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Isaiah 45-46 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 45

Thus says the Lord to his anointed,[a] Cyrus,
    whose right hand I grasp,
Subduing nations before him,
    stripping kings of their strength,
Opening doors before him,
    leaving the gates unbarred:
I will go before you
    and level the mountains;
Bronze doors[b] I will shatter,
    iron bars I will snap.
I will give you treasures of darkness,
    riches hidden away,
That you may know I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who calls you by name.

For the sake of Jacob, my servant,
    of Israel my chosen one,
I have called you by name,
    giving you a title, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, there is no other,
    there is no God besides me.
It is I who arm you, though you do not know me,
    so that all may know, from the rising of the sun
    to its setting, that there is none besides me.[c]
I am the Lord, there is no other.
    I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make weal and create woe;[d]
    I, the Lord, do all these things.
Let justice descend, you heavens, like dew from above,
    like gentle rain let the clouds drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
    let righteousness spring up with them![e]
    I, the Lord, have created this.
Woe to anyone who contends with their Maker;
    a potsherd among potsherds of the earth![f]
Shall the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?”
    or, “What you are making has no handles”?
10 Woe to anyone who asks a father, “What are you begetting?”
    or a woman, “What are you giving birth to?”
11 Thus says the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, his maker:
Do you question me about my children,
    tell me how to treat the work of my hands?
12 It was I who made the earth
    and created the people upon it;
It was my hands that stretched out the heavens;
    I gave the order to all their host.
13 It was I who stirred him[g] up for justice;
    all his ways I make level.
He shall rebuild my city
    and let my exiles go free
Without price or payment,
    says the Lord of hosts.

14     Thus says the Lord:
The earnings of Egypt, the gain of Ethiopia,
    and the Sabeans,[h] tall of stature,
Shall come over to you and belong to you;
    they shall follow you, coming in chains.
Before you they shall bow down,
    saying in prayer:
“With you alone is God; and there is none other,
    no other god!
15 Truly with you God is hidden,[i]
    the God of Israel, the savior!
16 They are put to shame and disgrace, all of them;
    they go in disgrace who carve images.
17 Israel has been saved by the Lord,
    saved forever!
You shall never be put to shame or disgrace
    in any future age.”

18     For thus says the Lord,
The creator of the heavens,
    who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
    who established it,
Not as an empty waste[j] did he create it,
    but designing it to be lived in:
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19     I have not spoken in secret
    from some place in the land of darkness,
I have not said to the descendants of Jacob,
    “Look for me in an empty waste.”
I, the Lord, promise justice,
    I declare what is right.

20 Come and assemble, gather together,
    you fugitives from among the nations!
They are without knowledge who bear wooden idols[k]
    and pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Come close and declare;
    let them take counsel together:
Who announced this from the beginning,
    declared it from of old?
Was it not I, the Lord,
    besides whom there is no other God?
    There is no just and saving God but me.

22 Turn to me and be safe,
    all you ends of the earth,
    for I am God; there is no other!
23 By myself I swear,
    uttering my just decree,
    a word that will not return:
To me every knee shall bend;
    by me every tongue shall swear,
24 Saying, “Only in the Lord
    are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
    all who vent their anger against him.
25 In the Lord all the descendants of Israel
    shall have vindication and glory.”

Chapter 46

The Gods of Babylon

Bel bows down, Nebo[l] stoops,
    their idols set upon beasts and cattle;
They must be borne upon shoulders,
    a load for weary animals.
They stoop and bow down together;
    unable to deliver those who bear them,
    they too go into captivity.

Hear me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
My burden from the womb,
    whom I have carried since birth.
Even to your old age I am he,
    even when your hair is gray I will carry you;
I have done this, and I will lift you up,
    I will carry you to safety.

To whom would you liken me as an equal,
    compare me, as though we were alike?
There are those who pour out gold from a purse
    and weigh out silver on the scales;
They hire a goldsmith to make it into a god
    before which they bow down in worship.
They lift it to their shoulders to carry;
    when they set it down, it stays,
    and does not move from the place.
They cry out to it, but it cannot answer;
    it delivers no one from distress.

Remember this and be firm,
    take it to heart, you rebels;
    remember the former things, those long ago:
I am God, there is no other;
    I am God, there is none like me.
10 At the beginning I declare the outcome;
    from of old, things not yet done.
I say that my plan shall stand,
    I accomplish my every desire.

11 I summon from the east a bird of prey,[m]
    from a distant land, one to carry out my plan.
Yes, I have spoken, I will accomplish it;
    I have planned it, and I will do it.
12 Listen to me, you fainthearted,
    far from the victory of justice:
13 I am bringing on that victory, it is not far off,
    my salvation shall not tarry;
I will put salvation within Zion,
    give to Israel my glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 45:1 Anointed: in Hebrew, mashiah, from which the word “Messiah” is derived; from its Greek translation, Christos, we have the title “Christ.” Applied to kings, “anointed” originally referred only to those of Israel, but it is here given to Cyrus because he is the agent of the Lord.
  2. 45:2 Bronze doors: those defending the city gates of Babylon.
  3. 45:6 The nations will come to know that Israel’s God is the only God; cf. also vv. 20–25.
  4. 45:7 Create woe: God created and controls all aspects of creation (light and darkness, order and chaos).
  5. 45:8 The Vulgate rendering gave a messianic sense to this verse, using “just one” and “savior” in place of “justice” and “salvation,” phraseology taken over in the Advent liturgy, e.g., the “Rorate coeli.”
  6. 45:9 No one may challenge God’s freedom of action, exemplified here by the selection of Cyrus as his anointed.
  7. 45:13 Him: Cyrus, called by God for the deliverance and restoration of Israel. Justice: the Hebrew word (sedeq) has multiple connotations; here it relates to the saving victory that the Lord will give to Cyrus for the deliverance of his people Israel. This word and others from the same root frequently have this connotation in Second Isaiah, occurring as a parallel term with “deliverance,” “salvation,” etc. Cf. its use in 41:10 (rendered “victorious”) and 51:5 (rendered “victory”).
  8. 45:14 Egypt…Ethiopia…Sabeans: the Egyptians and their allies who, when conquered by Cyrus, are seen as acknowledging the God of Israel; cf. 43:3.
  9. 45:15 God is hidden: i.e., the one known only to Israel, who cannot be represented by wooden or molten images. The concept of the “Deus absconditus,” “the hidden God,” becomes an important theme in later theology.
  10. 45:18 Empty waste: an allusion to Gn 1:2, where the earth is waste and void; the same Hebrew word, tohu, is used in both passages. Here it points to devastated Judah and Jerusalem, where God wishes to resettle the returning exiles.
  11. 45:20 Who bear wooden idols: in their religious processions. Such gods have feet but cannot walk; cf. Ps 115:7; Bar 6:25.
  12. 46:1–4 Bel…Nebo: gods of Babylon; their complete helplessness is here contrasted with God’s omnipotence; whereas they must be carried about, the Lord carries Israel as a parent does a child.
  13. 46:11 From the east a bird of prey: Cyrus; cf. 41:2–4.
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 3:1-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

Responsibilities to Parents[a]

Children, listen to me, your father;
    act accordingly, that you may be safe.
For the Lord sets a father in honor over his children
    and confirms a mother’s authority over her sons.
Those who honor their father atone for sins;
    they store up riches who respect their mother.
Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children,
    and when they pray they are heard.
Those who respect their father will live a long life;
    those who obey the Lord honor their mother.

Those who fear the Lord honor their father,
    and serve their parents as masters.
In word and deed honor your father,
    that all blessings may come to you.
A father’s blessing gives a person firm roots,
    but a mother’s curse uproots the growing plant.
10 Do not glory in your father’s disgrace,
    for that is no glory to you!
11 A father’s glory is glory also for oneself;
    they multiply sin who demean their mother.

12 My son, be steadfast in honoring your father;
    do not grieve him as long as he lives.
13 Even if his mind fails, be considerate of him;
    do not revile him because you are in your prime.
14 Kindness to a father will not be forgotten;
    it will serve as a sin offering—it will take lasting root.
15 In time of trouble it will be recalled to your advantage,
    like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.
16 Those who neglect their father are like blasphemers;
    those who provoke their mother are accursed by their Creator.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1–16 Besides the virtues that must characterize our conduct toward God, special duties are enjoined, such as honor and respect toward parents, with corresponding blessings (vv. 1–9). By showing such respect especially to old and infirm parents (vv. 10–13), the sins of children are pardoned (vv. 14–15). Failure to honor father and mother is blasphemy and merits a curse from God (v. 16). Cf. Ex 20:12; Eph 6:2–3.
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.

Hebrews 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

The Sabbath Rest. Therefore, let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened. For we who believed enter into [that] rest, just as he has said:

“As I swore in my wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter into my rest,’”

and yet his works were accomplished at the foundation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works”; and again, in the previously mentioned place, “They shall not enter into my rest.” Therefore, since it remains that some will enter into it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, he once more set a day, “today,” when long afterwards he spoke through David, as already quoted:

“Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
‘Harden not your hearts.’”

Now if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterwards of another day. Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. 10 And whoever enters into God’s rest, rests from his own works as God did from his. 11 Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.

12 Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. 13 No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Jesus, Compassionate High Priest. 14 [a]Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. 16 So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:14–16 These verses, which return to the theme first sounded in Hb 2:16–3:1, serve as an introduction to the section that follows. The author here alone calls Jesus a great high priest (Hb 4:14), a designation used by Philo for the Logos; perhaps he does so in order to emphasize Jesus’ superiority over the Jewish high priest. He has been tested in every way, yet without sin (Hb 4:15); this indicates an acquaintance with the tradition of Jesus’ temptations, not only at the beginning (as in Mk 1:13) but throughout his public life (cf. Lk 22:28). Although the reign of the exalted Jesus is a theme that occurs elsewhere in Hebrews, and Jesus’ throne is mentioned in Hb 1:8, the throne of grace (Hb 4:16) refers to the throne of God. The similarity of Hb 4:16 to Hb 10:19–22 indicates that the author is thinking of our confident access to God, made possible by the priestly work of Jesus.
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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