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Genesis 30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 30

When Rachel saw that she had not borne children to Jacob, she became envious of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children or I shall die!” Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Can I take the place of God, who has denied you the fruit of the womb?” She replied, “Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Have intercourse with her, and let her give birth on my knees,[a] so that I too may have children through her.” So she gave him her maidservant Bilhah as wife,[b] and Jacob had intercourse with her. When Bilhah conceived and bore a son for Jacob, Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; indeed he has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan.[c] Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah conceived again and bore a second son for Jacob, and Rachel said, “I have wrestled strenuously with my sister, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali.[d]

When Leah saw that she had ceased to bear children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as wife. 10 So Leah’s maidservant Zilpah bore a son for Jacob. 11 Leah then said, “What good luck!” So she named him Gad.[e] 12 Then Leah’s maidservant Zilpah bore a second son to Jacob; 13 and Leah said, “What good fortune, because women will call me fortunate!” So she named him Asher.[f]

14 One day, during the wheat harvest, Reuben went out and came upon some mandrakes[g] in the field which he brought home to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 Leah replied, “Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you must now take my son’s mandrakes too?” Rachel answered, “In that case Jacob may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 That evening, when Jacob came in from the field, Leah went out to meet him. She said, “You must have intercourse with me, because I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So that night he lay with her, 17 and God listened to Leah; she conceived and bore a fifth son to Jacob. 18 Leah then said, “God has given me my wages for giving my maidservant to my husband”; so she named him Issachar.[h] 19 Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob; 20 and Leah said, “God has brought me a precious gift. This time my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun.[i] 21 Afterwards she gave birth to a daughter, and she named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel. God listened to her and made her fruitful. 23 She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has removed my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph,[j] saying, “May the Lord add another son for me!”

Jacob Outwits Laban.[k] 25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban: “Allow me to go to my own region and land. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I served you and let me go, for you know the service that I rendered you.” 27 Laban answered him: “If you will please! I have learned through divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 He continued, “State the wages I owe you, and I will pay them.” 29 Jacob replied: “You know what work I did for you and how well your livestock fared under my care; 30 the little you had before I came has grown into an abundance, since the Lord has blessed you in my company. Now, when can I do something for my own household as well?” 31 Laban asked, “What should I give you?” Jacob answered: “You do not have to give me anything. If you do this thing for me, I will again pasture and tend your sheep. 32 Let me go through your whole flock today and remove from it every dark animal among the lambs and every spotted or speckled one among the goats.[l] These will be my wages. 33 In the future, whenever you check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me: any animal that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or dark among the lambs, got into my possession by theft!” 34 Laban said, “Very well. Let it be as you say.”

35 That same day Laban removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats, all those with some white on them, as well as every dark lamb, and he put them in the care of his sons.[m] 36 Then he put a three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.

37 Jacob, however, got some fresh shoots of poplar, almond and plane[n] trees, and he peeled white stripes in them by laying bare the white core of the shoots. 38 The shoots that he had peeled he then set upright in the watering troughs where the animals came to drink, so that they would be in front of them. When the animals were in heat as they came to drink, 39 the goats mated by the shoots, and so they gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted young. 40 The sheep, on the other hand, Jacob kept apart, and he made these animals face the streaked or completely dark animals of Laban. Thus he produced flocks of his own, which he did not put with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the hardier animals were in heat, Jacob would set the shoots in the troughs in full view of these animals, so that they mated by the shoots; 42 but with the weaker animals he would not put the shoots there. So the feeble animals would go to Laban, but the hardy ones to Jacob. 43 So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and he owned large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

Footnotes:

  1. 30:3 On my knees: in the ancient Near East, a father would take a newborn child in his lap to signify that he acknowledged it as his own; Rachel uses the ceremony in order to adopt the child and establish her legal rights to it.
  2. 30:4 As wife: in 35:22 Bilhah is called a “concubine” (Heb. pilegesh). In v. 9, Zilpah is called “wife,” and in 37:2 both women are called wives. The basic difference between a wife and a concubine was that no bride price was paid for the latter. The interchange of terminology shows that there was some blurring in social status between the wife and the concubine.
  3. 30:6 Dan: explained by the term dannanni, “he has vindicated me.”
  4. 30:8 Naphtali: explained by the Hebrew term naftulim, lit., “contest” or “struggle.”
  5. 30:11 Gad: explained by the Hebrew term begad, lit., “in luck,” i.e., “what good luck!”
  6. 30:13 Asher: explained by the term be’oshri, lit., “in my good fortune,” i.e., “what good fortune,” and by the term ye’ashsheruni, “they call me fortunate.”
  7. 30:14 Mandrakes: an herb whose root was thought to promote conception. The Hebrew word for mandrakes, duda’im, has erotic connotations, since it sounds like the words daddayim (“breasts”) and dodim (“sexual pleasure”).
  8. 30:18 Issachar: explained by the terms, sekari, “my reward,” and in v. 16, sakor sekartika, “I have hired you.”
  9. 30:20 Zebulun: explained by the terms, zebadani…zebed tob, “he has brought me a precious gift,” and yizbeleni, “he will honor me.”
  10. 30:24 Joseph: explained by the words yosep, “may he add,” and in v. 23, ’asap, “he has removed.”
  11. 30:25–43 Jacob’s deception of Laban. Jacob has been living in Laban’s household as an indentured worker paying off the bride price. Having paid off all his obligations, he wants to settle his accounts with Laban. His many children attest to the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise of numerous progeny; the birth of Joseph to his beloved Rachel signals the fulfillment in a special way. To enter into the Lord’s second promise, the land, he must now return to Canaan.
  12. 30:32 Dark…lambs…spotted or speckled…goats: in the Near East the normal color of sheep is light gray, whereas that of goats is dark brown or black. A minority of sheep in that part of the world have dark patches, and a minority of goats, white markings. Laban is quick to agree to the offer, for Jacob would have received only a few animals. But Jacob gets the better of him, using two different means: (1) he separates out the weaker animals and then provides visual impressions to the stronger animals at mating time (a folkloric belief); (2) in 31:8–12, he transmits the preferred characteristics through controlled propagation. It should be noted that Jacob has been told what to do in a dream (31:10) and that God is behind the increase in his flocks.
  13. 30:35 By giving the abnormally colored animals to his sons, Laban not only deprived Jacob of his first small wages, but he also schemed to prevent the future breeding of such animals in the flock entrusted to Jacob.
  14. 30:37 Plane: also called the Oriental Plane, a deciduous tree found in riverine forests and marshes.
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 20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 20[a]

Prayer for the King in Time of War

For the leader. A psalm of David.

I

The Lord answer you in time of distress;
    the name of the God of Jacob defend you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
    from Zion be your support.
May he remember[b] your every offering,
    graciously accept your burnt offering,
Selah
Grant what is in your heart,
    fulfill your every plan.
May we shout for joy at your victory,[c]
    raise the banners in the name of our God.
    The Lord grant your every petition!

II

Now I know the Lord gives victory
    to his anointed.
He will answer him from the holy heavens
    with a strong arm that brings victory.
Some rely on chariots, others on horses,
    but we on the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
    but we stand strong and firm.
10 Lord, grant victory to the king;
    answer when we call upon you.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 20 The people pray for the king before battle. The people ask for divine help (Ps 20:2–6) and express confidence that such help will be given (Ps 20:7–10). A solemn assurance of divine help may well have been given between the two sections in the liturgy, something like the promises of Ps 12:6; 21:9–13. The final verse (Ps 20:10) echoes the opening verse.
  2. 20:4 Remember: God’s remembering implies readiness to act, cf. Gn 8:1; Ex 2:24.
  3. 20:6 Victory: the Hebrew root is often translated “salvation,” “to save,” but in military contexts it can have the specific meaning of “victory.”
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 12:22-37 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute. He cured the mute person so that he could speak and see. 23 [a]All the crowd was astounded, and said, “Could this perhaps be the Son of David?” 24 [b]But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” 25 But he knew what they were thinking and said to them,[c] “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people[d] drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 [e]But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 [f]How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. 30 [g]Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit[h] will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

A Tree and Its Fruits. 33 “Either declare[i] the tree good and its fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 [j]You brood of vipers, how can you say good things when you are evil? For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil. 36 [k]I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. 37 By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The Demand for a Sign.[l]

Footnotes:

  1. 12:23 See note on Mt 9:27.
  2. 12:24 See note on Mt 10:25.
  3. 12:25–26 Jesus’ first response to the Pharisees’ charge is that if it were true, Satan would be destroying his own kingdom.
  4. 12:27 Besides pointing out the absurdity of the charge, Jesus asks how the work of Jewish exorcists (your own people) is to be interpreted. Are they, too, to be charged with collusion with Beelzebul? For an example of Jewish exorcism see Josephus, Antiquities 8:42–49.
  5. 12:28 The Q parallel (Lk 11:20) speaks of the “finger” rather than of the “spirit” of God. While the difference is probably due to Matthew’s editing, he retains the kingdom of God rather than changing it to his usual “kingdom of heaven.” Has come upon you: see Mt 4:17.
  6. 12:29 A short parable illustrates what Jesus is doing. The strong man is Satan, whom Jesus has tied up and whose house he is plundering. Jewish expectation was that Satan would be chained up in the last days (Rev 20:2); Jesus’ exorcisms indicate that those days have begun.
  7. 12:30 This saying, already attached to the preceding verses in Q (see Lk 11:23), warns that there can be no neutrality where Jesus is concerned. Its pertinence in a context where Jesus is addressing not the neutral but the bitterly opposed is not clear. The accusation of scattering, however, does fit the situation. Jesus is the shepherd of God’s people (Mt 2:6), his mission is to the lost sheep of Israel (Mt 15:24); the Pharisees, who oppose him, are guilty of scattering the sheep.
  8. 12:31 Blasphemy against the Spirit: the sin of attributing to Satan (Mt 12:24) what is the work of the Spirit of God (Mt 12:28).
  9. 12:33 Declare: literally, “make.” The meaning of this verse is obscure. Possibly it is a challenge to the Pharisees either to declare Jesus and his exorcisms good or both of them bad. A tree is known by its fruit; if the fruit is good, so must the tree be. If the driving out of demons is good, so must its source be.
  10. 12:34 The admission of Jesus’ goodness cannot be made by the Pharisees, for they are evil, and the words that proceed from their evil hearts cannot be good.
  11. 12:36–37 If on the day of judgment people will be held accountable for even their careless words, the vicious accusations of the Pharisees will surely lead to their condemnation.
  12. 12:38–42 This section is mainly from Q (see Lk 11:29–32). Mk 8:11–12, which Matthew has followed in Mt 16:1–4, has a similar demand for a sign. The scribes and Pharisees refuse to accept the exorcisms of Jesus as authentication of his claims and demand a sign that will end all possibility of doubt. Jesus’ response is that no such sign will be given. Because his opponents are evil and see him as an agent of Satan, nothing will convince them.
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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