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Genesis 38-39 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 38

Judah and Tamar.[a] About that time Judah went down, away from his brothers, and pitched his tent near a certain Adullamite named Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua; he married her, and had intercourse with her. She conceived and bore a son, whom she named Er. Again she conceived and bore a son, whom she named Onan. Then she bore still another son, whom she named Shelah. She was in Chezib[b] when she bore him.

Judah got a wife named Tamar for his firstborn, Er. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, greatly offended the Lord; so the Lord took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, “Have intercourse with your brother’s wife, in fulfillment of your duty as brother-in-law, and thus preserve your brother’s line.”[c] Onan, however, knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground, to avoid giving offspring to his brother. 10 What he did greatly offended the Lord, and the Lord took his life too. 11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”—for he feared that Shelah also might die like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.

12 Time passed, and the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died. After Judah completed the period of mourning, he went up to Timnah, to those who were shearing his sheep, in company with his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 Then Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a shawl, and having wrapped herself sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah; for she was aware that, although Shelah was now grown up, she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, since she had covered her face. 16 So he went over to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me have intercourse with you,” for he did not realize that she was his daughter-in-law. She replied, “What will you pay me for letting you have intercourse with me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” “Very well,” she said, “provided you leave me a pledge until you send it.” 18 Judah asked, “What pledge should I leave you?” She answered, “Your seal and cord,[d] and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had intercourse with her, and she conceived by him. 19 After she got up and went away, she took off her shawl and put on her widow’s garments again.

20 Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to recover the pledge from the woman; but he did not find her. 21 So he asked the men of that place, “Where is the prostitute,[e] the one by the roadside in Enaim?” But they answered, “No prostitute has been here.” 22 He went back to Judah and told him, “I did not find her; and besides, the men of the place said, ‘No prostitute has been here.’” 23 “Let her keep the things,” Judah replied; “otherwise we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you did not find her.”

24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has acted like a harlot and now she is pregnant from her harlotry.” Judah said, “Bring her out; let her be burned.” 25 But as she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “It is by the man to whom these things belong that I am pregnant.” Then she said, “See whose seal and cord and staff these are.” 26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is in the right rather than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” He had no further sexual relations with her.

27 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb. 28 While she was giving birth, one put out his hand; and the midwife took and tied a crimson thread on his hand, noting, “This one came out first.” 29 But as he withdrew his hand, his brother came out; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was called Perez.[f] 30 Afterward his brother, who had the crimson thread on his hand, came out; he was called Zerah.[g]

Chapter 39

Joseph’s Temptation. When Joseph was taken down to Egypt, an Egyptian, Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and his chief steward, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. The Lord was with Joseph and he enjoyed great success and was assigned to the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and brought him success in whatever he did, he favored Joseph and made him his personal attendant; he put him in charge of his household and entrusted to him all his possessions. From the moment that he put him in charge of his household and all his possessions, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the Lord’s blessing was on everything he owned, both inside the house and out. Having left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge, he gave no thought, with Joseph there, to anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome. After a time, his master’s wife looked at him with longing and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, as long as I am here, my master does not give a thought to anything in the house, but has entrusted to me all he owns. He has no more authority in this house than I do. He has withheld from me nothing but you, since you are his wife. How, then, could I do this great wrong and sin against God?” 10 Although she spoke to him day after day, he would not agree to lie with her, or even be near her.

11 One such day, when Joseph came into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were then in the house, 12 she laid hold of him by his cloak, saying, “Lie with me!” But leaving the cloak in her hand, he escaped and ran outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand as he escaped outside, 14 she cried out to her household servants and told them, “Look! My husband has brought us a Hebrew man to mock us! He came in here to lie with me, but I cried out loudly. 15 When he heard me scream, he left his cloak beside me and escaped and ran outside.”

16 She kept the cloak with her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave whom you brought us came to me to amuse himself at my expense. 18 But when I screamed, he left his cloak beside me and escaped outside.” 19 When the master heard his wife’s story in which she reported, “Thus and so your servant did to me,” he became enraged. 20 Joseph’s master seized him and put him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were confined. And there he sat, in jail.

21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him kindness by making the chief jailer well-disposed toward him. 22 The chief jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners in the jail. Everything that had to be done there, he was the one to do it. 23 The chief jailer did not have to look after anything that was in Joseph’s charge, since the Lord was with him and was bringing success to whatever he was doing.

Footnotes:

  1. 38:1–30 This chapter has subtle connections to the main Joseph story. It tells of the eponymous founder of the other great tribe of later times, Judah. Having already been introduced as one of the two good brothers in 37:26–27, he appears here as the father-in-law of the twice-widowed Tamar; he has reneged on his promise to provide his son Shelah to her in a levirate marriage. Unjustly treated, Tamar takes matters into her own hands and tricks Judah into becoming the father of her children, Perez and Zerah. Judah ultimately acknowledges that his daughter-in-law was right (“She is in the right rather than I,” v. 26). In contrast to Judah’s expectations, the family line does not continue through his son Shelah, but through the children of Tamar. Similarities relate this little story to the main narrative: the deception involving an article of clothing (the widow’s garments of Tamar, Judah’s seal, cord, and staff) point back to the bloody tunic that deceives Jacob in 37:31–33; a woman attempts the seduction of a man separated from his family, for righteous purposes in chap. 38, for unrighteous purposes in chap. 39.
  2. 38:5 Chezib: a variant form of Achzib (Jos 15:44; Mi 1:14), a town in the Judean Shephelah.
  3. 38:8 Preserve your brother’s line: lit., “raise up seed for your brother”: an allusion to the law of levirate, or “brother-in-law,” marriage; see notes on Dt 25:5; Ru 2:20. Onan’s violation of this law brought on him God’s punishment (vv. 9–10).
  4. 38:18 Seal and cord: the cylinder seal, through which a hole was bored lengthwise so that it could be worn from the neck by a cord, was a distinctive means of identification. Apparently one’s staff could also be marked with some sign of identification (cf. Nm 17:17–18).
  5. 38:21 Prostitute: the Hebrew term qedesha, lit., “consecrated woman,” designates a woman associated with a sanctuary whose activities could include prostitution; cf. Dt 23:18; Hos 4:14, where the same Hebrew word is used. In 38:15 and 24 the common word for prostitute, zona, is used.
  6. 38:29 He was called Perez: the Hebrew word means “breach.”
  7. 38:30 He was called Zerah: a name connected here by popular etymology with a Hebrew word for the red light of dawn, alluding apparently to the crimson thread.
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 25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 25[a]

Confident Prayer for Forgiveness and Guidance

Of David.

I

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul,
    my God, in you I trust;
    do not let me be disgraced;
    do not let my enemies gloat over me.
No one is disgraced who waits for you,
    but only those who are treacherous without cause.
Make known to me your ways, Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Guide me by your fidelity and teach me,
    for you are God my savior,
    for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your compassion and your mercy, O Lord,
    for they are ages old.
Remember no more the sins of my youth;
    remember me according to your mercy,
    because of your goodness, Lord.

II

Good and upright is the Lord,
    therefore he shows sinners the way,
He guides the humble in righteousness,
    and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth
    toward those who honor his covenant and decrees.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    pardon my guilt, though it is great.
12 Who is the one who fears the Lord?
    God shows him the way he should choose.
13 He will abide in prosperity,
    and his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The counsel of the Lord belongs to those who fear him;
    and his covenant instructs them.
15 My eyes are ever upon the Lord,
    who frees my feet from the snare.

III

16 Look upon me, have pity on me,
    for I am alone and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart;
    bring me out of my distress.
18 Look upon my affliction and suffering;
    take away all my sins.
19 See how many are my enemies,
    see how fiercely they hate me.
20 Preserve my soul and rescue me;
    do not let me be disgraced, for in you I seek refuge.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
    I wait for you, O Lord.
22 [b]Redeem Israel, O God,
    from all its distress!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 25 A lament. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Such acrostic Psalms are often a series of statements only loosely connected. The psalmist mixes ardent pleas (Ps 25:1–2, 16–22) with expressions of confidence in God who forgives and guides.
  2. 25:22 A final verse beginning with the Hebrew letter pe is added to the normal twenty-two-letter alphabet. Thus the letters aleph, lamed, and pe open the first, middle (Ps 25:11), and last lines of the Psalm. Together, they spell aleph, the first letter of the alphabet, from a Hebrew root that means “to learn.”
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 14:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Herod’s Opinion of Jesus. [a]At that time Herod the tetrarch[b] heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

The Death of John the Baptist. Now Herod had arrested John, bound [him], and put him in prison on account of Herodias,[c] the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, 10 and he had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

The Return of the Twelve and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.[d] 13 When Jesus heard of it, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. 14 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 [Jesus] said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” 17 But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” 18 Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” 19 and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking[e] the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over[f]—twelve wicker baskets full. 21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

The Walking on the Water.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1–12 The murder of the Baptist by Herod Antipas prefigures the death of Jesus (see Mt 17:12). The Marcan source (Mk 6:14–29) is much reduced and in some points changed. In Mark Herod reveres John as a holy man and the desire to kill him is attributed to Herodias (Mk 6:19, 20), whereas here that desire is Herod’s from the beginning (Mt 14:5).
  2. 14:1 Herod the tetrarch: Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. When the latter died, his territory was divided among three of his surviving sons, Archelaus who received half of it (Mt 2:23), Herod Antipas who became ruler of Galilee and Perea, and Philip who became ruler of northern Transjordan. Since he received a quarter of his father’s domain, Antipas is accurately designated tetrarch (“ruler of a fourth [part]”), although in Mt 14:9 Matthew repeats the “king” of his Marcan source (Mk 6:26).
  3. 14:3 Herodias was not the wife of Herod’s half-brother Philip but of another half-brother, Herod Boethus. The union was prohibited by Lv 18:16; 20:21. According to Josephus (Antiquities 18:116–19), Herod imprisoned and then executed John because he feared that the Baptist’s influence over the people might enable him to lead a rebellion.
  4. 14:13–21 The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle of Jesus that is recounted in all four gospels. The principal reason for that may be that it was seen as anticipating the Eucharist and the final banquet in the kingdom (Mt 8:11; 26:29), but it looks not only forward but backward, to the feeding of Israel with manna in the desert at the time of the Exodus (Ex 16), a miracle that in some contemporary Jewish expectation would be repeated in the messianic age (2 Bar 29:8). It may also be meant to recall Elisha’s feeding a hundred men with small provisions (2 Kgs 4:42–44).
  5. 14:19 The taking, saying the blessing, breaking, and giving to the disciples correspond to the actions of Jesus over the bread at the Last Supper (Mt 26:26). Since they were usual at any Jewish meal, that correspondence does not necessarily indicate a eucharistic reference here. Matthew’s silence about Jesus’ dividing the fish among the people (Mk 6:41) is perhaps more significant in that regard.
  6. 14:20 The fragments left over: as in Elisha’s miracle, food was left over after all had been fed. The word fragments (Greek klasmata) is used, in the singular, of the broken bread of the Eucharist in Didache 9:3–4.
  7. 14:22–33 The disciples, laboring against the turbulent sea, are saved by Jesus. For his power over the waters, see note on Mt 8:26. Here that power is expressed also by his walking on the sea (Mt 14:25; cf. Ps 77:20; Jb 9:8). Matthew has inserted into the Marcan story (Mk 6:45–52) material that belongs to his special traditions on Peter (Mt 14:28–31).
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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