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Isaiah 47-48 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 47

The Fall of Babylon[a]

Come down, sit in the dust,
    virgin daughter Babylon;
Sit on the ground, dethroned,
    daughter of the Chaldeans.
No longer shall you be called
    dainty and delicate.
Take the millstone and grind flour,
    remove your veil;
Strip off your skirt, bare your legs,
    cross through the streams.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
    and your shame be seen;
I will take vengeance,
    I will yield to no entreaty,
says     our redeemer,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts,
    the Holy One of Israel.

Go into darkness and sit in silence,
    daughter of the Chaldeans,
No longer shall you be called
    sovereign mistress of kingdoms.
Angry at my people,
    I profaned my heritage
And gave them into your power;
    but you showed them no mercy;
Upon the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, “I shall remain always,
    a sovereign mistress forever!”
You did not take these things to heart,
    but disregarded their outcome.
Now hear this, voluptuous one,
    enthroned securely,
Saying in your heart,
    “I, and no one else![b]
I shall never be a widow,
    bereft of my children”—
Both these things shall come to you
    suddenly, in a single day:
Complete bereavement and widowhood
    shall come upon you
Despite your many sorceries
    and the full power of your spells;[c]
10 Secure in your wickedness,
    you said, “No one sees me.”
Your wisdom and your knowledge
    led you astray,
And you said in your heart,
    “I, and no one else!”
11 But upon you shall come an evil
    you will not be able to charm away;
Upon you shall fall a disaster
    you cannot ward off.
Upon you shall suddenly come
    a ruin you cannot imagine.

12 Keep on with your spells
    and your many sorceries,
    at which you toiled from your youth.
Perhaps you can prevail,
    perhaps you can strike terror!
13 You wore yourself out with so many consultations!
    Let the astrologers stand forth to save you,
The stargazers who forecast at each new moon
    what would happen to you.
14 See, they are like stubble,
    fire consumes them;
They cannot deliver themselves
    from the spreading flames.
This is no warming ember,
    no fire to sit before!
15 Thus do your wizards serve you
    with whom you have toiled from your youth;
They wander their separate ways,
    with none to save you.

Chapter 48

Exhortations to the Exiles

Hear this, house of Jacob
    called by the name Israel,
    sprung from the stock of Judah,
You who swear by the name of the Lord
    and invoke the God of Israel
    without sincerity, without justice,
Though you are named after the holy city
    and rely on the God of Israel,
    whose name is the Lord of hosts.
Things of the past I declared long ago,
    they went forth from my mouth, I announced them;
    then suddenly I took action and they came to be.
Because I know that you are stubborn
    and that your neck is an iron sinew
    and your forehead bronze,
I declared them to you of old;
    before they took place I informed you,
That you might not say, “My idol did them,
    my statue, my molten image commanded them.”
Now that you have heard, look at all this;
    must you not admit it?
From now on I announce new things to you,
    hidden events you never knew.
Now, not from of old, they are created,
    before today you did not hear of them,
    so that you cannot claim, “I have known them.”
You never heard, you never knew,
    they never reached your ears beforehand.
Yes, I know you are utterly treacherous,
    a rebel you were named from the womb.
For the sake of my name I restrain my anger,
    for the sake of my renown I hold it back from you,
    lest I destroy you.
10 See, I refined you, but not like silver;
    I tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my sake, for my own sake, I do this;
    why should my name be profaned?
    My glory I will not give to another.

12 Listen to me, Jacob,
    Israel, whom I called!
I, it is I who am the first,
    and am I the last.
13 Yes, my hand laid the foundations of the earth;
    my right hand spread out the heavens.
When I summon them,
    they stand forth at once.

14 All of you assemble and listen:
    Who among you declared these things?
The one the Lord loves[d] shall do his will
    against Babylon and the offspring of Chaldea.
15 I myself have spoken, I have summoned him,
    I have brought him, and his way succeeds!
16 Come near to me and hear this!
    From the beginning I did not speak in secret;
At the time it happens, I am there:
    “Now the Lord God has sent me, and his spirit.”[e]

17 Thus says the Lord, your redeemer,
    the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord, your God,
    teaching you how to prevail,
    leading you on the way you should go.
18 If only you would attend to my commandments,
    your peace would be like a river,
    your vindication like the waves of the sea,
19 Your descendants like the sand,
    the offspring of your loins like its grains,
Their name never cut off
    or blotted out from my presence.
20 Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea!
    With shouts of joy declare this, announce it;
Make it known to the ends of the earth,
    Say: “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.
21 They did not thirst
    when he led them through dry lands;
Water from the rock he set flowing for them;
    he cleft the rock, and waters welled forth.”

22 There is no peace[f] for the wicked,
    says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 47:1–15 A taunt-song, mocking Babylon, once queen of the nations, now a mere slave.
  2. 47:8, 10 I, and no one else: Babylon is mockingly presented as making the same claim as the Lord (cf. 45:6, 14, 22; 46:9), a claim that events will soon prove to be false and foolish (v. 11).
  3. 47:9–13, 15 Babylon was known for its sorcery and astrology.
  4. 48:14 The one the Lord loves: the reference is no doubt to Cyrus, who does the Lord’s will by overcoming Babylon and releasing Israel from captivity.
  5. 48:16 “Now the Lord…spirit”: said by Cyrus; cf. v. 14.
  6. 48:22 No peace: while the good news proclaimed by the prophet is directed to the people as a whole, “peace,” which can represent the fullness of God’s blessings and which would here include deliverance from exile, is not extended to all regardless of disposition.
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 3:17-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Humility[a]

17 My son, conduct your affairs with humility,
    and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
18 Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
    and you will find mercy in the sight of God.[b]
20 For great is the power of the Lord;
    by the humble he is glorified.
21 What is too sublime for you, do not seek;
    do not reach into things that are hidden from you.
22 What is committed to you, pay heed to;
    what is hidden is not your concern.
23 In matters that are beyond you do not meddle,
    when you have been shown more than you can understand.
24 Indeed, many are the conceits of human beings;
    evil imaginations lead them astray.

Docility[c]

25 Without the pupil of the eye, light is missing;
    without knowledge, wisdom is missing.
26 A stubborn heart will fare badly in the end;
    those who love danger will perish in it.
27 A stubborn heart will have many a hurt;
    adding sin to sin is madness.
28 When the proud are afflicted, there is no cure;
    for they are offshoots of an evil plant.
29 The mind of the wise appreciates proverbs,
    and the ear that listens to wisdom rejoices.

Alms for the Poor

30 As water quenches a flaming fire,
    so almsgiving atones for sins.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:17–24 Humility gives you a true estimate of yourself (vv. 17–20; cf. 10:28), so that you will do what should be done, and avoid what is beyond your understanding and strength (vv. 21–23). Intellectual pride, however, leads you astray (v. 24). Ben Sira is perhaps warning his students against the perils of Greek philosophy.
  2. 3:18

    Other ancient texts read as v. 19:

    Many are lofty and famous,

    but to the humble he reveals his plan.

  3. 3:25–29 The antidote for stubbornness is to be found in the search for knowledge and wisdom.
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 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

[a]Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.[b] He is able to deal patiently[c] with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him:

“You are my son;
    this day I have begotten you”;

just as he says in another place:[d]

“You are a priest forever
    according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death,[e] and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was,[f] he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

IV. Jesus’ Eternal Priesthood and Eternal Sacrifice

Exhortation to Spiritual Renewal. 11 [g]About this we have much to say, and it is difficult to explain, for you have become sluggish in hearing. 12 Although you should be teachers by this time, you need to have someone teach you again the basic elements of the utterances of God. You need milk, [and] not solid food. 13 Everyone who lives on milk lacks experience of the word of righteousness, for he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1–10 The true humanity of Jesus (see note on Hb 2:5–18) makes him a more rather than a less effective high priest to the Christian community. In Old Testament tradition, the high priest was identified with the people, guilty of personal sin just as they were (Hb 5:1–3). Even so, the office was of divine appointment (Hb 5:4), as was also the case with the sinless Christ (Hb 5:5). For Hb 5:6, see note on Ps 110:4. Although Jesus was Son of God, he was destined as a human being to learn obedience by accepting the suffering he had to endure (Hb 5:8). Because of his perfection through this experience of human suffering, he is the cause of salvation for all (Hb 5:9), a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Hb 5:10; cf. Hb 5:6 and Hb 7:3).
  2. 5:1 To offer gifts and sacrifices for sins: the author is thinking principally of the Day of Atonement rite, as is clear from Hb 9:7. This ritual was celebrated to atone for “all the sins of the Israelites” (Lv 16:34).
  3. 5:2 Deal patiently: the Greek word metriopathein occurs only here in the Bible; this term was used by the Stoics to designate the golden mean between excess and defect of passion. Here it means rather the ability to sympathize.
  4. 5:6–8 The author of Hebrews is the only New Testament writer to cite Ps 110:4, here and in Hb 7:17, 21, to show that Jesus has been called by God to his role as priest. Hb 5:7–8 deal with his ability to sympathize with sinners, because of his own experience of the trials and weakness of human nature, especially fear of death. In his present exalted state, weakness is foreign to him, but he understands what we suffer because of his previous earthly experience.
  5. 5:7 He offered prayers…to the one who was able to save him from death: at Gethsemane (cf. Mk 14:35), though some see a broader reference (see note on Jn 12:27).
  6. 5:8 Son though he was: two different though not incompatible views of Jesus’ sonship coexist in Hebrews, one associating it with his exaltation, the other with his preexistence. The former view is the older one (cf. Rom 1:4).
  7. 5:11–6:20 The central section of Hebrews (5:11–10:39) opens with a reprimand and an appeal. Those to whom the author directs his teaching about Jesus’ priesthood, which is difficult to explain, have become sluggish in hearing and forgetful of even the basic elements (Hb 5:12). But rather than treating of basic teachings, the author apparently believes that the challenge of more advanced ones may shake them out of their inertia (therefore, Hb 6:1). The six examples of basic teaching in Hb 6:1–3 are probably derived from a traditional catechetical list. No effort is made to address apostates, for their very hostility to the Christian message cuts them off completely from Christ (Hb 6:4–8). This harsh statement seems to rule out repentance after apostasy, but perhaps the author deliberately uses hyperbole in order to stress the seriousness of abandoning Christ. With Hb 6:9 a milder tone is introduced, and the criticism of the community (Hb 6:1–3, 9) is now balanced by an expression of confidence that its members are living truly Christian lives, and that God will justly reward their efforts (Hb 6:10). The author is concerned especially about their persevering (Hb 6:11–12), citing in this regard the achievement of Abraham, who relied on God’s promise and on God’s oath (Hb 6:13–18; cf. Gn 22:16), and proposes to them as a firm anchor of Christian hope the high priesthood of Christ, who is now living with God (Hb 6:19–20).
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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