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

I. Isaiah 1—39

A. Indictment of Israel and Judah

Chapter 1

[a]The vision which Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Accusation and Appeal

[b]Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth,
    for the Lord speaks:
Sons have I raised and reared,
    but they have rebelled against me!
An ox knows its owner,
    and an ass,[c] its master’s manger;
But Israel does not know,
    my people has not understood.
Ah![d] Sinful nation, people laden with wickedness,
    evil offspring, corrupt children!
They have forsaken the Lord,
    spurned the Holy One of Israel,
    apostatized,
Why[e] would you yet be struck,
    that you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
    the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot to the head
    there is no sound spot in it;
Just bruise and welt and oozing wound,
    not drained, or bandaged,
    or eased with salve.
Your country is waste,
    your cities burnt with fire;
Your land—before your eyes
    strangers devour it,
    a waste, like the devastation of Sodom.[f]
And daughter Zion[g] is left
    like a hut in a vineyard,
Like a shed in a melon patch,
    like a city blockaded.
If the Lord of hosts[h] had not
    left us a small remnant,
We would have become as Sodom,
    would have resembled Gomorrah.

10 [i]Hear the word of the Lord,
    princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
    people of Gomorrah!
11 What do I care for the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the Lord.
I have had enough of whole-burnt rams
    and fat of fatlings;
In the blood of calves, lambs, and goats
    I find no pleasure.
12 When you come to appear before me,
    who asks these things of you?
13 Trample my courts no more!
    To bring offerings is useless;
    incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath, calling assemblies—
    festive convocations with wickedness—
    these I cannot bear.
14 Your new moons and festivals I detest;
    they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
15 When you spread out your hands,
    I will close my eyes to you;
Though you pray the more,
    I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood![j]
16     Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
    cease doing evil;
17     learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
    hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

18 Come now, let us set things right,[k]
    says the Lord:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
    they may become white as snow;
Though they be red like crimson,
    they may become white as wool.
19 If you are willing, and obey,
    you shall eat the good things of the land;
20 But if you refuse and resist,
    you shall be eaten by the sword:
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!

The Purification of Jerusalem

21 How she has become a prostitute,
    the faithful city,[l] so upright!
Justice used to lodge within her,
    but now, murderers.
22 Your silver is turned to dross,
    your wine is mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebels
    and comrades of thieves;
Each one of them loves a bribe
    and looks for gifts.
The fatherless they do not defend,
    the widow’s plea does not reach them.
24 Now, therefore, says the Lord,
    the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah! I will take vengeance on my foes
    and fully repay my enemies!
25 I will turn my hand against you,
    and refine your dross in the furnace,
    removing all your alloy.
26 I will restore your judges[m] as at first,
    and your counselors as in the beginning;
After that you shall be called
    city of justice, faithful city.
27 [n]Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
    and her repentant ones by righteousness.
28 Rebels and sinners together shall be crushed,
    those who desert the Lord shall be consumed.

Judgment on the Sacred Groves

29 [o]You shall be ashamed of the terebinths which you desired,
    and blush on account of the gardens which you chose.
30 You shall become like a terebinth whose leaves wither,
    like a garden that has no water.
31 The strong tree shall turn to tinder,
    and the one who tends it shall become a spark;
Both of them shall burn together,
    and there shall be none to quench them.

Chapter 2

[p]This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Zion, the Royal City of God

    [q]In days to come,
The mountain of the Lord’s house
    shall be established as the highest mountain
    and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it.
    Many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
    and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
[r]He shall judge between the nations,
    and set terms for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
    nor shall they train for war again.
[s]House of Jacob, come,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord!

The Lord’s Day of Judgment on Pride

You have abandoned your people,
    the house of Jacob!
Because they are filled with diviners,
    and soothsayers, like the Philistines;
    with foreigners they clasp hands.
Their land is full of silver and gold,
    there is no end to their treasures;
Their land is full of horses,
    there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
    they bow down to the works of their hands,
    what their fingers have made.
So all shall be abased,
    each one brought low.[t]
    Do not pardon them!
10 Get behind the rocks,
    hide in the dust,
From the terror of the Lord
    and the splendor of his majesty!
11 The eyes of human pride shall be lowered,
    the arrogance of mortals shall be abased,
    and the Lord alone will be exalted, on that day.[u]
12 For the Lord of hosts will have his day
    against all that is proud and arrogant,
    against all that is high, and it will be brought low;
13 Yes, against all the cedars of Lebanon[v]
    and against all the oaks of Bashan,
14 Against all the lofty mountains
    and all the high hills,
15 Against every lofty tower
    and every fortified wall,
16 Against all the ships of Tarshish
    and all stately vessels.
17 Then human pride shall be abased,
    the arrogance of mortals brought low,
And the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.
18     The idols will vanish completely.
19 People will go into caves in the rocks
    and into holes in the earth,
At the terror of the Lord
    and the splendor of his majesty,
    as he rises to overawe the earth.
20 On that day people shall throw to moles and bats
    their idols of silver and their idols of gold
    which they made for themselves to worship.
21 And they shall go into caverns in the rocks
    and into crevices in the cliffs,
At the terror of the Lord
    and the splendor of his majesty,
    as he rises to overawe the earth.
22 [w]As for you, stop worrying about mortals,
    in whose nostrils is but a breath;
    for of what worth are they?

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 The title, or inscription, of the book is an editorial addition to identify the prophet and the circumstances of his ministry. Isaiah: meaning “the salvation of the Lord,” or “the Lord is salvation.” Amoz: not Amos the prophet. Judah: the Southern Kingdom of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Uzziah: also called Azariah; cf. 2 Kgs 15:1; 2 Chr 26:1.
  2. 1:2–31 This chapter is widely considered to be a collection of oracles from various periods in Isaiah’s ministry, chosen by the editor as a compendium of his most characteristic teachings.
  3. 1:3 Ox…ass: Isaiah uses animals proverbial for their stupidity and stubbornness to underline Israel’s failure to respond to God. Israel: a term Isaiah (and other prophets) frequently applies to Judah, especially after the fall of the Northern Kingdom (which Isaiah normally calls Ephraim, as in 7:2, 9, 17; 9:8), but sometimes applies to the entire chosen people, as in 8:14.
  4. 1:4 Ah: see note on 5:8–24. Holy One of Israel: a title used frequently in the Book of Isaiah, rarely elsewhere in the Old Testament (see 5:19, 24; 10:20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19; 30:11, 12, 15; 31:1; 37:23; 41:14, 16, 20; 43:3, 14; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7; 54:5; 55:5; 60:9, 14).
  5. 1:5–6 The Hebrew expression translated “Why?” may also be translated “Where?” The ambiguity is probably intentional: “Why, O Israel, would you still be beaten, and where on your bruised body do you want the next blow?” The bruised body is a metaphor for the historical disaster that has overtaken Israel (see v. 7) because of its sins.
  6. 1:7 Sodom: Sodom and Gomorrah (see vv. 9–10; cf. Gn 19) were proverbial as wicked cities completely overthrown and destroyed by God. Judah, more fortunate, survives at least as a remnant. The devastation of the land and the isolation of Jerusalem suggest the time of Sennacherib’s invasion of 701.
  7. 1:8 Daughter Zion: Jerusalem, as isolated as a little hut erected in a field for the shelter of watchmen and laborers.
  8. 1:9 Lord of hosts: God, who is the Creator and Ruler of the armies of Israel, the angels, stars, etc.
  9. 1:10–17 A powerful indictment of the religious hypocrisy of rulers and others who neglect just judgment and oppress the weaker members, yet believe they can please God with sacrifices and other external forms of worship. The long list of observances suggests the Lord’s tedium with such attempts. Sodom…Gomorrah: the names are picked up from v. 9, but now to emphasize their wickedness rather than the good fortune of escaping total destruction.
  10. 1:15–16 Hands…blood: oppression of the poor is likened to violence that bloodies the hands, which explains why the hands spread out in prayer (v. 15) are not regarded by the Lord. This climax of the accusations is followed by positive admonitions for reversing the evil situation.
  11. 1:18–20 Let us set things right: the Hebrew word refers to the arbitration of legal disputes (Jb 23:7). God offers to settle his case with Israel on the basis of the change of behavior demanded above. For Israel it is a life or death choice; life in conformity with God’s will or death for continued disobedience.
  12. 1:21–28 Faithful city: the phrase, found in v. 21 and v. 28, forms an inclusio which marks off the passage and also suggests three chronological periods: the city’s former ideal state, its present wicked condition (described in vv. 21b–23), and the future ideal conditions intended by God. This will be brought about by a purging judgment directed primarily against the leaders (“judges…counselors”).
  13. 1:26 Judges: the reference must be to royal judges appointed by David and his successors, not to the tribal judges of the Book of Judges, since the “beginning” of Jerusalem as an Israelite city dates only to the time of David. The Davidic era is idealized here; obtaining justice in the historical Jerusalem of David’s time was more problematic (see 2 Sm 15:1–6).
  14. 1:27–28 These verses expand the oracle that originally ended at v. 26. The expansion correctly interprets the preceding text as proclaiming a purifying judgment on Zion in which the righteous are saved while the wicked perish. The meaning of “by justice” and “by righteousness” is ambiguous. Do these terms refer to God’s judgment or to the justice and righteousness of Zion’s surviving inhabitants? Is 33:14–16 suggests the latter interpretation.
  15. 1:29–31 These verses were secondarily inserted here on the catchword principle; like v. 28 they pronounce judgment on certain parties “together” (v. 31). The terebinths and gardens refer to the sacred groves or asherahs that functioned as idolatrous cultic symbols at the popular shrines or high places (1 Kgs 14:23; 2 Kgs 17:10). Hezekiah cut down these groves during his reform (2 Kgs 18:4); they were a religious issue during Isaiah’s ministry (cf. Is 17:7–11). Isaiah threatens those who cultivate these symbols with the same fate that befalls trees when deprived of water.
  16. 2:1 This editorial heading probably introduced the collection of chaps. 2–12, to which chap. 1 with its introduction was added later (see note on 1:2–31).
  17. 2:2–22 These verses contain two very important oracles, one on the pilgrimage of nations to Mount Zion (vv. 2–4—completed with an invitation to the “house of Jacob,” v. 5), the other on the day of the Lord (see note on Am 5:18), which was probably composed from at least two earlier pieces. Whereas vv. 6–8 indict Judah for trust in superstitious practices and human resources rather than in the Lord, the following verses are directed against humankind in general and emphasize the effect of the “day of the Lord,” the humbling of human pride. This may be taken as a precondition for the glorious vision of vv. 2–4. This vision of Zion’s glorious future, which is also found in a slightly variant form in Mi 4:1–4, is rooted in the early Zion tradition, cultivated in the royal cult in Jerusalem. It celebrated God’s choice of Jerusalem as the divine dwelling place, along with God’s choice of the Davidic dynasty (Ps 68:16–17; 78:67–72; 132:13–18). Highest mountain: the Zion tradition followed earlier mythological conceptions that associate the abode of deities with very high mountains (Ps 48:2–3). The lifting of Mount Zion is a metaphor for universal recognition of the Lord’s authority.
  18. 2:4 Once the nations acknowledge God as sovereign, they go up to Jerusalem to settle their disputes, rather than having recourse to war.
  19. 2:5 This verse is added as a conclusion to vv. 2–4; cf. Mi 4:4–5, where a quite different conclusion is provided for the parallel version of this oracle.
  20. 2:9 Bowing down to idols will not bring deliverance to Israel, but rather total abasement. Do not pardon them: this line is so abrupt that it is almost certainly an intrusion in the text.
  21. 2:11 That day: i.e., the day of the Lord; cf. note on Am 5:18.
  22. 2:13 Lebanon: Mount Lebanon in Syria, famed for its cedars. Bashan: the fertile uplands east of the Sea of Galilee.
  23. 2:22 The meaning of this verse, certainly a later addition, is not clear. It is not addressed to God but to a plural subject.
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.

Wisdom 13:1-9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

Digression on False Worship

A. Nature Worship[a]

Foolish by nature were all who were in ignorance of God,
    and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing the one who is,[b]
    and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
Instead either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
    or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
    or the luminaries of heaven, the governors[c] of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
    let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
    for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
    let them realize from these things how much more powerful is the one who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
    their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;[d]
For they have gone astray perhaps,
    though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
    but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
    that they could speculate about the world,
    how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1–9 The author holds a relatively benign view of the efforts of the philosophers to come to know God from various natural phenomena. This is not a question of proving the existence of God in scholastic style. The author thinks that the beauty and might of the world should have pointed by analogy (v. 5) to the Maker. Instead, those “in ignorance of God” remained fixed on the elements (v. 2, three named, along with the stars). His Greek counterparts are not totally blameless; they should have gone further and acknowledged the creator of nature’s wonders (vv. 4–5). Cf. Rom 1:18–23; Acts 17:27–28.
  2. 13:1 One who is: this follows the Greek translation of the sacred name for God in Hebrew; cf. Ex 3:14.
  3. 13:2 Governors: the sun and moon (cf. Gn 1:16).
  4. 13:6 The blame is less: the greater blame is incurred by those mentioned in v. 10; 15:14–16.
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.

1 Timothy 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

Greeting.[a] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, my true child in faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

II. Sound Teaching

Warning Against False Doctrine. [b]I repeat the request I made of you when I was on my way to Macedonia, that you stay in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to teach false doctrines [c]or to concern themselves with myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the plan of God that is to be received by faith. The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance.

[d]We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law, with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, 10 the unchaste, sodomites,[e] kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Gratitude for God’s Mercy.[f] 12 I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. 13 I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. 14 Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy[g] and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. 16 But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. 17 To the king of ages,[h] incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Responsibility of Timothy.[i] 18 I entrust this charge to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophetic words once spoken about you.[j] Through them may you fight a good fight 19 by having faith and a good conscience. Some, by rejecting conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith, 20 among them Hymenaeus[k] and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–2 For the Pauline use of the conventional epistolary form, see note on Rom 1:1–7.
  2. 1:3–7 Here Timothy’s initial task in Ephesus (cf. Acts 20:17–35) is outlined: to suppress the idle religious speculations, probably about Old Testament figures (1 Tm 1:3–4, but see note on 1 Tm 6:20–21), which do not contribute to the development of love within the community (1 Tm 1:5) but rather encourage similar useless conjectures (1 Tm 1:6–7).
  3. 1:4 The plan of God that is to be received by faith: the Greek may also possibly mean “God’s trustworthy plan” or “the training in faith that God requires.”
  4. 1:8–11 Those responsible for the speculations that are to be suppressed by Timothy do not present the Old Testament from the Christian viewpoint. The Christian values the Old Testament not as a system of law but as the first stage in God’s revelation of his saving plan, which is brought to fulfillment in the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
  5. 1:10 Sodomites: see 1 Cor 6:9 and the note there.
  6. 1:12–17 Present gratitude for the Christian apostleship leads Paul to recall an earlier time when he had been a fierce persecutor of the Christian communities (cf. Acts 26:9–11) until his conversion by intervention of divine mercy through the appearance of Jesus. This and his subsequent apostolic experience testify to the saving purpose of Jesus’ incarnation. The fact of his former ignorance of the truth has not kept the apostle from regarding himself as having been the worst of sinners (1 Tm 1:15). Yet he was chosen to be an apostle, that God might manifest his firm will to save sinful humanity through Jesus Christ (1 Tm 1:16). The recounting of so great a mystery leads to a spontaneous outpouring of adoration (1 Tm 1:17).
  7. 1:15 This saying is trustworthy: this phrase regularly introduces in the Pastorals a basic truth of early Christian faith; cf. 1 Tm 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tm 2:11; Ti 3:8.
  8. 1:17 King of ages: through Semitic influence, the Greek expression could mean “everlasting king”; it could also mean “king of the universe.”
  9. 1:18–20 Timothy is to be mindful of his calling, which is here compared to the way Barnabas and Saul were designated by Christ as prophets for missionary service; cf. Acts 13:1–3. Such is probably the sense of the allusion to the prophetic words (1 Tm 1:18). His task is not to yield, whether in doctrine or in conduct, to erroneous opinions, taking warning from what has already happened at Ephesus in the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tm 1:19–20).
  10. 1:18 The prophetic words once spoken about you: the Greek may also be translated, “the prophecies that led (me) to you.” It probably refers to testimonies given by charismatic figures in the Christian communities. Fight a good fight: this translation preserves the play on words in Greek. The Greek terms imply a lengthy engagement in battle and might well be translated “wage a good campaign.”
  11. 1:20 Hymenaeus: mentioned in 2 Tm 2:17 as saying that the resurrection has already taken place (in baptism). Alexander: probably the Alexander mentioned in 2 Tm 4:14 as the coppersmith who “did me a great deal of harm.” Whom I have handed over to Satan: the same terms are used in the condemnation of the incestuous man in 1 Cor 5:5.
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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