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Genesis 24 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 24

Isaac and Rebekah.[a] Abraham was old, having seen many days, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. Abraham said to the senior servant of his household, who had charge of all his possessions: “Put your hand under my thigh,[b] and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live, but that you will go to my own land and to my relatives to get a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant asked him: “What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham told him, “Never take my son back there for any reason! The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives, and who confirmed by oath the promise he made to me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants’—he will send his angel before you, and you will get a wife for my son there. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be released from this oath to me. But never take my son back there!” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore to him concerning this matter.

10 The servant then took ten of his master’s camels, and bearing all kinds of gifts from his master, he made his way to the city of Nahor[c] in Aram Naharaim. 11 Near evening, at the time when women go out to draw water, he made the camels kneel by the well outside the city. 12 Then he said: “Lord, God of my master Abraham, let it turn out favorably for me[d] today and thus deal graciously with my master Abraham. 13 While I stand here at the spring and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water, 14 if I say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jug, that I may drink,’ and she answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels, too,’ then she is the one whom you have decided upon for your servant Isaac. In this way I will know that you have dealt graciously with my master.”

15 He had scarcely finished speaking when Rebekah—who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor—came out with a jug on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very beautiful, a virgin, untouched by man. She went down to the spring and filled her jug. As she came up, 17 the servant ran toward her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug.” 18 “Drink, sir,” she replied, and quickly lowering the jug into her hand, she gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels, too, until they have finished drinking.” 20 With that, she quickly emptied her jug into the drinking trough and ran back to the well to draw more water, until she had drawn enough for all the camels. 21 The man watched her the whole time, silently waiting to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose-ring weighing half a shekel, and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels for her wrists. 23 Then he asked her: “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please. And is there a place in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24 She answered: “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor. 25 We have plenty of straw and fodder,” she added, “and also a place to spend the night.” 26 The man then knelt and bowed down to the Lord, 27 saying: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not let his kindness and fidelity toward my master fail. As for me, the Lord has led me straight to the house of my master’s brother.”

28 Then the young woman ran off and told her mother’s household what had happened. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban. Laban rushed outside to the man at the spring. 30 [e]When he saw the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms and when he heard Rebekah repeating what the man had said to her, he went to him while he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 He said: “Come, blessed of the Lord! Why are you standing outside when I have made the house ready, as well as a place for the camels?” 32 The man then went inside; and while the camels were being unloaded and provided with straw and fodder, water was brought to bathe his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 But when food was set before him, he said, “I will not eat until I have told my story.” “Go ahead,” they replied.

34 “I am Abraham’s servant,” he began. 35 “The Lord has blessed my master so abundantly that he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to my master in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 My master put me under oath, saying: ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live; 38 instead, you must go to my father’s house, to my own family, to get a wife for my son.’ 39 When I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ 40 he replied: ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have always walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey successful, and so you will get a wife for my son from my own family and my father’s house. 41 Then you will be freed from my curse. If you go to my family and they refuse you, then, too, you will be free from my curse.’[f]

42 “When I came to the spring today, I said: ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make successful the journey I am on. 43 While I stand here at the spring, if I say to a young woman who comes out to draw water, ‘Please give me a little water from your jug,’ 44 and she answers, ‘Drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too—then she is the woman whom the Lord has decided upon for my master’s son.’

45 “I had scarcely finished saying this to myself when Rebekah came out with a jug on her shoulder. After she went down to the spring and drew water, I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink.’ 46 She quickly lowered the jug she was carrying and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels, too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also. 47 When I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ she answered, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, borne to Nahor by Milcah.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I knelt and bowed down to the Lord, blessing the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49 Now, if you will act with kindness and fidelity toward my master, let me know; but if not, let me know that too. I can then proceed accordingly.”

50 Laban and Bethuel said in reply: “This thing comes from the Lord; we can say nothing to you either for or against it. 51 Here is Rebekah, right in front of you; take her and go, that she may become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has said.” 52 When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then he brought out objects of silver and gold and clothing and presented them to Rebekah; he also gave costly presents to her brother and mother. 54 After he and the men with him had eaten and drunk, they spent the night there.

When they got up the next morning, he said, “Allow me to return to my master.” 55 Her brother and mother replied, “Let the young woman stay with us a short while, say ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has made my journey successful; let me go back to my master.” 57 They answered, “Let us call the young woman and see what she herself has to say about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” She answered, “I will.”[g] 59 At this they sent off their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 They blessed Rebekah and said:

“Sister, may you grow
    into thousands of myriads;
And may your descendants gain possession
    of the gates of their enemies!”

61 Then Rebekah and her attendants started out; they mounted the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.

62 Meanwhile Isaac had gone from Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the region of the Negeb. 63 One day toward evening he went out to walk in the field, and caught sight of camels approaching. 64 Rebekah, too, caught sight of Isaac, and got down from her camel. 65 She asked the servant, “Who is the man over there, walking through the fields toward us?” “That is my master,” replied the servant. Then she took her veil and covered herself.

66 The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah. He took Rebekah as his wife. Isaac loved her and found solace after the death of his mother.

Footnotes:

  1. 24:1–67

    The story of Abraham and Sarah is drawing to a close. The promises of progeny (21:1–7) and land (chap. 23) have been fulfilled and Sarah has died (23:1–2). Abraham’s last duty is to ensure that his son Isaac shares in the promises. Isaac must take a wife from his own people (vv. 3–7), so the promises may be fulfilled. The extraordinary length of this story and its development of a single theme contrast strikingly with the spare style of the preceding Abraham and Sarah stories. It points ahead to the Jacob and Joseph stories.

    The length of the story is partly caused by its meticulous attention to the sign (vv. 12–14), its fulfillment (vv. 15–20), and the servant’s retelling of sign and fulfillment to Rebekah’s family to win their consent (vv. 34–49).

  2. 24:2 Put your hand under my thigh: the symbolism of this act was apparently connected with the Hebrew concept of children issuing from their father’s “thigh” (the literal meaning of “direct descendants” in 46:26; Ex 1:5). Perhaps the man who took such an oath was thought to bring the curse of sterility on himself if he did not fulfill his sworn promise. Jacob made Joseph swear in the same way (Gn 47:29). In both these instances, the oath was taken to carry out the last request of a man upon his death.
  3. 24:10 Nahor: it is uncertain whether this is the place where Abraham’s brother Nahor (11:27) had lived or whether it is the city Nahur, named in the Mari documents (nineteenth and eighteenth centuries B.C.), near the confluence of the Balikh and Middle Euphrates rivers. Aram Naharaim: lit., “Aram between the two rivers,” is the Yahwist designation for Terah’s homeland. The two rivers are the Habur and the Euphrates. The Priestly designation for the area is Paddan-aram, which is from the Assyrian padana, “road or garden,” and Aram, which refers to the people or land of the Arameans.
  4. 24:12 Let it turn out favorably for me: let me have a favorable sign; cf. end of v. 14.
  5. 24:30 Laban becomes hospitable only when he sees the servant’s rich gifts, which is in humorous contrast to his sister’s spontaneous generosity toward the servant. Laban’s opportunism points forward to his behavior in the Jacob stories (31:14–16).
  6. 24:41 Curse: this would be the consequence of failing to carry out the oath referred to in v. 3.
  7. 24:58 Marriages arranged by the woman’s father did not require the woman’s consent, but marriages arranged by the woman’s brother did. Laban is the brother and Rebekah is therefore free to give her consent or not.
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 17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 17[a]

Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors

A prayer of David.

I

Hear, Lord, my plea for justice;
    pay heed to my cry;
Listen to my prayer
    from lips without guile.
From you let my vindication come;
    your eyes see what is right.
You have tested my heart,
    searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
    but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
    as others often do.
As your lips have instructed me,
    I have kept from the way of the lawless.
My steps have kept to your paths;
    my feet have not faltered.

II

I call upon you; answer me, O God.
    Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.
Show your wonderful mercy,
    you who deliver with your right arm
    those who seek refuge from their foes.
[b]Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
    from the wicked who despoil me.

III

My ravenous enemies press upon me;
10     [c]they close their hearts,
    they fill their mouths with proud roaring.
11 Their steps even now encircle me;
    they watch closely, keeping low to the ground,
12 Like lions eager for prey,
    like a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Rise, O Lord, confront and cast them down;
    rescue my soul from the wicked.
14 Slay them with your sword;
    with your hand, Lord, slay them;
    snatch them from the world in their prime.
Their bellies are being filled with your friends;
    their children are satisfied too,
    for they share what is left with their young.
15 I am just—let me see your face;
    when I awake, let me be filled with your presence.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 17 A lament of an individual unjustly attacked. Confident of being found innocent, the psalmist cries out for God’s just judgment (Ps 17:1–5) and requests divine help against enemies (Ps 17:6–9a). Those ravenous lions (Ps 17:9b–12) should be punished (Ps 17:13–14). The Psalm ends with a serene statement of praise (Ps 17:15). The Hebrew text of Ps 17:3–4, 14 is uncertain.
  2. 17:8 Apple of your eye…shadow of your wings: images of God’s special care, cf. Dt 32:10; Prv 7:2; Is 49:2.
  3. 17:10–12, 14 An extended metaphor: the enemies are lions.
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 10:24-42 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

24 No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,[a] how much more those of his household!

Courage Under Persecution. 26 “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.[b] 27 What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30 Even all the hairs of your head are counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 [c]Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. 33 But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

Jesus: A Cause of Division. 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. 35 For I have come to set

a man ‘against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36     and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’

The Conditions of Discipleship. 37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up his cross[d] and follow after me is not worthy of me. 39 [e]Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Rewards. 40 “Whoever receives you receives me,[f] and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 [g]Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

Footnotes:

  1. 10:25 Beelzebul: see Mt 9:34 for the charge linking Jesus with “the prince of demons,” who is named Beelzebul in Mt 12:24. The meaning of the name is uncertain; possibly, “lord of the house.”
  2. 10:26 The concealed and secret coming of the kingdom is to be proclaimed by them, and no fear must be allowed to deter them from that proclamation.
  3. 10:32–33 In the Q parallel (Lk 12:8–9), the Son of Man will acknowledge those who have acknowledged Jesus, and those who deny him will be denied (by the Son of Man) before the angels of God at the judgment. Here Jesus and the Son of Man are identified, and the acknowledgment or denial will be before his heavenly Father.
  4. 10:38 The first mention of the cross in Matthew, explicitly that of the disciple, but implicitly that of Jesus (and follow after me). Crucifixion was a form of capital punishment used by the Romans for offenders who were not Roman citizens.
  5. 10:39 One who denies Jesus in order to save one’s earthly life will be condemned to everlasting destruction; loss of earthly life for Jesus’ sake will be rewarded by everlasting life in the kingdom.
  6. 10:40–42 All who receive the disciples of Jesus receive him, and God who sent him, and will be rewarded accordingly.
  7. 10:41 A prophet: one who speaks in the name of God; here, the Christian prophets who proclaim the gospel. Righteous man: since righteousness is demanded of all the disciples, it is difficult to take the righteous man of this verse and one of these little ones (Mt 10:42) as indicating different groups within the followers of Jesus. Probably all three designations are used here of Christian missionaries as such.
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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