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Genesis 32-33 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 32

[a]Early the next morning, Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he set out on his journey back home. Meanwhile Jacob continued on his own way, and God’s angels encountered him. When Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s encampment.” So he named that place Mahanaim.[b]

Envoys to Esau. Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, ordering them: “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob: I have been residing with Laban and have been delayed until now. I own oxen, donkeys and sheep, as well as male and female servants. I have sent my lord this message in the hope of gaining your favor.’” When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We found your brother Esau. He is now coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

Jacob was very much frightened. In his anxiety, he divided the people who were with him, as well as his flocks, herds and camels, into two camps. “If Esau should come and attack one camp,” he reasoned, “the remaining camp may still escape.” 10 Then Jacob prayed: “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac! You, Lord, who said to me, ‘Go back to your land and your relatives, and I will be good to you.’ 11 I am unworthy of all the acts of kindness and faithfulness that you have performed for your servant: although I crossed the Jordan here with nothing but my staff, I have now grown into two camps. 12 Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau! Otherwise I fear that he will come and strike me down and the mothers with the children. 13 You yourself said, ‘I will be very good to you, and I will make your descendants like the sands of the sea, which are too numerous to count.’”

14 After passing the night there, Jacob selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau: 15 two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats; two hundred ewes and twenty rams; 16 thirty female camels and their young; forty cows and ten bulls; twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 17 He put these animals in the care of his servants, in separate herds, and he told the servants, “Go on ahead of me, but keep some space between the herds.” 18 He ordered the servant in the lead, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? To whom do these animals ahead of you belong?’ 19 tell him, ‘To your servant Jacob, but they have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. Jacob himself is right behind us.’” 20 He also ordered the second servant and the third and all the others who followed behind the herds: “Thus and so you shall say to Esau, when you reach him; 21 and also tell him, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” For Jacob reasoned, “If I first appease him with a gift that precedes me, then later, when I face him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 22 So the gifts went on ahead of him, while he stayed that night in the camp.

Jacob’s New Name.[c] 23 That night, however, Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24 After he got them and brought them across the wadi and brought over what belonged to him, 25 Jacob was left there alone. Then a man[d] wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26 When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket, so that Jacob’s socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him. 27 The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” 28 “What is your name?” the man asked. He answered, “Jacob.” 29 Then the man said, “You shall no longer be named Jacob, but Israel,[e] because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” 30 Jacob then asked him, “Please tell me your name.” He answered, “Why do you ask for my name?” With that, he blessed him. 31 Jacob named the place Peniel,[f] “because I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.”

32 At sunrise, as he left Penuel, Jacob limped along because of his hip. 33 That is why, to this day, the Israelites do not eat the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket, because he had struck Jacob’s hip socket at the sciatic muscle.

Chapter 33

Jacob and Esau Meet.[g] Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and with him four hundred men. So he divided his children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants, putting the maidservants and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He himself went on ahead of them, bowing to the ground seven times, until he reached his brother. Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, and flinging himself on his neck, kissed him as he wept.

Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children and asked, “Who are these with you?” Jacob answered, “They are the children with whom God has graciously favored your servant.” Then the maidservants and their children came forward and bowed low; next, Leah and her children came forward and bowed low; lastly, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed low. Then Esau asked, “What did you intend with all those herds that I encountered?” Jacob answered, “It was to gain my lord’s favor.” Esau replied, “I have plenty; my brother, you should keep what is yours.” 10 “No, I beg you!” said Jacob. “If you will do me the favor, accept this gift from me, since to see your face is for me like seeing the face of God—and you have received me so kindly. 11 Accept the gift I have brought you. For God has been generous toward me, and I have an abundance.” Since he urged him strongly, Esau accepted.

12 Then Esau said, “Let us break camp and be on our way; I will travel in front of you.” 13 But Jacob replied: “As my lord knows, the children are too young. And the flocks and herds that are nursing are a concern to me; if overdriven for even a single day, the whole flock will die. 14 Let my lord, then, go before his servant, while I proceed more slowly at the pace of the livestock before me and at the pace of my children, until I join my lord in Seir.” 15 Esau replied, “Let me at least put at your disposal some of the people who are with me.” But Jacob said, “Why is this that I am treated so kindly, my lord?” 16 So on that day Esau went on his way back to Seir, 17 and Jacob broke camp for Succoth.[h] There Jacob built a home for himself and made booths for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth.

18 Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram. He encamped in sight of the city. 19 The plot of ground on which he had pitched his tent he bought for a hundred pieces of money[i] from the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem. 20 He set up an altar there and invoked “El, the God of Israel.”

Footnotes:

  1. 32:1–22 Jacob’s negotiations with Esau. Laban kisses his daughters and grandchildren good-bye but not Jacob. On leaving Mesopotamia, Jacob has an encounter with angels of God (vv. 2–3), which provokes him to exclaim, “This is God’s encampment,” just as he exclaimed upon leaving Canaan, “This is the house of God, the gateway to heaven” (28:11–17).
  2. 32:3 Mahanaim: a town in Gilead (Jos 13:26, 30; 21:38; 2 Sm 2:8; etc.). The Hebrew name means “two camps.” There are other allusions to the name in vv. 8, 11.
  3. 32:23–33 As Jacob crosses over to the land promised him, worried about the impending meeting with Esau, he encounters a mysterious adversary in the night with whom he wrestles until morning. The cunning Jacob manages to wrest a blessing from the night stranger before he departs. There are folkloric elements in the tale—e.g., the trial of the hero before he can return home, the nocturnal demon’s loss of strength at sunrise, the demon protecting its river, the power gained by knowledge of an opponent’s name—but these have been worked into a coherent though elliptical narrative. The point of the tale seems to be that the ever-striving, ever-grasping Jacob must eventually strive with God to attain full possession of the blessing.
  4. 32:25 A man: as with Abraham’s three visitors in chap. 18, who appear sometimes as three, two, and one (the latter being God), this figure is fluid; he loses the match but changes Jacob’s name (v. 29), an act elsewhere done only by God (17:5, 15). A few deft narrative touches manage to express intimate contact with Jacob while preserving the transcendence proper to divinity.
  5. 32:29 Israel: the first part of the Hebrew name Yisrael is given a popular explanation in the word saritha, “you contended”; the second part is the first syllable of ’elohim, “divine beings.” The present incident, with a similar allusion to the name Israel, is referred to in Hos 12:5, where the mysterious wrestler is explicitly called an angel.
  6. 32:31 Peniel: a variant of the word Penuel (v. 32), the name of a town on the north bank of the Jabbok in Gilead (Jgs 8:8–9, 17; 1 Kgs 12:25). The name is explained as meaning “the face of God,” peni-’el. Yet my life has been spared: see note on 16:13.
  7. 33:1–20 The truly frightening confrontation seems to have already occurred in Jacob’s meeting the divine stranger in the previous chapter. In contrast, this meeting brings reconciliation. Esau, impulsive but largehearted, kisses the cunning Jacob and calls him brother (v. 9). Jacob in return asks Esau to accept his blessing (berakah, translated “gift,” v. 11), giving back at least symbolically what he had taken many years before and responding to Esau’s erstwhile complaint (“he has taken away my blessing,” 27:36). Verses 12–17 show that the reconciliation is not total and, further, that Jacob does not intend to share the ancestral land with his brother.
  8. 33:17 Succoth: an important town near the confluence of the Jabbok and the Jordan (Jos 13:27; Jgs 8:5–16; 1 Kgs 7:46). Booths: in Hebrew, sukkot, of the same sound as the name of the town.
  9. 33:19 Pieces of money: in Hebrew, qesita, a monetary unit of which the value is unknown. Descendants of Hamor: Hamorites, “the people of Hamor”; cf. Jgs 9:28. Hamor was regarded as the eponymous ancestor of the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Shechem.
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 22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 22[a]

The Prayer of an Innocent Person

For the leader; according to “The deer of the dawn.”[b] A psalm of David.

I

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why so far from my call for help,
    from my cries of anguish?
My God, I call by day, but you do not answer;
    by night, but I have no relief.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the glory of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted and you rescued them.
To you they cried out and they escaped;
    in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
[c]But I am a worm, not a man,
    scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they curl their lips and jeer;
    they shake their heads at me:
“He relied on the Lord—let him deliver him;
    if he loves him, let him rescue him.”
10 For you drew me forth from the womb,
    made me safe at my mother’s breasts.
11 Upon you I was thrust from the womb;
    since my mother bore me you are my God.
12 Do not stay far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is no one to help.

II

13 Many bulls[d] surround me;
    fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me.
14 They open their mouths against me,
    lions that rend and roar.
15 Like water my life drains away;
    all my bones are disjointed.
My heart has become like wax,
    it melts away within me.
16 As dry as a potsherd is my throat;
    my tongue cleaves to my palate;
    you lay me in the dust of death.[e]
17 Dogs surround me;
    a pack of evildoers closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and my feet
18     I can count all my bones.
They stare at me and gloat;
19     they divide my garments among them;
    for my clothing they cast lots.
20 But you, Lord, do not stay far off;
    my strength, come quickly to help me.
21 Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my life from the grip of the dog.
22 Save me from the lion’s mouth,
    my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.

III

23 Then I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
    in the assembly I will praise you:[f]
24 “You who fear the Lord, give praise!
    All descendants of Jacob, give honor;
    show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
25 For he has not spurned or disdained
    the misery of this poor wretch,
Did not turn away[g] from me,
    but heard me when I cried out.
26 I will offer praise in the great assembly;
    my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.
27 The poor[h] will eat their fill;
    those who seek the Lord will offer praise.
    May your hearts enjoy life forever!”

IV

28 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord;
All the families of nations
    will bow low before him.
29 For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    the ruler over the nations.
30 [i]All who sleep in the earth
    will bow low before God;
All who have gone down into the dust
    will kneel in homage.
31 And I will live for the Lord;
    my descendants will serve you.
32 The generation to come will be told of the Lord,
    that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn
    the deliverance you have brought.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 22 A lament unusual in structure and in intensity of feeling. The psalmist’s present distress is contrasted with God’s past mercy in Ps 22:2–12. In Ps 22:13–22 enemies surround the psalmist. The last third is an invitation to praise God (Ps 22:23–27), becoming a universal chorus of praise (Ps 22:28–31). The Psalm is important in the New Testament. Its opening words occur on the lips of the crucified Jesus (Mk 15:34; Mt 27:46), and several other verses are quoted, or at least alluded to, in the accounts of Jesus’ passion (Mt 27:35, 43; Jn 19:24).
  2. 22:1 The deer of the dawn: apparently the title of the melody.
  3. 22:7 I am a worm, not a man: the psalmist’s sense of isolation and dehumanization, an important motif of Ps 22, is vividly portrayed here.
  4. 22:13–14 Bulls: the enemies of the psalmist are also portrayed in less-than-human form, as wild animals (cf. Ps 22:17, 21–22). Bashan: a grazing land northeast of the Sea of Galilee, famed for its cattle, cf. Dt 32:14; Ez 39:18; Am 4:1.
  5. 22:16 The dust of death: the netherworld, the domain of the dead.
  6. 22:23 In the assembly I will praise you: the person who offered a thanksgiving sacrifice in the Temple recounted to the other worshipers the favor received from God and invited them to share in the sacrificial banquet. The final section (Ps 22:24–32) may be a summary or a citation of the psalmist’s poem of praise.
  7. 22:25 Turn away: lit., “hides his face from me,” an important metaphor for God withdrawing from someone, e.g., Mi 3:4; Is 8:17; Ps 27:9; 69:18; 88:15.
  8. 22:27 The poor: originally the poor, who were dependent on God; the term (‘anawim) came to include the religious sense of “humble, pious, devout.”
  9. 22:30 Hebrew unclear. The translation assumes that all on earth (Ps 22:27–28) and under the earth (Ps 22:29) will worship God.
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 13:1-23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

The Parable of the Sower. [a]On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. [b]And he spoke to them at length in parables,[c] saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The Purpose of Parables. 10 The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 [d]He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. 12 To anyone who has, more will be given[e] and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 [f]This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.’ 14 Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

‘You shall indeed hear but not understand,
    you shall indeed look but never see.
15 Gross is the heart of this people,
    they will hardly hear with their ears,
    they have closed their eyes,
        lest they see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart and be converted,
    and I heal them.’

The Privilege of Discipleship.[g] 16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17 Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

The Explanation of the Parable of the Sower.[h] 18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. 20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 21 But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22 The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. 23 But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1–53 The discourse in parables is the third great discourse of Jesus in Matthew and constitutes the second part of the third book of the gospel. Matthew follows the Marcan outline (Mk 4:1–35) but has only two of Mark’s parables, the five others being from Q and M. In addition to the seven parables, the discourse gives the reason why Jesus uses this type of speech (Mt 13:10–15), declares the blessedness of those who understand his teaching (Mt 13:16–17), explains the parable of the sower (Mt 13:18–23) and of the weeds (Mt 13:36–43), and ends with a concluding statement to the disciples (Mt 13:51–52).
  2. 13:3 In parables: the word “parable” (Greek parabolē) is used in the LXX to translate the Hebrew māshāl, a designation covering a wide variety of literary forms such as axioms, proverbs, similitudes, and allegories. In the New Testament the same breadth of meaning of the word is found, but there it primarily designates stories that are illustrative comparisons between Christian truths and events of everyday life. Sometimes the event has a strange element that is quite different from usual experience (e.g., in Mt 13:33 the enormous amount of dough in the parable of the yeast); this is meant to sharpen the curiosity of the hearer. If each detail of such a story is given a figurative meaning, the story is an allegory. Those who maintain a sharp distinction between parable and allegory insist that a parable has only one point of comparison, and that while parables were characteristic of Jesus’ teaching, to see allegorical details in them is to introduce meanings that go beyond their original intention and even falsify it. However, to exclude any allegorical elements from a parable is an excessively rigid mode of interpretation, now abandoned by many scholars.
  3. 13:3–8 Since in Palestine sowing often preceded plowing, much of the seed is scattered on ground that is unsuitable. Yet while much is wasted, the seed that falls on good ground bears fruit in extraordinarily large measure. The point of the parable is that, in spite of some failure because of opposition and indifference, the message of Jesus about the coming of the kingdom will have enormous success.
  4. 13:11 Since a parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding, only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. To understand is a gift of God, granted to the disciples but not to the crowds. In Semitic fashion, both the disciples’ understanding and the crowd’s obtuseness are attributed to God. The question of human responsibility for the obtuseness is not dealt with, although it is asserted in Mt 13:13. The mysteries: as in Lk 8:10; Mk 4:11 has “the mystery.” The word is used in Dn 2:18, 19, 27 and in the Qumran literature (1QpHab 7:8; 1QS 3:23; 1QM 3:9) to designate a divine plan or decree affecting the course of history that can be known only when revealed. Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven means recognition that the kingdom has become present in the ministry of Jesus.
  5. 13:12 In the New Testament use of this axiom of practical “wisdom” (see Mt 25:29; Mk 4:25; Lk 8:18; 19:26), the reference transcends the original level. God gives further understanding to one who accepts the revealed mystery; from the one who does not, he will take it away (note the “theological passive,” more will be given, what he has will be taken away).
  6. 13:13 Because ‘they look…or understand’: Matthew softens his Marcan source, which states that Jesus speaks in parables so that the crowds may not understand (Mk 4:12), and makes such speaking a punishment given because they have not accepted his previous clear teaching. However, his citation of Is 6:9–10 in Mt 13:14 supports the harsher Marcan view.
  7. 13:16–17 Unlike the unbelieving crowds, the disciples have seen that which the prophets and the righteous of the Old Testament longed to see without having their longing fulfilled.
  8. 13:18–23 See Mk 4:14–20; Lk 8:11–15. In this explanation of the parable the emphasis is on the various types of soil on which the seed falls, i.e., on the dispositions with which the preaching of Jesus is received. The second and third types particularly are explained in such a way as to support the view held by many scholars that the explanation derives not from Jesus but from early Christian reflection upon apostasy from the faith that was the consequence of persecution and worldliness, respectively. Others, however, hold that the explanation may come basically from Jesus even though it was developed in the light of later Christian experience. The four types of persons envisaged are (1) those who never accept the word of the kingdom (Mt 13:19); (2) those who believe for a while but fall away because of persecution (Mt 13:20–21); (3) those who believe, but in whom the word is choked by worldly anxiety and the seduction of riches (Mt 13:22); (4) those who respond to the word and produce fruit abundantly (Mt 13:23).
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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