may be built on the root Eber, who is the eponymous ancestor of the Israelites, that is, the one to whom they traced their name (10:21, 24–25; 11:14–17), or it may reflect the tradition that the ancestors came from beyond (eber) the Euphrates. It is used only by non-Israelites, or by Israelites speaking to foreigners.
  4. 14:14 Retainers: the Hebrew word hanik is used only here in the Old Testament. Cognate words appear in Egyptian and Akkadian texts, signifying armed soldiers belonging to the household of a local leader.
  5. 14:18 Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem, cf. Ps 76:3), appears with majestic suddenness to recognize Abraham’s great victory, which the five local kings were unable to achieve. He prepares a feast in his honor and declares him blessed or made powerful by God Most High, evidently the highest God in the Canaanite pantheon. Abraham acknowledges the blessing by giving a tenth of the recaptured spoils as a tithe to Melchizedek. The episode is one of several allusions to David, king at Jerusalem, who also exercised priestly functions (2 Sm 6:17). Hb 7 interprets Melchizedek as a prefiguration of Christ. God Most High: in Heb. El Elyon, one of several “El names” for God in Genesis, others being El Olam (21:33), El the God of Israel (33:20), El Roi (16:13), El Bethel (35:7), and El Shaddai (the usual P designation for God in Genesis). All the sources except the Yahwist use El as the proper name for God used by the ancestors. The god El was well-known across the ancient Near East and in comparable religious literature. The ancestors recognized this God as their own when they encountered him in their journeys and in the shrines they found in Canaan.
  6. 14:22 In vv. 22–24, Abraham refuses to let anyone but God enrich him. Portrayed with the traits of a later Israelite judge or tribal hero, Abraham acknowledges that his victory is from God alone.
  7. 15:1–21 In the first section (vv. 1–6), Abraham is promised a son and heir, and in the second (vv. 7–21), he is promised a land. The structure is similar in both: each of the two promises is not immediately accepted; the first is met with a complaint (vv. 2–3) and the second with a request for a sign (v. 8). God’s answer differs in each section—a sign in v. 5 and an oath in vv. 9–21. Some scholars believe that the Genesis promises of progeny and land were originally separate and only later combined, but progeny and land are persistent concerns especially of ancient peoples and it is hard to imagine one without the other.
  8. 15:6 Abraham’s act of faith in God’s promises was regarded as an act of righteousness, i.e., as fully expressive of his relationship with God. St. Paul (Rom 4:1–25; Gal 3:6–9) makes Abraham’s faith a model for Christians.
  9. 15:9–17 Cutting up animals was a well-attested way of making a treaty in antiquity. Jer 34:17–20 shows the rite is a form of self-imprecation in which violators invoke the fate of the animals upon themselves. The eighth-century B.C. Sefire treaty from Syria reads, “As this calf is cut up, thus Matti’el shall be cut up.” The smoking fire pot and the flaming torch (v. 17), which represent God, pass between the pieces, making God a signatory to the covenant.
  10. 15:13–16 The verses clarify the promise of the land by providing a timetable of its possession: after four hundred years of servitude, your descendants will actually possess the land in the fourth generation (a patriarchal generation seems to be one hundred years). The iniquity of the current inhabitants (called here the Amorites) has not yet reached the point where God must intervene in punishment. Another table is given in Ex 12:40, which is not compatible with this one.
  11. 15:16 Generation: the Hebrew term dor is commonly rendered as “generation,” but it may signify a period of varying length. A “generation” is the period between the birth of children and the birth of their parents, normally about twenty to twenty-five years. The actual length of a generation can vary, however; in Jb 42:16 it is thirty-five and in Nm 32:13 it is forty. The meaning may be life spans, which in Gn 6:3 is one hundred twenty years and in Is 65:20 is one hundred years.
  12. 15:18–21 The Wadi, i.e., a gully or ravine, of Egypt is the Wadi-el-‘Arish, which is the boundary between the settled land and the Sinai desert. Some scholars suggest that the boundaries are those of a Davidic empire at its greatest extent; others that they are idealized boundaries. Most lists of the ancient inhabitants of the promised land give three, six, or seven peoples, but vv. 19–21 give a grand total of ten.
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.

Psalm 10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 10

I

Why, Lord, do you stand afar
    and pay no heed in times of trouble?
Arrogant scoundrels pursue the poor;
    they trap them by their cunning schemes.

II

The wicked even boast of their greed;
    these robbers curse and scorn the Lord.
In their insolence the wicked boast:
    “God does not care; there is no God.”
    Yet their affairs always succeed;
    they ignore your judgment on high;
    they sneer at all who oppose them.
They say in their hearts, “We will never fall;
    never will we see misfortune.”
Their mouths are full of oaths, violence, and lies;
    discord and evil are under their tongues.
They wait in ambush near towns;
    their eyes watch for the helpless
    to murder the innocent in secret.
They lurk in ambush like lions in a thicket,
    hide there to trap the poor,
    snare them and close the net.
10 The helpless are crushed, laid low;
    they fall into the power of the wicked,
11 Who say in their hearts, “God has forgotten,
    shows no concern, never bothers to look.”

III

12 Rise up, Lord! God, lift up your hand!
    Do not forget the poor!
13 Why should the wicked scorn God,
    say in their hearts, “God does not care”?
14 But you do see;
    you take note of misery and sorrow;
    you take the matter in hand.
To you the helpless can entrust their cause;
    you are the defender of orphans.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and depraved;
    make them account for their crimes;
    let none of them survive.

IV

16 The Lord is king forever;
    the nations have vanished from his land.
17 You listen, Lord, to the needs of the poor;
    you strengthen their heart and incline your ear.
18 You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed;
    no one on earth will cause terror again.

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.

Matthew 7:1-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

Judging Others. [a]“Stop judging,[b] that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,[c] remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

Pearls Before Swine. “Do not give what is holy to dogs,[d] or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

The Answer to Prayers. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,[e] 10 or a snake when he asks for a fish? 11 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

The Golden Rule. 12 [f]“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate. 13 [g]“Enter through the narrow gate;[h] for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. 14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

False Prophets.[i]

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–12 In Mt 7:1 Matthew returns to the basic traditional material of the sermon (Lk 6:37–38, 41–42). The governing thought is the correspondence between conduct toward one’s fellows and God’s conduct toward the one so acting.
  2. 7:1 This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Mt 7:5, 6 but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.
  3. 7:5 Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of another and ignores his own more serious offenses.
  4. 7:6 Dogs and swine were Jewish terms of contempt for Gentiles. This saying may originally have derived from a Jewish Christian community opposed to preaching the gospel (what is holy, pearls) to Gentiles. In the light of Mt 28:19 that can hardly be Matthew’s meaning. He may have taken the saying as applying to a Christian dealing with an obstinately impenitent fellow Christian (Mt 18:17).
  5. 7:9–10 There is a resemblance between a stone and a round loaf of bread and between a serpent and the scaleless fish called barbut.
  6. 7:12 See Lk 6:31. This saying, known since the eighteenth century as the “Golden Rule,” is found in both positive and negative form in pagan and Jewish sources, both earlier and later than the gospel. This is the law and the prophets is an addition probably due to the evangelist.
  7. 7:13–28 The final section of the discourse is composed of a series of antitheses, contrasting two kinds of life within the Christian community, that of those who obey the words of Jesus and that of those who do not. Most of the sayings are from Q and are found also in Luke.
  8. 7:13–14 The metaphor of the “two ways” was common in pagan philosophy and in the Old Testament. In Christian literature it is found also in the Didache (1–6) and the Epistle of Barnabas (18–20).
  9. 7:15–20 Christian disciples who claimed to speak in the name of God are called prophets (Mt 7:15) in Mt 10:41; Mt 23:34. They were presumably an important group within the church of Matthew. As in the case of the Old Testament prophets, there were both true and false ones, and for Matthew the difference could be recognized by the quality of their deeds, the fruits (Mt 7:16). The mention of fruits leads to the comparison with trees, some producing good fruit, others bad.
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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