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Haggai 1-2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

Prophetic Call to Work on the Temple. On the first day of the sixth month in the second year[a] of Darius the king, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak: Thus says the Lord of hosts: This people has said: “Now is not the time to rebuild the house of the Lord.”

Then the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet: Is it time for you to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins?[b]

Now thus says the Lord of hosts:
    Reflect on your experience![c]
You have sown much, but have brought in little;
    you have eaten, but have not been satisfied;
You have drunk, but have not become intoxicated;
    you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed;
And the hired worker labors for a bag full of holes.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

Reflect on your experience!
Go up into the hill country;
    bring timber, and build the house
that I may be pleased with it,
    and that I may be glorified,[d] says the Lord.
You expected much, but it came to little;
    and what you brought home, I blew away.
Why is this?—oracle of the Lord[e] of hosts—
    Because my house is the one which lies in ruins,
    while each of you runs to your own house.
10 Therefore, the heavens withheld the dew,
    and the earth its yield.
11 And I have proclaimed a devastating heat[f]
    upon the land and upon the mountains,
Upon the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil,
    upon all that the ground brings forth;
Upon human being and beast alike,
    and upon all they produce.

Response of Leaders and People. 12 Then Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and all the remnant of the people[g] obeyed the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, since the Lord their God had sent him; thus the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, proclaimed to the people as the message of the Lord: I am with you!—oracle of the Lord.

14 And so the Lord stirred up the spirit of the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and the spirit of the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people, so that they came to do the work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year[h] of Darius the king.

Chapter 2

Assurance of God’s Presence. On the twenty-first day of the seventh month,[i] the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet: Speak to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and to the remnant of the people:

Who is left among you[j]
    who saw this house in its former glory?
And how do you see it now?
    Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?
Now be strong, Zerubbabel—oracle of the Lord
    be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, high priest,
Be strong, all you people of the land—oracle of the Lord
    and work! For I am with you—oracle of the Lord of hosts.
This is the commitment I made to you
    when you came out of Egypt.
My spirit remains in your midst;
    do not fear!

For thus says the Lord of hosts:[k]

In just a little while,
    I will shake the heavens and the earth,
    the sea and the dry land.
I will shake all the nations,
    so that the treasures of all the nations will come in.
And I will fill this house with glory—
    says the Lord of hosts.

Mine is the silver and mine the gold—oracle of the Lord of hosts.

Greater will be the glory of this house
    the latter more than the former—says the Lord of hosts;
And in this place I will give you peace—[l]
    oracle of the Lord of hosts.

Priestly Ruling with Prophetic Interpretation.[m] 10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in the second year[n] of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet: 11 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask the priests for a ruling:[o] 12 If someone carries sanctified meat in the fold of a garment and the fold touches bread, soup, wine, oil, or any other food, do they become sanctified? “No,” the priests answered. 13 Then Haggai asked: “If a person defiled from contact with a corpse touches any of these, do they become defiled?” The priests answered, “They become defiled.” 14 Then Haggai replied:

So is this people,[p] and so is this nation
    in my sight—oracle of the Lord
And so is all the work of their hands;
    what they offer there is defiled.

15 Now reflect,[q] from this day forward—before you set stone to stone in the temple of the Lord, 16 what was your experience?

When one went to a heap of grain for twenty ephahs,
    there were only ten;
When one went to a vat to draw fifty ephahs,[r]
    there were only twenty.
17 I struck you, and all the work of your hands,
    with searing wind, blight, and hail,
    yet you did not return to me—oracle of the Lord.

18 Reflect from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month.[s] From the day on which the temple of the Lord was founded, reflect!

19 Is there still seed in the storehouse?
    Have the vine, the fig, the pomegranate,
    and the olive tree still not borne fruit?
From this day, I will bless you.[t]

Future Hope.[u] 20 The word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month:[v] 21 Speak to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah:

I will shake the heavens and the earth;
22     I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms,
    and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations.
I will overthrow the chariots and their riders,
    and the riders with their horses
    will fall by each other’s swords.

23 On that day—oracle of the Lord of hosts—I will take you, my servant, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel—oracle of the Lord—and I will make you like a signet ring,[w] for I have chosen you—oracle of the Lord of hosts.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 First day of the sixth month in the second year: August 29, 520 B.C. This is the first of six chronological indicators in Haggai. Darius: Darius I, emperor of Persia from 522 to 486 B.C. Governor: term used for local rulers of provinces in the Persian imperial structure. Zerubbabel: grandson of King Jehoiachin (cf. 2 Kgs 24:8–17).
  2. 1:4 Your paneled houses…house lies in ruins: the contrast here is between the unfinished Temple and the completed houses of the Judeans.
  3. 1:5 Reflect on your experience: the prophet exhorts the people to consider the futility of their efforts as a result of their neglecting work on the Temple. The following verses call attention to harsh conditions in Judah after the return from exile and the preoccupation of the people with their personal concerns.
  4. 1:8 That I may be glorified: for the prophet, the rebuilding of the Temple restores the glory God had lost in the eyes of the nations by the Temple’s destruction.
  5. 1:9 Oracle of the Lord: a phrase used extensively in prophetic books to indicate divine speech.
  6. 1:11 Devastating heat: this pronouncement of natural disaster, which functions as a warning to the people for their failure to rebuild the Temple, concludes the opening oracular section of Haggai.
  7. 1:12 The remnant of the people: here the phrase appears to refer to the prophet’s audience, but the “remnant” theme, though often in different Hebrew terminology, suggesting especially those whom the Lord will call back from exile and re-establish as his people, is important in the prophets (cf. Is 4:3; 37:31–32; Jl 3:5; Mi 4:7; Ob 17) and in the New Testament (cf. Rom 11:1–10).
  8. 1:15 Twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year: September 21, 520 B.C. The resumption of work on the Temple occurred twenty-three days from the beginning of Haggai’s prophecy. This date formula repeats in reverse order the formula of v. 1, thereby bringing to conclusion chap. 1; it also initiates the next unit in 2:1.
  9. 2:1 Twenty-first day of the seventh month: October 17, 520 B.C.
  10. 2:3 Who is left among you: i.e., who is old enough to have seen the first Temple prior to its destruction in 587 B.C.? Compare the reaction of priests who were alive then (Ezr 3:12–13).
  11. 2:6–9 These verses emphasize that the total fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel is on the horizon. Such an eschatological event, which will shake the nations (v. 6; cf. v. 21), finds an echo not only in the political revolts in the Persian empire in 521 but also in the formative events of Israel’s history (Ex 19:18; Jgs 5:4; Ps 68:8–9) when God intervened on behalf of the Israelites. The bringing of treasures of all the nations (v. 7) to Jerusalem recalls the visionary passages of Isaiah of the pilgrimage of all nations to Jerusalem (Is 2:2–4; 60:6–9).
  12. 2:9 Peace: after God’s presence or glory has returned to the Temple, Jerusalem will receive the treasures from the nations, making the Temple more glorious than ever; and from that place God will extend shalom, a peace which embraces prosperity, well-being, harmony.
  13. 2:10–14 A request for a priestly ruling (Heb. torah) is made in the form of a dialogue between Haggai and the priests. Explicit examples where such priestly rulings are quoted are rare in prophetic books. The interchange illustrates an essential role of the priesthood: the interpretation of God’s law (cf. Lv 10:9–11).
  14. 2:10 Twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in the second year: December 18, 520 B.C.
  15. 2:11 Ask the priests for a ruling: i.e., a determination on whether defilement and sanctity can be physically transmitted. The priests are expected to make a legal decision. The answer is that sanctity cannot be transmitted (v. 12) but defilement can (v. 13). Priestly duties are enumerated in Lv 10:10–20.
  16. 2:14 So is this people: the prophet’s interpretation is that the restored sacrifices were not acceptable because the people’s behavior was tainted.
  17. 2:15–19 This prophecy is retrospective and should be read with 1:5–11, a description of the conditions of economic deprivation before the rebuilding of the Temple.
  18. 2:16 Ephahs: see note on Is 5:10.
  19. 2:18 Twenty-fourth day of the ninth month: December 18, 520 B.C., the date of the refounding of the Temple (vv. 10, 20), the central date in Haggai.
  20. 2:19 I will bless you: from the day of the refounding of the Temple, agricultural plenty and fertility are assured. This link between temple and prosperity is part of the ancient Near Eastern temple ideology that underlies Haggai and Zec 1–8.
  21. 2:20–23 This final oracle of hope is uttered on the day of the refounding of the Temple. Unlike the other oracles it is addressed to Zerubbabel alone, who, as a Davidic descendant, will have a servant role in God’s future Israelite kingdom to be established when God intervenes to overthrow the nations.
  22. 2:20 Twenty-fourth day of the month: December 18, 520 B.C. (as in v. 18).
  23. 2:23 Like a signet ring: this promise to Zerubbabel reverses the punishment of his grandfather (Jer 22:23–25). A signet is a ring or other instrument used to mark documents or materials with the equivalent of an official signature. A lower official could thus be authorized to act on behalf of a higher official. Like a signet ring, Zerubbabel represents the Lord.
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.

Ben Sira 49 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 49

Josiah and the Prophets[a]

The name Josiah is like blended incense,
    made lasting by a skilled perfumer.
Precious is his memory, like honey to the taste,
    like music at a banquet.
For he grieved over our betrayals,
    and destroyed the abominable idols.
He kept his heart fixed on God,
    and in times of lawlessness practiced virtue.
Except for David, Hezekiah, and Josiah,
    they all were wicked;
They abandoned the Law of the Most High,
    these kings of Judah, right to the very end.
So he gave over their power to others,
    their glory to a foreign nation
Who burned the holy city
    and left its streets desolate,
As foretold by Jeremiah. They mistreated him
    who even in the womb had been made a prophet,
To root out, pull down, and destroy,
    and then to build and to plant.
Ezekiel beheld a vision
    and described the different creatures of the chariot;
He also referred to Job,
    who always persevered in the right path.
10 Then, too, the Twelve Prophets
    may their bones flourish with new life where they lie!—
They gave new strength to Jacob
    and saved him with steadfast hope.

The Heroes After the Exile

11 How to extol Zerubbabel?[b]
    He was like a signet ring on the right hand,
12 And Jeshua, Jozadak’s son?
    In their time they rebuilt the altar
And erected the holy temple,
    destined for everlasting glory.
13 Exalted be the memory of Nehemiah!
    He rebuilt our ruined walls,
Restored our shattered defenses,
    and set up gates and bars.

The Earliest Patriarchs

14 Few on earth have been created like Enoch;[c]
    he also was taken up bodily.
15 Was ever a man born like Joseph?
    Even his dead body was provided for.
16 Glorious, too, were Shem and Seth and Enosh;
    but beyond that of any living being was the splendor of Adam.

Footnotes:

  1. 49:1–10 Ben Sira’s praise of King Josiah (vv. 1–3) and of the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the minor prophets (vv. 7–10) derives from their spirit of fidelity to the Lord and his Law (vv. 4–6, 10).
  2. 49:11–13 The rebuilding of the Temple and the repair of the walls of the Holy City led to a restoration of religious worship and civil authority.
  3. 49:14–16 The patriarchs here mentioned were glorious because of their spirit of religion, i.e., their profound reverence for God and obedience to him. The splendor of Adam: suggests his direct origin from God (Gn 1:26–27; 2:7).
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.

Luke 2:22-52 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Presentation in the Temple. 22 [a]When the days were completed for their purification[b] according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” 24 and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,[c] and the holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. 27 He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

29 “Now, Master, you may let your servant go
    in peace, according to your word,
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and glory for your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted 35 (and you yourself a sword will pierce)[d] so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. 38 And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Return to Nazareth. 39 When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple.[e] 41 Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 42 and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. 43 After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, 47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:22–40 The presentation of Jesus in the temple depicts the parents of Jesus as devout Jews, faithful observers of the law of the Lord (Lk 2:23–24, 39), i.e., the law of Moses. In this respect, they are described in a fashion similar to the parents of John (Lk 1:6) and Simeon (Lk 2:25) and Anna (Lk 2:36–37).
  2. 2:22 Their purification: syntactically, their must refer to Mary and Joseph, even though the Mosaic law never mentions the purification of the husband. Recognizing the problem, some Western scribes have altered the text to read “his purification,” understanding the presentation of Jesus in the temple as a form of purification; the Vulgate version has a Latin form that could be either “his” or “her.” According to the Mosaic law (Lv 12:2–8), the woman who gives birth to a boy is unable for forty days to touch anything sacred or to enter the temple area by reason of her legal impurity. At the end of this period she is required to offer a year-old lamb as a burnt offering and a turtledove or young pigeon as an expiation of sin. The woman who could not afford a lamb offered instead two turtledoves or two young pigeons, as Mary does here. They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord: as the firstborn son (Lk 2:7) Jesus was consecrated to the Lord as the law required (Ex 13:2, 12), but there was no requirement that this be done at the temple. The concept of a presentation at the temple is probably derived from 1 Sm 1:24–28, where Hannah offers the child Samuel for sanctuary services. The law further stipulated (Nm 3:47–48) that the firstborn son should be redeemed by the parents through their payment of five shekels to a member of a priestly family. About this legal requirement Luke is silent.
  3. 2:25 Awaiting the consolation of Israel: Simeon here and later Anna who speak about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem represent the hopes and expectations of faithful and devout Jews who at this time were looking forward to the restoration of God’s rule in Israel. The birth of Jesus brings these hopes to fulfillment.
  4. 2:35 (And you yourself a sword will pierce): Mary herself will not be untouched by the various reactions to the role of Jesus (Lk 2:34). Her blessedness as mother of the Lord will be challenged by her son who describes true blessedness as “hearing the word of God and observing it” (Lk 11:27–28 and Lk 8:20–21).
  5. 2:41–52 This story’s concern with an incident from Jesus’ youth is unique in the canonical gospel tradition. It presents Jesus in the role of the faithful Jewish boy, raised in the traditions of Israel, and fulfilling all that the law requires. With this episode, the infancy narrative ends just as it began, in the setting of the Jerusalem temple.
  6. 2:49 I must be in my Father’s house: this phrase can also be translated, “I must be about my Father’s work.” In either translation, Jesus refers to God as his Father. His divine sonship, and his obedience to his heavenly Father’s will, take precedence over his ties to his family.
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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