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Hosea 9-11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

From Days of Celebration to Days of Punishment

Do not rejoice, Israel,
    do not exult like the nations!
For you have prostituted yourself, abandoning your God,
    loving a prostitute’s fee
    upon every threshing floor.[a]
Threshing floor and wine press will not nourish them,
    the new wine will fail them.

They will not dwell in the Lord’s land;
    Ephraim will return to Egypt,
    and in Assyria they will eat unclean food.
They will not pour libations of wine to the Lord,
    and their sacrifices will not please him.
Their bread will be like mourners’ bread,[b]
    that makes unclean all who eat of it;
Their food will be for their own appetites;
    it cannot enter the house of the Lord.

What will you do on the festival day,
    the day of the Lord’s feast?[c]
[d]When they flee from the devastation,
    Egypt will gather them, Memphis will bury them.
Weeds will overgrow their silver treasures,
    and thorns, their tents.

They have come, the days of punishment!
    they have come, the days of recompense!
Let Israel know it!
    “The prophet is a fool,
    the man of the spirit is mad!”
Because your iniquity is great,
    great, too, is your hostility.
[e]The watchman of Ephraim, the people of my God, is the prophet;
    yet a fowler’s snare is on all his ways,
    hostility in the house of his God.
They have sunk to the depths of corruption,
    as in the days of Gibeah;[f]
God will remember their iniquity
    and punish their sins.

From Former Glory to a History of Corruption

10 Like grapes in the desert,
    I found Israel;
Like the first fruits of the fig tree, its first to ripen,
    I looked on your ancestors.
But when they came to Baal-peor[g]
    and consecrated themselves to the Shameful One,
    they became as abhorrent as the thing they loved.
11 Ephraim is like a bird:
    their glory flies away—
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.
12 Even though they bring up their children,
    I will make them childless, until no one is left.
Indeed, woe to them
    when I turn away from them!
13 Ephraim, as I saw, was a tree
    planted in a meadow;
But now Ephraim will bring out
    his children to the slaughterer!
14 Give them, Lord!
    give them what?
Give them a miscarrying womb,
    and dry breasts!
15 All their misfortune began in Gilgal;[h]
    yes, there I rejected them.
Because of their wicked deeds
    I will drive them out of my house.
I will love them no longer;
    all their princes are rebels.
16 [i]Ephraim is stricken,
    their root is dried up;
    they will bear no fruit.
Were they to bear children,
    I would slay the beloved of their womb.
17 My God will disown them
    because they have not listened to him;
    they will be wanderers among the nations.

Chapter 10

Destruction of Idolatrous Cultic Objects

Israel is a luxuriant vine
    whose fruit matches its growth.
The more abundant his fruit,
    the more altars he built;
The more productive his land,
    the more sacred pillars[j] he set up.
Their heart is false!
    Now they will pay for their guilt:
God will break down their altars
    and destroy their sacred pillars.
For now they will say,
    “We have no king![k]
Since we do not fear the Lord,
    the king—what could he do for us?”
They make promises,
    swear false oaths, and make covenants,
While lawsuits sprout
    like poisonous weeds[l] in the furrows of a field!

The inhabitants of Samaria are afraid
    for the calf of Beth-aven;[m]
Its people mourn for it
    and its idolatrous priests wail over it,
    —over its glory which has departed from it.
It too will be carried to Assyria,
    as an offering to the great king.[n]
Ephraim will be put to shame,
    Israel will be shamed by his schemes.

Samaria and her king will disappear,
    like a twig upon the waters.
The high places of Aven[o] will be destroyed,
    the sin of Israel;
    thorns and thistles will overgrow their altars.
Then they will cry out to the mountains, “Cover us!”
    and to the hills, “Fall upon us!”

War Because of Israel’s Wickedness

Since the days of Gibeah
    you have sinned, Israel.
There they took their stand;
    will war not reach them in Gibeah?
Against a perverse people
10     I came and I chastised them;
Peoples will be gathered against them
    when I bind them to their two crimes.[p]
11 Ephraim was a trained heifer,
    that loved to thresh;
I myself laid a yoke
    upon her beautiful neck;
I will make Ephraim break ground, Judah must plow,
    Jacob must harrow for himself:
12 “Sow for yourselves justice,
    reap the reward of loyalty;
Break up for yourselves a new field,
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
    till he comes and rains justice upon you.”
13 But you have plowed wickedness,
    reaped perversity,
    and eaten the fruit of falsehood.
Because you have trusted in your own power,
    and in your many warriors,
14 The clamor of war shall break out among your people
    and all your fortresses shall be ravaged
As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel[q] on the day of war,
    smashing mothers along with their children.
15 So it will be done to you, Bethel,
    because of your utter wickedness:
At dawn[r] the king of Israel
    will utterly disappear.

Chapter 11

The Disappointment of a Parent

[s]When Israel was a child I loved him,
    out of Egypt[t] I called my son.
The more I called them,
    the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
    and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    who took them in my arms;
    but they did not know that I cared for them.
I drew them with human cords,
    with bands of love;[u]
I fostered them like those
    who raise an infant to their cheeks;
    I bent down to feed them.

He shall return to the land of Egypt,
    Assyria shall be his king,
    because they have refused to repent.
The sword shall rage in his cities:
    it shall destroy his diviners,
    and devour them because of their schemings.
My people have their mind set on apostasy;
    though they call on God in unison,
    he shall not raise them up.

But Love Is Stronger and Restores

How could I give you up, Ephraim,
    or deliver you up, Israel?
How could I treat you as Admah,
    or make you like Zeboiim?[v]
My heart is overwhelmed,
    my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
    I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not a man,
    the Holy One present among you;
    I will not come in wrath.
10 They shall follow the Lord,
    who roars like a lion;
When he roars,
    his children shall come frightened from the west,
11 Out of Egypt they shall come trembling, like birds,
    like doves, from the land of Assyria;
And I will resettle them in their homes,
    oracle of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:1 Threshing floor: an allusion to harvest festivals in honor of Baal, to whom the Israelites had attributed the fertility of the land; cf. 2:7.
  2. 9:4 Mourners’ bread: bread eaten at funeral rites (Dt 26:14). The presence of a corpse also made all food prepared in that house unclean (Jer 16:5–7).
  3. 9:5 The Lord’s feast: probably the important autumn feast of Booths, the most important of the Israelite public celebrations (Lv 23:34).
  4. 9:6 Instead of gathering for celebration (v. 5), they will be gathered for death. Memphis: known for the monumental pyramid tombs. Silver treasures: the silver statues of Baal (8:4).
  5. 9:8 Prophets, like Hosea himself, are called to be sentinels for Israel, warning Israel of God’s coming wrath (see Ez 3:17; 33:7), but often meet rejection.
  6. 9:9 The days of Gibeah: the precise allusion is not clear. Perhaps it is a reference to the outrage committed at Gibeah in the days of the judges (Jgs 19–21), or to questions surrounding Saul’s kingship at Gibeah (1 Sm 10:26; 14:2; 22:6).
  7. 9:10 Baal-peor: where the Israelites consecrated themselves for the first time to Baal (Nm 25; see note on Hos 5:1–2). Baal is here called the Shameful One.
  8. 9:15 Gilgal: possibly a reference to Saul’s disobedience to Samuel (1 Sm 13:7–14; 15), or to the idolatry practiced in that place (see note on Hos 4:15).
  9. 9:16 Wordplay on the Hebrew word for “fruit” (peri) and Ephraim (see note on 8:9). The whole passage (vv. 10–17) presents a reversal of Ephraim’s name (Gn 41:52). He will have no fruit, a condition which will result in extinction.
  10. 10:1 Sacred pillars: see note on 3:4.
  11. 10:3 No king: the instability of the monarchy (7:3–7) and its vassalage to foreign kings (7:8–16) render the monarchy ineffective. The kings do the opposite of what they are supposed to do (10:4).
  12. 10:4 Lawsuits…like poisonous weeds: the administration of justice, which should have been the mainstay of the people, has in corrupt hands become another instrument of oppression; cf. Am 6:12.
  13. 10:5 The calf of Beth-aven: see note on 4:15.
  14. 10:6 The great king: a title used by the Assyrian kings. See also note on 5:13.
  15. 10:8 Aven: wickedness, first of all at Bethel (v. 5), but also at all the high places.
  16. 10:10 Two crimes: the allusion is not clear; a possible reference is the outrage described in Jgs 19.
  17. 10:14 As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel: perhaps Salamanu, king of Moab, mentioned in an inscription of Tiglath-pileser III, after an invasion in Gilead (Transjordan), where there was a Beth-arbel, close to present Irbid.
  18. 10:15 At dawn: normally the moment of God’s victory over Israel’s enemies, and thus his salvation (Is 17:14; Ps 46:6). Here it is a reversal of this expectation.
  19. 11:1–3 After the image of husband-wife (chaps. 1–3), Hosea uses the image of parent-child (Ex 4:22; Is 1:2; Jer 3:19).
  20. 11:1 Out of Egypt: Hosea dates the real beginning of Israel from the time of the exodus. Mt 2:15 applies this text to the return of Jesus from Egypt.
  21. 11:4 I drew them…with bands of love: perhaps a reversal of the yoke imagery of the previous chapter, i.e., not forcing them like draft animals, but drawing them with kindness and affection.
  22. 11:8 Admah…Zeboiim: cities in the vicinity of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn 14:2, 8) and destroyed with them (Gn 19:24–25; Dt 29:22).
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 43:1-12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 43

The beauty of the celestial height and the pure firmament,
    heaven itself manifests its glory.
The sun at its rising shines at its fullest,
    a wonderful instrument, the work of the Most High!
At noon it scorches the earth,
    and who can bear its fiery heat?
Like a blazing furnace of solid metal,
    the sun’s rays set the mountains aflame;
Its fiery tongue consumes the world;
    the eyes are burned by its fire.
Great indeed is the Lord who made it,
    at whose orders it urges on its steeds.
It is the moon that marks the changing seasons,
    governing the times, their lasting sign.
By it we know the sacred seasons and pilgrimage feasts,
    a light which wanes in its course:
The new moon like its name[a] renews itself;
    how wondrous it is when it changes:
A military signal for the waterskins on high,
    it paves the firmament with its brilliance,
The beauty of the heavens and the glory of the stars,
    a shining ornament in the heights of God.
10 By the Lord’s command the moon keeps its appointed place,
    and does not fade as the stars keep watch.
11 Behold the rainbow! Then bless its Maker,
    for majestic indeed is its splendor;
12 It spans the heavens with its glory,
    the hand of God has stretched it out in power.

Footnotes:

  1. 43:8 Like its name: there is a play in the Hebrew text on the words for moon and renewal. Waterskins: clouds as source of rain.
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 18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 18

The Fall of Babylon.[a] After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth became illumined by his splendor. [b]He cried out in a mighty voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
    She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
    a cage for every unclean bird,
    [a cage for every unclean] and disgusting [beast].
For all the nations have drunk[c]
    the wine of her licentious passion.
The kings of the earth had intercourse with her,
    and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her drive for luxury.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

“Depart from her,[d] my people,
    so as not to take part in her sins
    and receive a share in her plagues,
for her sins are piled up to the sky,
    and God remembers her crimes.
Pay her back as she has paid others.
    Pay her back double for her deeds.
    Into her cup pour double what she poured.
To the measure of her boasting and wantonness
    repay her in torment and grief;
for she said to herself,
    ‘I sit enthroned as queen;
    I am no widow,
    and I will never know grief.’
Therefore, her plagues will come in one day,
    pestilence, grief, and famine;
    she will be consumed by fire.
For mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”

The kings of the earth who had intercourse with her in their wantonness will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her pyre. 10 They will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her, and they will say:

“Alas, alas, great city,
    Babylon, mighty city.
    In one hour your judgment has come.”

11 The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her, because there will be no more markets[e] for their cargo: 12 their cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple silk, and scarlet cloth; fragrant wood of every kind, all articles of ivory and all articles of the most expensive wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice,[f] incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human beings.

14 “The fruit you craved
    has left you.
All your luxury and splendor are gone,
    never again will one find them.”

15 The merchants who deal in these goods, who grew rich from her, will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her. Weeping and mourning, 16 they cry out:

“Alas, alas, great city,
    wearing fine linen, purple and scarlet,
    adorned [in] gold, precious stones, and pearls.
17 In one hour this great wealth has been ruined.”

Every captain of a ship, every traveler at sea, sailors, and seafaring merchants stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her pyre, “What city could compare with the great city?” 19 They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning:

“Alas, alas, great city,
    in which all who had ships at sea
    grew rich from her wealth.
In one hour she has been ruined.
20 Rejoice over her, heaven,
    you holy ones, apostles, and prophets.
For God has judged your case against her.”

21 A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
    and will never be found again.
22 No melodies of harpists and musicians,
    flutists and trumpeters,
    will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
    will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
    will ever be heard in you again.
23 No light from a lamp
    will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
    will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
    all nations were led astray by your magic potion.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and holy ones
    and all who have been slain on the earth.”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:1–19:4 A stirring dirge over the fall of Babylon-Rome. The perspective is prophetic, as if the fall of Rome had already taken place. The imagery here, as elsewhere in this book, is not to be taken literally. The vindictiveness of some of the language, borrowed from the scathing Old Testament prophecies against Babylon, Tyre, and Nineveh (Is 23; 24; 27; Jer 50–51; Ez 26–27), is meant to portray symbolically the inexorable demands of God’s holiness and justice; cf. Introduction. The section concludes with a joyous canticle on the future glory of heaven.
  2. 18:2 Many Greek manuscripts and versions omit a cage for every unclean…beast.
  3. 18:3–24 Rome is condemned for her immorality, symbol of idolatry (see note on Rev 14:4), and for persecuting the church; cf. Rev 19:2.
  4. 18:4 Depart from her: not evacuation of the city but separation from sinners, as always in apocalyptic literature.
  5. 18:11 Ironically, the merchants weep not so much for Babylon-Rome, but for their lost markets; cf. Ez 27:36.
  6. 18:13 Spice: an unidentified spice plant called in Greek amōmon.
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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