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Genesis 16-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 16

Birth of Ishmael.[a] Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children. Now she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram: “The Lord has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse with my maid; perhaps I will have sons through her.” Abram obeyed Sarai.[b] Thus, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, his wife Sarai took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. He had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant. As soon as Hagar knew she was pregnant, her mistress lost stature in her eyes.[c] So Sarai said to Abram: “This outrage against me is your fault. I myself gave my maid to your embrace; but ever since she knew she was pregnant, I have lost stature in her eyes. May the Lord decide between you and me!” Abram told Sarai: “Your maid is in your power. Do to her what you regard as right.” Sarai then mistreated her so much that Hagar ran away from her.

The Lord’s angel[d] found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur, and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.” But the Lord’s angel told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her authority. 10 I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the Lord’s angel, “that they will be too many to count.” 11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her:

“You are now pregnant and shall bear a son;
    you shall name him Ishmael,[e]
For the Lord has heeded your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild ass of a man,
    his hand against everyone,
    and everyone’s hand against him;
Alongside[f] all his kindred
    shall he encamp.”

13 To the Lord who spoke to her she gave a name, saying, “You are God who sees me”;[g] she meant, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after he saw me?” 14 That is why the well is called Beer-lahai-roi.[h] It is between Kadesh and Bered.

15 Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram named the son whom Hagar bore him Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Chapter 17

Covenant of Circumcision.[i] When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said: I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless. Between you and me I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly.

Abram fell face down and God said to him: For my part, here is my covenant with you: you are to become the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham,[j] for I am making you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings will stem from you. I will maintain my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting covenant, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now residing as aliens, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God. God said to Abraham: For your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages. 10 This is the covenant between me and you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised.[k] 11 Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. That will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money from any foreigner who is not of your descendants. 13 Yes, both the houseborn slaves and those acquired with money must be circumcised. Thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 If a male is uncircumcised, that is, if the flesh of his foreskin has not been cut away, such a one will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.

15 God further said to Abraham: As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.[l] 16 I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her. Her also will I bless; she will give rise to nations, and rulers of peoples will issue from her. 17 Abraham fell face down and laughed[m] as he said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at ninety?” 18 So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael could live in your favor!” 19 God replied: Even so, your wife Sarah is to bear you a son, and you shall call him Isaac. It is with him that I will maintain my covenant as an everlasting covenant and with his descendants after him. 20 Now as for Ishmael, I will heed you: I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you by this time next year. 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God departed from him.

23 Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his slaves, whether born in his house or acquired with his money—every male among the members of Abraham’s household—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that same day, as God had told him to do. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26 Thus, on that same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised; 27 and all the males of his household, including the slaves born in his house or acquired with his money from foreigners, were circumcised with him.

Footnotes:

  1. 16:1–16 In the previous chapter Abraham was given a timetable of possession of the land, but nothing was said about when the child was to be born. In this chapter, Sarah takes matters into her own hands, for she has been childless ten years since the promise (cf. 12:4 with 16:16). The story is about the two women, Sarah the infertile mistress and Hagar the fertile slave; Abraham has only a single sentence. In the course of the story, God intervenes directly on the side of Hagar, for she is otherwise without resources.
  2. 16:2 The custom of an infertile wife providing her husband with a concubine to produce children is widely attested in ancient Near Eastern law; e.g., an Old Assyrian marriage contract states that the wife must provide her husband with a concubine if she does not bear children within two years.
  3. 16:4 Because barrenness was at that time normally blamed on the woman and regarded as a disgrace, it is not surprising that Hagar looks down on Sarah. Ancient Near Eastern legal practice addresses such cases of insolent slaves and allows disciplining of them. Prv 30:23 uses as an example of intolerable behavior “a maidservant when she ousts her mistress.”
  4. 16:7 The Lord’s angel: a manifestation of God in human form; in v. 13 the messenger is identified with God. See note on Ex 3:2.
  5. 16:11 Ishmael: in Hebrew the name means “God has heard.” It is the same Hebrew verb that is translated “heeded” in the next clause. In other ancient Near Eastern texts, the name commemorated the divine answer to the parents’ prayer to have a child, but here it is broadened to mean that God has “heard” Hagar’s plight. In vv. 13–14, the verb “to see” is similarly broadened to describe God’s special care for those in need.
  6. 16:12 Alongside: lit., “against the face of”; the same phrase is used of the lands of Ishmael’s descendants in 25:18. It can be translated “in opposition to” (Dt 21:16; Jb 1:11; 6:28; 21:31), but here more likely means that Ishmael’s settlement was near but not in the promised land.
  7. 16:13 God who sees me: Hebrew el-ro’i is multivalent, meaning either “God of seeing,” i.e., extends his protection to me, or “God sees,” which can imply seeing human suffering (29:32; Ex 2:25; Is 57:18; 58:3). It is probable that Hagar means to express both of these aspects. Remained alive: for the ancient notion that a person died on seeing God, see Gn 32:31; Ex 20:19; Dt 4:33; Jgs 13:22.
  8. 16:14 Beer-lahai-roi: possible translations of the name of the well include: “spring of the living one who sees me”; “the well of the living sight”; or “the one who sees me lives.” See note on v. 13.
  9. 17:1–27 The Priestly source gathers the major motifs of the story so far and sets them firmly within a covenant context; the word “covenant” occurs thirteen times. There are links to the covenant with Noah (v. 1 = 6:9; v. 7 = 9:9; v. 11 = 9:12–17). In this chapter, vv. 1–8 promise progeny and land; vv. 9–14 are instructions about circumcision; vv. 15–21 repeat the promise of a son to Sarah and distinguish this promise from that to Hagar; vv. 22–27 describe Abraham’s carrying out the commands. The Almighty: traditional rendering of Hebrew El Shaddai, which is P’s favorite designation of God in the period of the ancestors. Its etymology is uncertain, but its root meaning is probably “God, the One of the Mountains.”
  10. 17:5 Abram and Abraham are merely two forms of the same name, both meaning, “the father is exalted”; another variant form is Abiram (Nm 16:1; 1 Kgs 16:34). The additional -ha- in the form Abraham is explained by popular etymology as coming from ab-hamon goyim, “father of a multitude of nations.”
  11. 17:10 Circumcised: circumcision was widely practiced in the ancient world, usually as an initiation rite for males at puberty. By shifting the time of circumcision to the eighth day after birth, biblical religion made it no longer a “rite of passage” but the sign of the eternal covenant between God and the community descending from Abraham.
  12. 17:15 Sarai and Sarah are variant forms of the same name, both meaning “princess.”
  13. 17:17 Laughed: yishaq, which is also the Hebrew form of the name “Isaac”; similar explanations of the name are given in Gn 18:12 and 21:6.
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 11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 11[a]

Confidence in the Presence of God

For the leader. Of David.

I

In the Lord I take refuge;
    how can you say to me,
    “Flee like a bird to the mountains!
See how the wicked string their bows,
    fit their arrows to the string
    to shoot from the shadows at the upright of heart.
[b]If foundations are destroyed,
    what can the just one do?”

II

The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
God’s eyes keep careful watch;
    they test the children of Adam.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
    hates those who love violence,
And rains upon the wicked
    fiery coals and brimstone,
    a scorching wind their allotted cup.[c]
The Lord is just and loves just deeds;
    the upright will see his face.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 11 A song of trust. Though friends counsel flight to the mountain country (a traditional hideout) to escape trouble (Ps 11:1–3), the innocent psalmist reaffirms confidence in God, who protects those who seek asylum in the Temple (Ps 11:4–7).
  2. 11:3 Foundations: usually understood of public order, cf. Ps 82:5.
  3. 11:6 Their allotted cup: the cup that God gives people to drink is a common figure for their destiny, cf. Ps 16:5; 75:9; Mt 20:22; 26:39; Rev 14:10.
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 7:15-29 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So by their fruits you will know them.

The True Disciple. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,[a] but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.[b] Depart from me, you evildoers.’

The Two Foundations. 24 [c]“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

28 [d]When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 [e]for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:21–23 The attack on the false prophets is continued, but is broadened to include those disciples who perform works of healing and exorcism in the name of Jesus (Lord) but live evil lives. Entrance into the kingdom is only for those who do the will of the Father. On the day of judgment (on that day) the morally corrupt prophets and miracle workers will be rejected by Jesus.
  2. 7:23 I never knew you: cf. Mt 10:33. Depart from me, you evildoers: cf. Ps 6:9.
  3. 7:24–27 The conclusion of the discourse (cf. Lk 6:47–49). Here the relation is not between saying and doing as in Mt 7:15–23 but between hearing and doing, and the words of Jesus are applied to every Christian (everyone who listens).
  4. 7:28–29 When Jesus finished these words: this or a similar formula is used by Matthew to conclude each of the five great discourses of Jesus (cf. Mt 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1).
  5. 7:29 Not as their scribes: scribal instruction was a faithful handing down of the traditions of earlier teachers; Jesus’ teaching is based on his own authority. Their scribes: for the implications of their, see note on Mt 4:23.
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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