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Hosea 5-8 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Guilt of the Religious and Political Leaders

Hear this, priests,
    Pay attention, house of Israel,
Household of the king, give ear!
    For you are responsible for judgment.[a]
But you have been a snare at Mizpah,[b]
    a net spread upon Tabor,
a pit dug deep in Shittim.
    Now I will discipline them all.

I know Ephraim,
    and Israel is not hidden from me:
Now, Ephraim, you have practiced prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.
Their deeds do not allow them
    to return to their God;
For the spirit of prostitution is in them,
    and they do not know the Lord.

The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him;
    Israel and Ephraim stumble because of their iniquity,
    and Judah stumbles with them.
With their flocks and herds they will go
    to seek the Lord, but will not find him;
    he has withdrawn from them.
They have betrayed the Lord,
    for they have borne illegitimate children;
Now the new moon[c] will devour them
    together with their fields.

Political Upheavals[d]

Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah,
    the trumpet in Ramah!
Sound the alarm in Beth-aven:
    “Look behind you, Benjamin!”[e]
Ephraim shall become a wasteland
    on the day of punishment:
Among the tribes of Israel
    I announce what is sure to be.
10 The princes of Judah have become
    like those who move a boundary line;[f]
Upon them I will pour out
    my wrath like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed by judgment,
    for he has willingly gone after filth![g]
12 I am like a moth for Ephraim,
    like rot for the house of Judah.
13 When Ephraim saw his infirmity,
    and Judah his sore,
Ephraim went to Assyria,
    and sent to the great king.[h]
But he cannot heal you,
    nor take away your sore.
14 For I am like a lion to Ephraim,
    like a young lion to the house of Judah;
It is I who tear the prey and depart,
    I carry it away and no one can save it.

Insincere Conversion

15 I will go back to my place
    until they make reparation
    and seek my presence.
In their affliction, they shall look for me.

Chapter 6

    “Come, let us return to the Lord,
For it is he who has torn, but he will heal us;
    he has struck down, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
    on the third day[i] he will raise us up,
    to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord;
    as certain as the dawn is his coming.
He will come to us like the rain,
    like spring rain that waters the earth.”

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
    What can I do with you, Judah?
Your loyalty is like morning mist,
    like the dew that disappears early.
For this reason I struck them down through the prophets,
    I killed them by the words of my mouth;[j]
    my judgment shines forth like the light.
For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice,
    and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Further Crimes of Israel

But they, at Adam,[k] violated the covenant;
    there they betrayed me.

Gilead[l] is a city of evildoers,
    tracked with blood.
Like brigands lying in wait
    is the band of priests.
They murder on the road to Shechem,[m]
    indeed they commit a monstrous crime.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing:
    there is found Ephraim’s prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.
11 For you also, Judah,
    a harvest[n] has been appointed!

Chapter 7

When I would have restored the fortunes of my people,
    when I would have healed Israel,
The guilt of Ephraim was revealed,
    the wickedness of Samaria:
    They practiced falsehood.
Thieves break in,
    bandits roam outside.
Yet they do not call to mind
    that I remember all their wickedness.
Now their crimes surround them,
    present to my sight.

Israel’s Domestic Politics[o]

With their wickedness they make the king rejoice,
    the princes too, with their treacherous deeds.
They are all adulterers,[p]
    like a blazing oven,
Which the baker quits stoking,
    after the dough’s kneading until its rising.
On the day of our king,
    they made the princes sick with poisoned wine;
    he extended his hand to the scoffers.
For they draw near in ambush
    with their hearts like an oven.
All the night their anger sleeps;
    in the morning it flares like a blazing fire.
They are all heated like ovens,
    and consume their rulers.
All their kings have fallen;
    none of them calls upon me.

Israel’s Foreign Politics

Ephraim is mixed with the nations,[q]
    Ephraim is an unturned cake.
Strangers have consumed his strength,
    but he does not know it;
Gray hairs are strewn on his head,
    but he takes no notice of it.
10 The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him;
    yet they do not return to the Lord, their God,
    nor seek him, despite all this.
11 Ephraim is like a dove,
    silly and senseless;
They call upon Egypt,
    they go to Assyria.
12 When they go I will spread my net around them,
    like birds in the air I will bring them down.
    I will chastise them when I hear of their assembly.
13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
    Ruin to them, for they have rebelled against me!
Though I wished to redeem them,
    they spoke lies against me.
14 They have not cried to me from their hearts
    when they wailed upon their beds;
For wheat and wine they lacerated themselves;[r]
    they rebelled against me.
15 Though I trained and strengthened their arms,
    yet they devised evil against me.
16 They have again become useless,
    they have been like a treacherous bow.
Their princes shall fall by the sword
    because of the insolence of their tongues;
    thus they shall be mocked in the land of Egypt.

Chapter 8

Corruption of Cult, Domestic and Foreign Politics

Put the trumpet to your lips!
    One like an eagle[s] is over the house of the Lord!
Because they have violated my covenant,
    and rebelled against my law,
They cry out to me,
    “My God! We know you!”
But Israel has rejected what is good;
    the enemy[t] shall pursue him.

[u]They made kings, but not by my authority;
    they established princes, but without my knowledge.
With their silver and gold
    they made idols for themselves,
    to their own destruction.
He has rejected your calf,[v] Samaria!
    My wrath is kindled against them;
How long will they be incapable of innocence
    in Israel?
An artisan made it,
    it is no god at all.
The calf of Samaria
    will be dashed to pieces.

When they sow the wind,
    they will reap the whirlwind;
The stalk of grain that forms no head
    can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
    strangers would swallow it.
Israel is swallowed up;
    now they are among the nations,
    like a useless vessel.
For they went up to Assyria—[w]
    a wild ass off on its own—
    Ephraim bargained for lovers.
10 Even though they bargain with the nations,
    I will now gather them[x] together;
They will soon succumb
    under the burden of king and princes.

11 [y]When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin,
    they became altars for sinning.
12 Though I write for him my many instructions,
    they are considered like a stranger’s.
13 They love sacrifice,
    they sacrifice meat and eat it,
    but the Lord is not pleased with them.
Now he will remember their guilt
    and punish their sins;
    they shall return to Egypt.[z]
14 Israel has forgotten his maker
    and has built palaces.
Judah, too, has fortified many cities,
    but I will send fire upon his cities,
    to devour their strongholds.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1 For you…judgment: possibly “for you are called to judgment.”
  2. 5:1–2 Mizpah: several places bear this name; the best known is in Benjamin (1 Sm 7:6, 16; 10:17). Perhaps this is a wordplay on mishpat, “justice,” “judgment.” Tabor: the mountain that dominates the valley of Jezreel. Shittim: in Transjordan, where Israel committed its first act of idolatry with the Baal of Peor (9:10; cf. Nm 25). At these three places the leaders had misled the people by an idolatrous cult or by an abuse of justice.
  3. 5:7 New moon: normally a feast day of joy (2:13), but, because of infidelity, it will be a day of destruction.
  4. 5:8–14 This passage describes political and military conflict between Judah and Israel. Perhaps some allusion is made to the Syro-Ephraimite war of 735–734 B.C., when a coalition of Arameans and Israelites attempted to dethrone the king of Judah (2 Kgs 16:5; Is 7:1–9). Judah repulsed the attempt with the aid of Assyria, and the latter devastated both Aram and Israel.
  5. 5:8 A vision of invasion, from Gibeah and Ramah in northern Judah, into Israel.
  6. 5:10 Move a boundary line: invasion by Judah (v. 8) is compared to a case of social injustice (Dt 19:14; 27:17; Prv 23:10–11).
  7. 5:11 Filth: Ephraim’s reliance on foreign nations and their gods.
  8. 5:13 Ephraim went…king: in 738 the Israelite king Menahem had to pay tribute to the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III, whose vassal he became (2 Kgs 15:19–20). Under the threat of the Syro-Ephraimite invasion King Ahaz of Judah also submitted to Tiglath-pileser (2 Kgs 16:7–9). Great king: Heb. melek-yarev; may be a proper name: King Yarev, but unknown; or “the defender king”: irony about the great king of Assyria (see note on 10:6).
  9. 6:2 After two days; on the third day: presumptuous Israel expects that soon God will renew them (cf. Ez 37).
  10. 6:5 The word of God proclaimed by the prophets is effective, it accomplished what it promised: punishment.
  11. 6:7 At Adam: the violation of the covenant at Adam is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. The place Adam, the location of which is unknown, may be referred to in Jos 3:16.
  12. 6:8 Gilead: city in Transjordan (Gn 31:46–48; 2 Kgs 15:25).
  13. 6:9 Shechem: an important ancient religious and political center (Jos 24).
  14. 6:11 Harvest: God’s judgment, when Judah will reap what it has sown.
  15. 7:3–7 This passage perhaps refers to a conspiracy at the royal court. Between the death of Jeroboam II (743 B.C.) and the fall of Samaria (722/721), nearly all the kings were murdered (2 Kgs 15:10, 14, 25, 30).
  16. 7:4 Adulterers: the unfaithful nobles who kill the king. Their passion is compared to the fire of the oven. The point of the metaphor is that, like this oven whose fire is always ready to blaze up again, the conspirators are always ready for rebellion.
  17. 7:8 Is mixed with the nations: the people reject exclusive allegiance to the Lord, and they now try to find their salvation in alliances with foreign nations. An unturned cake: burnt on one side, but not baked at all on the other, and thus worthless.
  18. 7:14 Lacerated themselves: a ritual to obtain a good harvest from Baal (2:7–10; 1 Kgs 18:28; Jer 16:6; 41:5). This practice was forbidden (Lv 19:28; Dt 14:1).
  19. 8:1 Eagle: perhaps an image for Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria, who overran the land of Israel in 733 B.C. (Jer 48:40; 49:22; Ez 17:3).
  20. 8:3 Enemy: Assyria.
  21. 8:4 Hosea is not against the monarchy, but against the conspiracies at the royal court (see note on 7:3–7). The king should be chosen by God (1 Kgs 19:15–16).
  22. 8:5 Calf: a cultic object introduced by Jeroboam I after the separation of the Northern Kingdom from the Southern Kingdom (1 Kgs 12:26–30; cf. Ex 32).
  23. 8:9 They went up to Assyria: a reference to the politics of appealing to Assyria (cf. 5:13; 7:11). There is a play on the Hebrew word for “wild ass” (pere) and “Ephraim.”
  24. 8:10 I will now gather them: for judgment and for deportation.
  25. 8:11 The altars had become places of self-serving worship (cf. v. 13).
  26. 8:13 Return to Egypt: to punish their violation of the covenant they will experience a reversal of the exodus.
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 42:15-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Works of God in Nature[a]

15 Now will I recall God’s works;
    what I have seen, I will describe.
By the Lord’s word his works were brought into being;
    he accepts the one who does his will.
16 As the shining sun is clear to all,
    so the glory of the Lord fills all his works;
17 Yet even God’s holy ones must fail
    in recounting the wonders of the Lord,
Though God has given his hosts the strength
    to stand firm before his glory.
18 He searches out the abyss and penetrates the heart;
    their secrets he understands.
For the Most High possesses all knowledge,
    and sees from of old the things that are to come.
19 He makes known the past and the future,
    and reveals the deepest secrets.
20 He lacks no understanding;
    no single thing escapes him.
21 He regulates the mighty deeds of his wisdom;
    he is from all eternity one and the same,
With nothing added, nothing taken away;
    no need of a counselor for him!
22 How beautiful are all his works,
    delightful to gaze upon and a joy to behold!
23 Everything lives and abides forever;
    and to meet each need all things are preserved.
24 All of them differ, one from another,
    yet none of them has he made in vain;
25 For each in turn, as it comes, is good;
    can one ever see enough of their splendor?

Footnotes:

  1. 42:15–43:33 These verses comprise another hymn; cf. 16:24–18:14. In them Ben Sira contemplates God’s power, beauty, and goodness as manifested in the mighty work of creating and preserving the universe (42:15–17, 22–25; 43:1–26), his omniscience (42:18–20), perfect wisdom and eternity (42:21). The conclusion is a fervent hymn of praise (43:27–31).
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.

Revelation 17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

V. The Punishment of Babylon and the Destruction of Pagan Nations

Chapter 17

Babylon the Great. [a]Then one of the seven angels who were holding the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come here. I will show you the judgment on the great harlot[b] who lives near the many waters. [c]The kings of the earth have had intercourse with her, and the inhabitants of the earth became drunk on the wine of her harlotry.” Then he carried me away in spirit to a deserted place where I saw a woman seated on a scarlet beast[d] that was covered with blasphemous names, with seven heads and ten horns. The woman was wearing purple and scarlet and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She held in her hand a gold cup that was filled with the abominable and sordid deeds of her harlotry. On her forehead was written a name, which is a mystery, “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.” [e]I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the holy ones and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.

Meaning of the Beast and Harlot.[f] When I saw her I was greatly amazed. The angel said to me, “Why are you amazed? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, the beast with the seven heads and the ten horns. [g]The beast that you saw existed once but now exists no longer. It will come up from the abyss and is headed for destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world shall be amazed when they see the beast, because it existed once but exists no longer, and yet it will come again. Here is a clue[h] for one who has wisdom. The seven heads represent seven hills upon which the woman sits. They also represent seven kings: 10 five have already fallen, one still lives, and the last has not yet come,[i] and when he comes he must remain only a short while. 11 The beast[j] that existed once but exists no longer is an eighth king, but really belongs to the seven and is headed for destruction. 12 The ten horns that you saw represent ten kings who have not yet been crowned;[k] they will receive royal authority along with the beast for one hour. 13 They are of one mind and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and king of kings, and those with him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

15 Then he said to me, “The waters that you saw where the harlot lives represent large numbers of peoples, nations, and tongues. 16 The ten horns[l] that you saw and the beast will hate the harlot; they will leave her desolate and naked; they will eat her flesh and consume her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their minds to carry out his purpose and to make them come to an agreement to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are accomplished. 18 The woman whom you saw represents the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.”

Footnotes:

  1. 17:1–19:10 The punishment of Babylon is now described as a past event and, metaphorically, under the image of the great harlot who leads people astray into idolatry.
  2. 17:1–6 Babylon, the symbolic name (Rev 17:5) of Rome, is graphically described as “the great harlot.”
  3. 17:2 Intercourse…harlotry: see note on Rev 14:4. The pagan kings subject to Rome adopted the cult of the emperor.
  4. 17:3 Scarlet beast: see note on Rev 13:1–10. Blasphemous names: divine titles assumed by the Roman emperors; see note on Rev 13:5–6.
  5. 17:6 Reference to the great wealth and idolatrous cults of Rome.
  6. 17:6b–18 An interpretation of the vision is here given.
  7. 17:8 Allusion to the belief that the dead Nero would return to power (Rev 17:11); see note on Rev 13:3.
  8. 17:9 Here is a clue: literally, “Here a mind that has wisdom.” Seven hills: of Rome.
  9. 17:10 There is little agreement as to the identity of the Roman emperors alluded to here. The number seven (Rev 17:9) suggests that all the emperors are meant; see note on Rev 1:4.
  10. 17:11 The beast: Nero; see note on Rev 17:8.
  11. 17:12–13 Ten kings who have not yet been crowned: perhaps Parthian satraps who are to accompany the revived Nero (the beast) in his march on Rome to regain power; see note on Rev 13:3. In Rev 19:11–21, the Lamb and his companions will conquer them.
  12. 17:16–18 The ten horns: the ten pagan kings (Rev 17:12) who unwittingly fulfill God’s will against harlot Rome, the great city; cf. Ez 16:37.
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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