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Genesis 34-35 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 34

The Rape of Dinah. [a]Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit some of the women of the land. When Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite,[b] the leader of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force. He was strongly attracted to Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and was in love with the young woman. So he spoke affectionately to her. Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this young woman for a wife.”

Meanwhile, Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but since his sons were out in the field with his livestock, Jacob kept quiet until they came home. Now Hamor, the father of Shechem, went out to discuss the matter with Jacob, just as Jacob’s sons were coming in from the field. When they heard the news, the men were indignant and extremely angry. Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter; such a thing is not done. Hamor appealed to them, saying: “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 Thus you can live among us. The land is open before you. Settle and move about freely in it and acquire holdings here.”[c] 11 Then Shechem appealed to Dinah’s father and brothers: “Do me this favor, and whatever you ask from me, I will give. 12 No matter how high you set the bridal price and gift, I will give you whatever you ask from me; only give me the young woman as a wife.”

Revenge of Jacob’s Sons. 13 Jacob’s sons replied to Shechem and his father Hamor with guile, speaking as they did because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, “We are not able to do this thing: to give our sister to an uncircumcised man. For that would be a disgrace for us. 15 Only on this condition will we agree to that: that you become like us by having every male among you circumcised. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters in marriage; we will settle among you and become one people. 17 But if you do not listen to us and be circumcised, we will take our daughter and go.”

18 Their proposal pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man lost no time in acting on the proposal, since he wanted Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more highly regarded than anyone else in his father’s house. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and said to the men of their city: 21 “These men are friendly toward us. Let them settle in the land and move about in it freely; there is ample room in the land for them. We can take their daughters in marriage and give our daughters to them. 22 But only on this condition will the men agree to live with us and form one people with us: that every male among us be circumcised as they themselves are. 23 Would not their livestock, their property, and all their animals then be ours? Let us just agree with them, so that they will settle among us.”

24 All who went out of the gate of the city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and all the males, all those who went out of the gate of the city,[d] were circumcised. 25 On the third day, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, brothers of Dinah, each took his sword, advanced against the unsuspecting city and massacred all the males. 26 After they had killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, they took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. 27 Then the other sons of Jacob followed up the slaughter and sacked the city because their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their sheep, cattle and donkeys, whatever was in the city and in the surrounding country. 29 They carried off all their wealth, their children, and their women, and looted whatever was in the houses.

30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi: “You have brought trouble upon me by making me repugnant to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I have so few men that, if these people unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be wiped out.” 31 But they retorted, “Should our sister be treated like a prostitute?”

Chapter 35

Bethel Revisited. [e]God said to Jacob: Go up now to Bethel. Settle there and build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau. So Jacob told his household and all who were with him: “Get rid of the foreign gods[f] among you; then purify yourselves and change your clothes. Let us now go up to Bethel so that I might build an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” They gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their possession and also the rings they had in their ears[g] and Jacob buried them under the oak that is near Shechem. Then, as they set out, a great terror fell upon the surrounding towns, so that no one pursued the sons of Jacob.

Thus Jacob and all the people who were with him arrived in Luz (now Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar and called the place El-Bethel,[h] for it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died. She was buried under the oak below Bethel, and so it was named Allon-bacuth.[i]

On Jacob’s arrival from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him:

Your name is Jacob.
You will no longer be named Jacob,
    but Israel will be your name.

So he was named Israel. 11 Then God said to him: I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will stem from you, and kings will issue from your loins. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you; and to your descendants after you I will give the land.

13 Then God departed from him. 14 In the place where God had spoken with him, Jacob set up a sacred pillar, a stone pillar, and upon it he made a libation and poured out oil. 15 Jacob named the place where God spoke to him Bethel.

Jacob’s Family. 16 Then they departed from Bethel; but while they still had some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel went into labor and suffered great distress. 17 When her labor was most intense, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18 With her last breath—for she was at the point of death—she named him Ben-oni;[j] but his father named him Benjamin. 19 Thus Rachel died; and she was buried on the road to Ephrath (now Bethlehem).[k] 20 Jacob set up a sacred pillar on her grave, and the same pillar marks Rachel’s grave to this day.

21 Israel moved on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder. 22 While Israel was encamped in that region, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. When Israel heard of it, he was greatly offended.[l]

The sons of Jacob were now twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24 [m]the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; 25 the sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali; 26 the sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

27 Jacob went home to his father Isaac at Mamre, in Kiriath-arba (now Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had resided. 28 The length of Isaac’s life was one hundred and eighty years; 29 then he breathed his last. He died as an old man and was gathered to his people. After a full life, his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Footnotes:

  1. 34:1–31 The story of the rape of Dinah and the revenge of Jacob’s sons on the men of the city of Shechem may reflect the relations of the tribes of Simeon and Levi to their Canaanite neighbors around Shechem; the tribes are represented by their eponymous ancestors. Jacob’s farewell testament (49:5–7) cites this incident as the reason for the decline of the tribes of Simeon and Levi. Ominously, vv. 30–31 leave the situation unresolved, with Jacob concerned about the welfare of the whole family, and Simeon and Levi concerned only about the honor of their full sister. The danger to the family from narrow self-interest will continue in the Joseph story.
  2. 34:2 Hivite: the Greek text has “Horite”; the terms were apparently used indiscriminately to designate the Hurrian or other non-Semitic elements in Palestine.
  3. 34:10 Hamor seems to be making concessions to Jacob’s family in the hope of avoiding warfare between the two families.
  4. 34:24 All those who went out of the gate of the city: apparently meaning all the residents. By temporarily crippling the men through circumcision, Jacob’s sons deprived the city of its defenders.
  5. 35:1–7 Jacob returns to Bethel and founds the sanctuary, an event that forms a “bookend” to the first visit to Bethel in 28:10–22. To enter the Lord’s sanctuary, one must purify oneself and get rid of all signs of allegiance to other gods (Jos 24:23; Jgs 10:16). Jacob also seems to initiate the custom of making a pilgrimage to Bethel (see Ps 122:1 and Is 2:3, 5).
  6. 35:2 Foreign gods: divine images, including those of household deities (see note on 31:19), that Jacob’s people brought with them from Paddan-aram.
  7. 35:4 Rings…their ears: the earrings may have belonged to the gods because earrings were often placed on statues.
  8. 35:7 El-Bethel: probably to be translated “the god of Bethel.” This is one of several titles of God in Genesis that begin with El (= God), e.g., El Olam (21:33), El Elyon (14:18), El the God of Israel (33:20), El Roi (16:13), and El Shaddai. Most of these (except El Shaddai) are tied to specific Israelite shrines.
  9. 35:8 Allon-bacuth: the Hebrew name means “oak of weeping.”
  10. 35:18 Ben-oni: means either “son of my vigor” or, more likely in the context, “son of affliction.” Benjamin: “son of the right hand,” meaning a son who is his father’s help and support.
  11. 35:19 Bethlehem: the gloss comes from a later tradition that identified the site with Bethlehem, also called Ephrath or Ephratha (Jos 15:59; Ru 4:11; Mi 5:1). But Rachel’s grave was actually near Ramah (Jer 31:15), a few miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of Benjamin (1 Sm 10:2).
  12. 35:22 The genealogy in vv. 23–29 is prefaced by a notice about Reuben’s sleeping with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. Such an act is a serious challenge to the authority of the father (cf. 2 Sm 3:7 and 16:21). In his final testament in chap. 49, Jacob cites this act of Reuben as the reason for Reuben’s loss of the authority he had as firstborn son (49:4). Reuben’s act is one more instance of strife in the family and of discord between father and son.
  13. 35:24–26 Benjamin is here said to have been born in Paddan-aram, apparently because all twelve sons of Jacob are considered as a unit.
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 23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 23[a]

The Lord, Shepherd and Host

A psalm of David.

I

The Lord is my shepherd;[b]
    there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
    to still waters he leads me;
    he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths[c]
    for the sake of his name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff comfort me.

II

[d]You set a table before me
    in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy[e] will pursue me
    all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    for endless days.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23 God’s loving care for the psalmist is portrayed under the figures of a shepherd for the flock (Ps 23:1–4) and a host’s generosity toward a guest (Ps 23:5–6). The imagery of both sections is drawn from traditions of the exodus (Is 40:11; 49:10; Jer 31:10).
  2. 23:1 My shepherd: God as good shepherd is common in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (Ez 34:11–16; Jn 10:11–18).
  3. 23:3 Right paths: connotes “right way” and “way of righteousness.”
  4. 23:5 You set a table before me: this expression occurs in an exodus context in Ps 78:19. In front of my enemies: my enemies see that I am God’s friend and guest. Oil: a perfumed ointment made from olive oil, used especially at banquets (Ps 104:15; Mt 26:7; Lk 7:37, 46; Jn 12:2).
  5. 23:6 Goodness and mercy: the blessings of God’s covenant with Israel.
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 13:24-43 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat. 24 He proposed another parable to them.[a] “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds[b] all through the wheat, and then went off. 26 When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27 The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let them grow together until harvest;[c] then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed.[d] 31 He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. 32 [e]It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

The Parable of the Yeast. 33 He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast[f] that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

The Use of Parables. 34 [g]All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, 35 to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:[h]

“I will open my mouth in parables,
    I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation [of the world].”

The Explanation of the Parable of the Weeds. 36 Then, dismissing the crowds,[i] he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 [j]He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world,[k] the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age,[l] and the harvesters are angels. 40 Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom[m] all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. 43 [n]Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

More Parables.[o]

Footnotes:

  1. 13:24–30 This parable is peculiar to Matthew. The comparison in Mt 13:24 does not mean that the kingdom of heaven may be likened simply to the person in question but to the situation narrated in the whole story. The refusal of the householder to allow his slaves to separate the wheat from the weeds while they are still growing is a warning to the disciples not to attempt to anticipate the final judgment of God by a definitive exclusion of sinners from the kingdom. In its present stage it is composed of the good and the bad. The judgment of God alone will eliminate the sinful. Until then there must be patience and the preaching of repentance.
  2. 13:25 Weeds: darnel, a poisonous weed that in its first stage of growth resembles wheat.
  3. 13:30 Harvest: a common biblical metaphor for the time of God’s judgment; cf. Jer 51:33; Jl 4:13; Hos 6:11.
  4. 13:31–33 See Mk 4:30–32; Lk 13:18–21. The parables of the mustard seed and the yeast illustrate the same point: the amazing contrast between the small beginnings of the kingdom and its marvelous expansion.
  5. 13:32 See Dn 4:7–9, 17–19 where the birds nesting in the tree represent the people of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. See also Ez 17:23; 31:6.
  6. 13:33 Except in this Q parable and in Mt 16:12, yeast (or “leaven”) is, in New Testament usage, a symbol of corruption (see Mt 16:6, 11–12; Mk 8:15; Lk 12:1; 1 Cor 5:6–8; Gal 5:9). Three measures: an enormous amount, enough to feed a hundred people. The exaggeration of this element of the parable points to the greatness of the kingdom’s effect.
  7. 13:34 Only in parables: see Mt 13:10–15.
  8. 13:35 The prophet: some textual witnesses read “Isaiah the prophet.” The quotation is actually from Ps 78:2; the first line corresponds to the LXX text of the psalm. The psalm’s title ascribes it to Asaph, the founder of one of the guilds of temple musicians. He is called “the prophet” (NAB “the seer”) in 2 Chr 29:30, but it is doubtful that Matthew averted to that; for him, any Old Testament text that could be seen as fulfilled in Jesus was prophetic.
  9. 13:36 Dismissing the crowds: the return of Jesus to the house marks a break with the crowds, who represent unbelieving Israel. From now on his attention is directed more and more to his disciples and to their instruction. The rest of the discourse is addressed to them alone.
  10. 13:37–43 In the explanation of the parable of the weeds emphasis lies on the fearful end of the wicked, whereas the parable itself concentrates on patience with them until judgment time.
  11. 13:38 The field is the world: this presupposes the resurrection of Jesus and the granting to him of “all power in heaven and on earth” (Mt 28:18).
  12. 13:39 The end of the age: this phrase is found only in Matthew (13:40, 49; 24:3; 28:20).
  13. 13:41 His kingdom: the kingdom of the Son of Man is distinguished from that of the Father (Mt 13:43); see 1 Cor 15:24–25. The church is the place where Jesus’ kingdom is manifested, but his royal authority embraces the entire world; see note on Mt 13:38.
  14. 13:43 See Dn 12:3.
  15. 13:44–50 The first two of the last three parables of the discourse have the same point. The person who finds a buried treasure and the merchant who finds a pearl of great price sell all that they have to acquire these finds; similarly, the one who understands the supreme value of the kingdom gives up whatever he must to obtain it. The joy with which this is done is made explicit in the first parable, but it may be presumed in the second also. The concluding parable of the fishnet resembles the explanation of the parable of the weeds with its stress upon the final exclusion of evil persons from the kingdom.
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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