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Isaiah 14-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Restoration of Israel. But the Lord will take pity on Jacob and again choose Israel, and will settle them on their own land; foreigners will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. The nations will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them[a] as male and female slaves on the Lord’s land; they will take captive their captors and rule over their oppressors.

Downfall of the King of Babylon. On the day when the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow and turmoil, from the hard service with which you served, you will take up this taunt-song[b] against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has come to an end!
    how the turmoil has ended!
The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
    the staff of the tyrants
That struck the peoples in wrath
    with relentless blows;
That ruled the nations in anger,
    with boundless persecution.
The whole earth rests peacefully,
    song breaks forth;
The very cypresses rejoice over you,
    the cedars of Lebanon:
“Now that you are laid to rest,
    no one comes to cut us down.”
Below, Sheol is all astir
    preparing for your coming;
Awakening the shades to greet you,
    all the leaders of the earth;
Making all the kings of the nations
    rise from their thrones.
10 All of them speak out
    and say to you,
“You too have become weak like us,
    you are just like us!
11 Down to Sheol your pomp is brought,
    the sound of your harps.
Maggots are the couch beneath you,
    worms your blanket.”
12 How you have fallen from the heavens,
    O Morning Star,[c] son of the dawn!
How you have been cut down to the earth,
    you who conquered nations!
13 In your heart you said:
    “I will scale the heavens;
Above the stars of God[d]
    I will set up my throne;
I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly,
    on the heights of Zaphon.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will be like the Most High!”
15 No! Down to Sheol you will be brought
    to the depths of the pit!
16 When they see you they will stare,
    pondering over you:
“Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
    who shook kingdoms?
17 Who made the world a wilderness,
    razed its cities,
    and gave captives no release?”
18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    each in his own tomb;
19 But you are cast forth without burial,
    like loathsome carrion,
Covered with the slain, with those struck by the sword,
    a trampled corpse,
Going down to the very stones of the pit.
20     You will never be together with them in the grave,
For you have ruined your land,
    you have slain your people!
Let him never be named,
    that offshoot of evil!
21 Make ready to slaughter his sons
    for the guilt of their fathers;
Lest they rise and possess the earth,
    and fill the breadth of the world with cities.[e]

22 I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, progeny and offspring, says the Lord. 23 I will make it a haunt of hoot owls and a marshland; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, oracle of the Lord of hosts.

God’s Plan for Assyria[f]

24     The Lord of hosts has sworn:
As I have resolved,
    so shall it be;
As I have planned,
    so shall it stand:
25 To break the Assyrian in my land
    and trample him on my mountains;
Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
    and his burden from their shoulder.
26 This is the plan proposed for the whole earth,
    and this the hand outstretched over all the nations.[g]
27 The Lord of hosts has planned;
    who can thwart him?
His hand is stretched out;
    who can turn it back?

Philistia.[h] 28 In the year that King Ahaz died,[i] there came this oracle:

29 [j]Do not rejoice, Philistia, not one of you,
    that the rod which struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s root shall come an adder,
    its offspring shall be a flying saraph.
30 In my pastures the poor shall graze,
    and the needy lie down in safety;
But I will kill your root with famine
    that shall slay even your remnant.
31 Howl, O gate; cry out, O city!
    Philistia, all of you melts away!
For there comes a smoke from the north,[k]
    without a straggler in its ranks.
32 What will one answer the messengers of the nations?[l]
    “The Lord has established Zion,
    and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

Chapter 15


    Oracle on Moab:
Laid waste in a night,
    Ar of Moab is destroyed;
Laid waste in a night,
    Kir of Moab is destroyed.
Daughter Dibon has gone up
    to the high places to weep;
Over Nebo and over Medeba
    Moab is wailing.
Every head is shaved,
    every beard sheared off.[n]
In the streets they wear sackcloth,
    and on the rooftops;
In the squares
    everyone wails, streaming with tears.
Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
    they are heard as far as Jahaz.
At this the loins of Moab tremble,
    his soul quivers within him;
My heart cries out for Moab,
    his fugitives reach Zoar,
The ascent of Luhith
    they ascend weeping;
On the way to Horonaim
    they utter rending cries;
The waters of Nimrim
    have become a waste,
The grass is withered,
    new growth is gone,
    nothing is green.
So now whatever they have acquired or stored away
    they carry across the Wadi of the Poplars.
The cry has gone round
    the territory of Moab;
As far as Eglaim his wailing,
    even at Beer-elim his wailing.
[o]The waters of Dimon are filled with blood,
    but I will bring still more upon Dimon:
Lions for those who are fleeing from Moab
    and for those who remain in the land!

Chapter 16

Send them forth,[p] hugging the earth like reptiles,
    from Sela across the desert,
    to the mount of daughter Zion.
Like flushed birds,
    like scattered nestlings,
Are the daughters of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.[q]
[r]Offer counsel, take their part;
    at high noon make your shade like the night;
Hide the outcasts,
    do not betray the fugitives.
Let the outcasts of Moab live with you,
    be their shelter from the destroyer.
When there is an end to the oppressor,
    when destruction has ceased,
    and the marauders have vanished from the land,
A throne shall be set up in mercy,
    and on it shall sit in fidelity,
    in David’s tent,
A judge upholding right,
    prompt to do justice.
We have heard of the pride of Moab,
    how very proud he is,
Of his haughtiness, pride, and arrogance
    that his empty words do not match.
[s]Therefore let Moab wail,
    let everyone wail for Moab;
For the raisin cakes[t] of Kir-hareseth
    let them sigh, stricken with grief.
The terraced slopes of Heshbon languish,
    the vines of Sibmah,
Whose clusters once overpowered
    the lords of nations,
Reaching as far as Jazer
    winding through the wilderness,[u]
Whose branches spread forth,
    crossing over the sea.
Therefore I weep with Jazer
    for the vines of Sibmah;
I drench you with my tears,
    Heshbon and Elealeh;
For on your summer fruits and harvests
    the battle cry[v] has fallen.
10 From the orchards are taken away
    joy and gladness,
In the vineyards there is no singing,
    no shout of joy;
In the wine presses no one treads grapes,
    the vintage shout is stilled.
11 Therefore for Moab
    my heart moans like a lyre,
    my inmost being for Kir-hareseth.
12 [w]When Moab wears himself out on the high places,
    and enters his sanctuary to pray,
    it shall avail him nothing.

13 [x]That is the word the Lord spoke against Moab in times past. 14 But now the Lord speaks: In three years, like the years of a hired laborer, the glory of Moab shall be empty despite all its great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and weak.


  1. 14:2 Possess them: Israel will make slaves of the nations who escort it back to its land.
  2. 14:4–21 This taunt-song, a satirical funeral lament, is a beautiful example of classical Hebrew poetry. According to the prose introduction and the prosaic conclusion (vv. 22–23), it is directed against the king of Babylon, though Babylon is mentioned nowhere in the song itself. If the reference to Babylon is accurate, the piece was composed long after the time of Isaiah, for Babylon was not a threat to Judah in the eighth century. Some have argued that Isaiah wrote it at the death of an Assyrian king and the references to Babylon were made by a later editor, but this is far from certain.
  3. 14:12 Morning Star: term addressed to the king of Babylon. The Vulgate translates as “Lucifer,” a name applied by the church Fathers to Satan. Son of the dawn: Heb., ben shahar, may reflect the name of a pagan deity.
  4. 14:13–15 God: not Elohim, the common word for God, but El, the name of the head of the pantheon in Canaanite mythology, a god who was early identified with the Lord in Israelite thought. Mount of Assembly: mountain where the council of the gods met, according to Canaanite mythology. Zaphon: the sacred mountain of Baal, originally the Jebel el-Aqra north of Ugarit, but other mountains have been identified with it, including Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Ps 48:3). The attempt to usurp the place of God (v. 14), coupled with the dramatic reversal (“above the stars of God” to “the depths of the pit”) occasioned the interpretation that saw here the rebellion and fall of Satan.
  5. 14:21 Cities: if the text is correct, it presumably refers to cities as expressions of human pride, authority, and oppression (cf. Gn 11:1–9; Na 3:1–4).
  6. 14:24–27 The motif of God’s plan or work is a recurring thread running through Isaiah’s oracles. The plans of Judah’s enemies will not come to pass (7:5–7; 8:9–10; 10:7), but God’s plan for his work of disciplining his own people (5:12, 19; 28:21), and then for punishing the foreign agents God used to administer that discipline (10:12) will come to pass.
  7. 14:26 Hand outstretched over all the nations: as it was once outstretched over Israel (9:11, 16, 20; 5:25).
  8. 14:28–31 This oracle seems to reflect the political situation soon after the death of Ahaz in 715 B.C., when Ashdod and the other Philistine cities were trying to create a united front to rebel against Assyria. Ahaz had refused to join the rebels in 735 B.C. and remained loyal to Assyria during the rest of his reign, but the Philistines may have had higher hopes for his son Hezekiah. Judah, however, did not join in Ashdod’s disastrous revolt in 713–711 B.C. (cf. 20:1).
  9. 14:28 The year that King Ahaz died: 715 B.C.
  10. 14:29 The occasion for this oracle is usually taken to be the death of an Assyrian king; the Philistines were vassals of Assyria, whereas no victories of Ahaz over the Philistines are recorded. The chronological notice (in the year that King Ahaz died) may be incorrect, for no Assyrian king died around 715, the date usually assigned for the death of Ahaz. Flying saraph: a winged cobra, often portrayed in Egyptian art and on Israelite seals. The Hebrew saraph means “to burn” and perhaps is applied to the cobra because of the burning sensation of its bite.
  11. 14:31 Smoke from the north: the dust raised from the approach of the Assyrian army.
  12. 14:32 Messengers of the nations: envoys from Philistia, and from Egypt and Ethiopia, the real powers behind the Philistine revolt (20:1–6; cf. 18:1–2).
  13. 15:1–16:14 Both the historical situation reflected in this oracle against Moab and the date of composition are uncertain. Variants of the same poem are found in Jer 48, and there are connections with Nm 21:27–30 as well.
  14. 15:2 Shaved…sheared off: traditional signs of grief.
  15. 15:9 There is a play on words between “Dimon” and dam, the Hebrew word for blood.
  16. 16:1 Send them forth: the Hebrew text is disturbed; it could also be understood to refer to tribute (a lamb) sent from Moab to Zion, presumably to encourage the king to receive the Moabite refugees.
  17. 16:2 The Arnon: principal river of Moab.
  18. 16:3–5 Directed to Jerusalem, which should receive the suffering Moabites with mercy, as befits the city of David’s family, who were partly descended from Ruth the Moabite; and cf. 1 Sm 22:3–4. This would be a gracious act on Judah’s part, since its relations with Moab were strained at best.
  19. 16:7–14 Moab had been prosperous; now it has become a desert.
  20. 16:7 Raisin cakes: masses of dried compressed grapes used as food (cf. 2 Sm 6:19; 1 Chr 16:3; Sg 2:5), and also in the worship of other gods (Hos 3:1).
  21. 16:8 Wilderness: i.e., eastward. Sea: i.e., westward.
  22. 16:9–10 Battle cry…shout of joy: the same Hebrew word (hedad), which normally refers to the joyful shout of those treading the grapes (cf. Jer 25:30), here is used both for the triumphant shout of the enemy (v. 9) and for the vintagers’ shout, which has ceased.
  23. 16:12 In vain do the Moabites appeal to their god Chemosh.
  24. 16:13–14 A prose application of the preceding poetic oracle against Moab (15:1–16:12); cf. Jer 4:8. Like the years of a hired laborer: the fixed period of time for which the hired laborer contracted his services; cf. Is 21:16.
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.

Wisdom 15:18-16:14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Second Example Resumed

18 [a]Besides, they worship the most loathsome beasts—
    as regards stupidity, these are worse than the rest,[b]
19 For beasts are neither good-looking nor desirable;
    they have escaped both the approval of God and his blessing.

Chapter 16

Therefore they[c] were fittingly punished by similar creatures,
    and were tormented by a swarm of insects.
Instead of this punishment, you benefited your people
    with a novel dish, the delight they craved,
    by providing quail for their food,
So that those others, when they desired food,
    should lose their appetite even for necessities,
    since the creatures sent to plague them were so loathsome,
While these, after a brief period of privation,
    partook of a novel dish.
For inexorable want had to come upon those oppressors;
    but these needed only to be shown how their enemies were being tormented.

For when the dire venom of beasts came upon them
    and they were dying from the bite of crooked serpents,
    your anger endured not to the end.
But as a warning, for a short time they were terrorized,
    though they had a sign[d] of salvation, to remind them of the precept of your law.
For the one who turned toward it was saved,
    not by what was seen,
    but by you, the savior of all.
By this also you convinced our foes
    that you are the one who delivers from all evil.
For the bites of locusts and of flies slew them,
    and no remedy was found to save their lives
    because they deserved to be punished by such means;
10 But not even the fangs of poisonous reptiles overcame your children,
    for your mercy came forth and healed them.
11 For as a reminder of your injunctions, they were stung,
    and swiftly they were saved,
Lest they should fall into deep forgetfulness
    and become unresponsive to your beneficence.
12 For indeed, neither herb nor application cured them,
    but your all-healing word, O Lord!
13 [e]For you have dominion over life and death;
    you lead down to the gates of Hades and lead back.
14 Human beings, however, may kill another with malice,
    but they cannot bring back the departed spirit,
    or release the soul that death has confined.


  1. 15:18–19 The author here returns (11:15; 12:23–27) to the main theme of chaps. 11–19, which was interrupted by the digression of 13:1–15:17.
  2. 15:18 Worse than the rest: this may mean that the creatures worshiped by the Egyptians (e.g., crocodiles, serpents, scarabs, etc.) were less intelligent than the general run of beasts.
  3. 16:1 They: the Egyptian idolaters, who are punished according to the principle laid down in 11:5, 15–16.
  4. 16:6 Sign: the brazen serpent, as related in Numbers 21, but the author deliberately avoids any misunderstanding by addressing the Lord as responsible for the healing, since he is “the savior of all” (v. 7; see also vv. 12 and 26 for the role of the “word” of God).
  5. 16:13–14 The author recognizes the power of the Lord over life and death, as expressed in 1 Sm 2:6; Tb 13:2. The traditional imagery of Sheol (gates and confinement) colors the passage.
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 6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

Rules for Slaves. [a]Those who are under the yoke of slavery must regard their masters as worthy of full respect, so that the name of God and our teaching[b] may not suffer abuse. Those whose masters are believers must not take advantage of them because they are brothers but must give better service because those who will profit from their work are believers and are beloved.

V. False Teaching and True Wealth

Teach and urge these things.[c] Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. [d]Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.

Exhortations to Timothy.[e] 11 But you, man of God,[f] avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 12 Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge [you] before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, 14 to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ 15 that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.

Right Use of Wealth.[g] 17 Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, 19 thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.

VI. Final Recommendation and Warning[h]

20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. 21 By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith.

Grace be with all of you.


  1. 6:1–2 Compare the tables for household duties, such as that of Col 3:18–4:1. Domestic relationships derive new meaning from the Christian faith.
  2. 6:1 Our teaching: this refers to the teaching of the Christian community.
  3. 6:2b–10 Timothy is exhorted to maintain steadfastly the position outlined in this letter, not allowing himself to be pressured into any other course. He must realize that false teachers can be discerned by their pride, envy, quarrelsomeness, and greed for material gain. 1 Tm 6:6 is rather obscure and is interpreted, and therefore translated, variously. The suggestion seems to be that the important gain that religion brings is spiritual, but that there is material gain, too, up to the point of what is needed for physical sustenance (cf. 1 Tm 6:17–19).
  4. 6:6 Contentment: the word autarkeia is a technical Greek philosophical term for the virtue of independence from material goods (Aristotle, Cynics, Stoics).
  5. 6:11–16 Timothy’s position demands total dedication to God and faultless witness to Christ (1 Tm 6:11–14) operating from an awareness, through faith, of the coming revelation in Jesus of the invisible God (1 Tm 6:15–16).
  6. 6:11 Man of God: a title applied to Moses and the prophets (Dt 33:1; 1 Sm 2:27; 1 Kgs 12:22; 13:1; etc.).
  7. 6:17–19 Timothy is directed to instruct the rich, advising them to make good use of their wealth by aiding the poor.
  8. 6:20–21 A final solemn warning against the heretical teachers, with what seems to be a specific reference to gnosticism, the great rival and enemy of the church for two centuries and more (the Greek word for “knowledge” is gnōsis). If gnosticism is being referred to here, it is probable that the warnings against “speculations” and “myths and genealogies” (cf. especially 1 Tm 1:4; Ti 3:9) involve allusions to that same kind of heresy. Characteristic of the various gnostic systems of speculation was an elaborate mythology of innumerable superhuman intermediaries, on a descending scale (“genealogies”), between God and the world. Thus would be explained the emphasis upon Christ’s being the one mediator (as in 1 Tm 2:5). Although fully developed gnosticism belonged to the second and later centuries, there are signs that incipient forms of it belonged to Paul’s own period.
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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