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Genesis 49:28-50:26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Farewell and Death. 28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said about them, as he blessed them. To each he gave a suitable blessing. 29 Then he gave them this charge: “Since I am about to be gathered to my people, bury me with my ancestors in the cave that lies in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there, too, I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave in it that had been purchased from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob had finished giving these instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Chapter 50

Jacob’s Funeral. Joseph flung himself upon his father and wept over him as he kissed him. Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. When the physicians embalmed Israel, they spent forty days at it, for that is the full period of embalming; and the Egyptians mourned him for seventy days. When the period of mourning was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s household. “If you please, appeal to Pharaoh, saying: My father made me swear: ‘I am dying. Bury me in my grave that I have prepared for myself in the land of Canaan.’ So now let me go up to bury my father. Then I will come back.” Pharaoh replied, “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise on oath.”

So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went all of Pharaoh’s officials who were senior members of his household and all the other elders of the land of Egypt, as well as Joseph’s whole household, his brothers, and his father’s household; only their children and their flocks and herds were left in the region of Goshen. Chariots, too, and horsemen went up with him; it was a very imposing retinue.

10 When they arrived at Goren-ha-atad,[a] which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn memorial service; and Joseph observed seven days of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who inhabited the land saw the mourning at Goren-ha-atad, they said, “This is a solemn funeral on the part of the Egyptians!” That is why the place was named Abel-mizraim. It is beyond the Jordan.

12 Thus Jacob’s sons did for him as he had instructed them. 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, the field that Abraham had bought for a burial ground from Ephron the Hittite.

14 After Joseph had buried his father he returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all who had gone up with him for the burial of his father.

Plea for Forgiveness. 15 [b]Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought, “Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us and now most certainly will pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!” 16 So they sent to Joseph and said: “Before your father died, he gave us these instructions: 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: Please forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you harmfully.’ So now please forgive the crime that we, the servants of the God of your father, committed.” When they said this to him, Joseph broke into tears. 18 Then his brothers also proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, “We are your slaves!” 19 But Joseph replied to them: “Do not fear. Can I take the place of God? 20 Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people. 21 So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.

22 Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s household. He lived a hundred and ten years. 23 He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir were also born on Joseph’s knees.

Death of Joseph. 24 Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you up from this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued, “When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones up from this place.” 26 Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. He was embalmed and laid to rest in a coffin in Egypt.


  1. 50:10–11 Goren-ha-atad: “Threshing Floor of the Brambles.” Abel-mizraim: although the name really means “watercourse of the Egyptians,” it is understood here, by a play on the first part of the term, to mean “mourning of the Egyptians.” The site has not been identified through either reading of the name. But it is difficult to see why the mourning rites should have been held in the land beyond the Jordan when the burial was at Hebron. Perhaps an earlier form of the story placed the mourning rites beyond the Wadi of Egypt, the traditional boundary between Canaan and Egypt (Nm 34:5; Jos 15:4, 47).
  2. 50:15–26 The final reconciliation of the brothers. Fearful of what may happen after the death of their father, the brothers engage in a final deception, inventing the dying wish of Jacob. Again, Joseph weeps, and, again, his brothers fall down before him, offering to be his slaves (44:16, 33). Joseph’s assurance is also a summation of the story: “Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people” (v. 20). Joseph’s adoption of the children of Manasseh’s son Machir recalls Jacob’s adoption of his grandchildren (48:5, 13–20); the adoptions reflect tribal history (cf. Jgs 5:14).
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 31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 31[a]

Prayer in Distress and Thanksgiving for Escape

For the leader. A psalm of David.


In you, Lord, I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me;
    incline your ear to me;
    make haste to rescue me!
Be my rock of refuge,
    a stronghold to save me.
For you are my rock and my fortress;
    for your name’s sake lead me and guide me.
Free me from the net they have set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
[b]Into your hands I commend my spirit;
    you will redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
You hate those who serve worthless idols,
    but I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy,
    once you have seen my misery,
    [and] gotten to know the distress of my soul.
You will not abandon me into enemy hands,
    but will set my feet in a free and open space.


10 Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
    affliction is wearing down my eyes,
    my throat and my insides.
11 My life is worn out by sorrow,
    and my years by sighing.
My strength fails in my affliction;
    my bones are wearing down.
12 To all my foes I am a thing of scorn,
    and especially to my neighbors
    a horror to my friends.
When they see me in public,
    they quickly shy away.
13 I am forgotten, out of mind like the dead;
    I am like a worn-out tool.[c]
14 I hear the whispers of the crowd;
    terrors are all around me.[d]
They conspire together against me;
    they plot to take my life.
15 But I trust in you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my God.”
16 My destiny is in your hands;
    rescue me from my enemies,
    from the hands of my pursuers.
17 Let your face shine on your servant;
    save me in your mercy.
18 Do not let me be put to shame,
    for I have called to you, Lord.
Put the wicked to shame;
    reduce them to silence in Sheol.
19 Strike dumb their lying lips,
    which speak arrogantly against the righteous
    in contempt and scorn.


20 How great is your goodness, Lord,
    stored up for those who fear you.
You display it for those who trust you,
    in the sight of the children of Adam.
21 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
    safe from scheming enemies.
You conceal them in your tent,
    away from the strife of tongues.
22 Blessed be the Lord,
    marvelously he showed to me
    his mercy in a fortified city.
23 Though I had said in my alarm,
    “I am cut off from your eyes.”
Yet you heard my voice, my cry for mercy,
    when I pleaded with you for help.
24 Love the Lord, all you who are faithful to him.
    The Lord protects the loyal,
    but repays the arrogant in full.
25 Be strong and take heart,
    all who hope in the Lord.


  1. Psalm 31 A lament (Ps 31:2–19) with a strong emphasis on trust (Ps 31:4, 6, 15–16), ending with an anticipatory thanksgiving (Ps 31:20–24). As is usual in laments, the affliction is couched in general terms. The psalmist feels overwhelmed by evil people but trusts in the “God of truth” (Ps 31:6).
  2. 31:6 Into your hands I commend my spirit: in Lk 23:46 Jesus breathes his last with this Psalm verse. Stephen in Acts 7:59 alludes to these words as he is attacked by enemies. The verse is used as an antiphon in the Divine Office at Compline, the last prayer of the day.
  3. 31:13 Like a worn-out tool: a common comparison for something ruined and useless, cf. Is 30:14; Jer 19:11; 22:28.
  4. 31:14 Terrors are all around me: a cry used in inescapable danger, cf. Jer 6:25; 20:10; 46:5; 49:29.
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 18:1-20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 18[a]

The Greatest in the Kingdom. At that time the disciples[b] approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,[c] you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. [d]And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

Temptations to Sin. “Whoever causes one of these little ones[e] who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. [f]Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin,[g] cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep.[h] 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones,[i] for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. [11 ][j] 12 What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? 13 And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. 14 In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.

A Brother Who Sins.[k] 15 “If your brother[l] sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 16 [m]If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.[n] If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 [o]Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 [p]Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 20 [q]For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.[r]


  1. 18:1–35 This discourse of the fourth book of the gospel is often called the “church order” discourse, but it lacks most of the considerations usually connected with church order, such as various offices in the church and the duties of each, and deals principally with the relations that must obtain among the members of the church. Beginning with the warning that greatness in the kingdom of heaven is measured not by rank or power but by childlikeness (Mt 18:1–5), it deals with the care that the disciples must take not to cause the little ones to sin or to neglect them if they stray from the community (Mt 18:6–14), the correction of members who sin (Mt 18:15–18), the efficacy of the prayer of the disciples because of the presence of Jesus (Mt 18:19–20), and the forgiveness that must be repeatedly extended to sinful members who repent (Mt 18:21–35).
  2. 18:1 The initiative is taken not by Jesus as in the Marcan parallel (Mk 9:33–34) but by the disciples. Kingdom of heaven: this may mean the kingdom in its fullness, i.e., after the parousia and the final judgment. But what follows about causes of sin, church discipline, and forgiveness, all dealing with the present age, suggests that the question has to do with rank also in the church, where the kingdom is manifested here and now, although only partially and by anticipation; see notes on Mt 3:2; 4:17.
  3. 18:3 Become like children: the child is held up as a model for the disciples not because of any supposed innocence of children but because of their complete dependence on, and trust in, their parents. So must the disciples be, in respect to God.
  4. 18:5 Cf. Mt 10:40.
  5. 18:6 One of these little ones: the thought passes from the child of Mt 18:2–4 to the disciples, little ones because of their becoming like children. It is difficult to know whether this is a designation of all who are disciples or of those who are insignificant in contrast to others, e.g., the leaders of the community. Since apart from this chapter the designation little ones occurs in Matthew only in Mt 10:42 where it means disciples as such, that is its more likely meaning here. Who believe in me: since discipleship is impossible without at least some degree of faith, this further specification seems superfluous. However, it serves to indicate that the warning against causing a little one to sin is principally directed against whatever would lead such a one to a weakening or loss of faith. The Greek verb skandalizein, here translated causes…to sin, means literally “causes to stumble”; what the stumbling is depends on the context. It is used of falling away from faith in Mt 13:21. According to the better reading of Mk 9:42, in me is a Matthean addition to the Marcan source. It would be better…depths of the sea: cf. Mk 9:42.
  6. 18:7 This is a Q saying; cf. Lk 17:1. The inevitability of things that cause sin (literally, “scandals”) does not take away the responsibility of the one through whom they come.
  7. 18:8–9 These verses are a doublet of Mt 5:29–30. In that context they have to do with causes of sexual sin. As in the Marcan source from which they have been drawn (Mk 9:42–48), they differ from the first warning about scandal, which deals with causing another person to sin, for they concern what causes oneself to sin and they do not seem to be related to another’s loss of faith, as the first warning is. It is difficult to know how Matthew understood the logical connection between these verses and Mt 18:6–7.
  8. 18:10–14 The first and last verses are peculiar to Matthew. The parable itself comes from Q; see Lk 15:3–7. In Luke it serves as justification for Jesus’ table-companionship with sinners; here, it is an exhortation for the disciples to seek out fellow disciples who have gone astray. Not only must no one cause a fellow disciple to sin, but those who have strayed must be sought out and, if possible, brought back to the community. The joy of the shepherd on finding the sheep, though not absent in Mt 18:13 is more emphasized in Luke. By his addition of Mt 18:10, 14 Matthew has drawn out explicitly the application of the parable to the care of the little ones.
  9. 18:10 Their angels in heaven…my heavenly Father: for the Jewish belief in angels as guardians of nations and individuals, see Dn 10:13, 20–21; Tb 5:4–7; 1QH 5:20–22; as intercessors who present the prayers of human beings to God, see Tb 13:12, 15. The high worth of the little ones is indicated by their being represented before God by these heavenly beings.
  10. 18:11 Some manuscripts add, “For the Son of Man has come to save what was lost”; cf. Mt 9:13. This is practically identical with Lk 19:10 and is probably a copyist’s addition from that source.
  11. 18:15–20 Passing from the duty of Christian disciples toward those who have strayed from their number, the discourse now turns to how they are to deal with one who sins and yet remains within the community. First there is to be private correction (Mt 18:15); if this is unsuccessful, further correction before two or three witnesses (Mt 18:16); if this fails, the matter is to be brought before the assembled community (the church), and if the sinner refuses to attend to the correction of the church, he is to be expelled (Mt 18:17). The church’s judgment will be ratified in heaven, i.e., by God (Mt 18:18). This three-step process of correction corresponds, though not exactly, to the procedure of the Qumran community; see 1QS 5:25–6:1; 6:24–7:25; CD 9:2–8. The section ends with a saying about the favorable response of God to prayer, even to that of a very small number, for Jesus is in the midst of any gathering of his disciples, however small (Mt 18:19–20). Whether this prayer has anything to do with the preceding judgment is uncertain.
  12. 18:15 Your brother: a fellow disciple; see Mt 23:8. The bracketed words, against you, are widely attested but they are not in the important codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus or in some other textual witnesses. Their omission broadens the type of sin in question. Won over: literally, “gained.”
  13. 18:16 Cf. Dt 19:15.
  14. 18:17 The church: the second of the only two instances of this word in the gospels; see note on Mt 16:18. Here it refers not to the entire church of Jesus, as in Mt 16:18, but to the local congregation. Treat him…a Gentile or a tax collector: just as the observant Jew avoided the company of Gentiles and tax collectors, so must the congregation of Christian disciples separate itself from the arrogantly sinful member who refuses to repent even when convicted of his sin by the whole church. Such a one is to be set outside the fellowship of the community. The harsh language about Gentile and tax collector probably reflects a stage of the Matthean church when it was principally composed of Jewish Christians. That time had long since passed, but the principle of exclusion for such a sinner remained. Paul makes a similar demand for excommunication in 1 Cor 5:1–13.
  15. 18:18 Except for the plural of the verbs bind and loose, this verse is practically identical with Mt 16:19b and many scholars understand it as granting to all the disciples what was previously given to Peter alone. For a different view, based on the different contexts of the two verses, see note on Mt 16:19.
  16. 18:19–20 Some take these verses as applying to prayer on the occasion of the church’s gathering to deal with the sinner of Mt 18:17. Unless an a fortiori argument is supposed, this seems unlikely. God’s answer to the prayer of two or three envisages a different situation from one that involves the entire congregation. In addition, the object of this prayer is expressed in most general terms as anything for which they are to pray.
  17. 18:20 For where two or three…midst of them: the presence of Jesus guarantees the efficacy of the prayer. This saying is similar to one attributed to a rabbi executed in A.D. 135 at the time of the second Jewish revolt: “…When two sit and there are between them the words of the Torah, the divine presence (Shekinah) rests upon them” (Pirqê ’Abôt 3, 3).
  18. 18:21–35 The final section of the discourse deals with the forgiveness that the disciples are to give to their fellow disciples who sin against them. To the question of Peter how often forgiveness is to be granted (Mt 18:21), Jesus answers that it is to be given without limit (Mt 18:22) and illustrates this with the parable of the unmerciful servant (Mt 18:23–34), warning that his heavenly Father will give those who do not forgive the same treatment as that given to the unmerciful servant (Mt 18:35). Mt 18:21–22 correspond to Lk 17:4; the parable and the final warning are peculiar to Matthew. That the parable did not originally belong to this context is suggested by the fact that it really does not deal with repeated forgiveness, which is the point of Peter’s question and Jesus’ reply.
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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