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Isaiah 51-52 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 51

Exhortation to Trust in the Lord

Listen to me, you who pursue justice,
    who seek the Lord;
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
    to the quarry[a] from which you were taken;
Look to Abraham, your father,
    and to Sarah, who gave you birth;
Though he was but one when I called him,
    I blessed him and made him many.
Yes, the Lord shall comfort Zion,
    shall comfort all her ruins;
Her wilderness he shall make like Eden,
    her wasteland like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness shall be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the sound of song.

Be attentive to me, my people;[b]
    my nation, give ear to me.
For teaching shall go forth from me,
    and my judgment, as light to the peoples.
I will make my victory come swiftly;
    my salvation shall go forth
    and my arm shall judge the nations;
In me the coastlands shall hope,
    and my arm they shall await.

Raise your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth below;
Though the heavens vanish like smoke,
    the earth wear out like a garment
    and its inhabitants die like flies,
My salvation shall remain forever
    and my victory shall always be firm.[c]
Hear me, you who know justice,
    you people who have my teaching at heart:
Do not fear the reproach of others;
    remain firm at their revilings.
They shall be like a garment eaten by moths,
    like wool consumed by grubs;
But my victory shall remain forever,
    my salvation, for all generations.

Awake, awake, put on strength,
    arm of the Lord!
Awake as in the days of old,
    in ages long ago!
Was it not you who crushed Rahab,[d]
    you who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,[e]
You who made the depths of the sea into a way
    for the redeemed to pass through?
11 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return
    and enter Zion singing,
    crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
    sorrow and mourning will flee.

12 I, it is I who comfort you.
    Can you then fear mortals who die,
    human beings who are just grass,
13 And forget the Lord, your maker,
    who stretched out the heavens
    and laid the foundations of earth?
All the day you are in constant dread
    of the fury of the oppressor
When he prepares himself to destroy;
    but where is the oppressor’s fury?

14 The captives shall soon be released;
    they shall not die and go down into the pit,
    nor shall they want for bread.
15 For I am the Lord, your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
    the Lord of hosts by name.
16 I have put my words into your mouth,
    I covered you, shielded by my hand,
Stretching out the heavens,
    laying the foundations of the earth,
    saying to Zion: You are my people.

The Cup of the Lord

17 Wake up, wake up!
    Arise, Jerusalem,
You who drank at the Lord’s hand
    the cup of his wrath;
Who drained to the dregs
    the bowl of staggering!
18 She has no one to guide her
    of all the children she bore;
She has no one to take her by the hand,
    of all the children she reared!—
19 Your misfortunes are double;
    who is there to grieve with you?
Desolation and destruction, famine and sword!
    Who is there to comfort you?
20 Your children lie helpless
    at every street corner
    like antelopes in a net.
They are filled with the wrath of the Lord,
    the rebuke of your God.

21 But now, hear this, afflicted one,
    drunk, but not with wine,
22 Thus says the Lord, your Master,
    your God, who defends his people:
See, I am taking from your hand
    the cup of staggering;
The bowl of my wrath
    you shall no longer drink.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
    those who said to you,
    “Bow down, that we may walk over you.”
So you offered your back like the ground,
    like the street for them to walk on.

Chapter 52

Let Zion Rejoice

Awake, awake!
    Put on your strength, Zion;
Put on your glorious garments,
    Jerusalem, holy city.
Never again shall the uncircumcised
    or the unclean enter you.
Arise, shake off the dust,
    sit enthroned, Jerusalem;
Loose the bonds from your neck,
    captive daughter Zion!
    For thus says the Lord:
For nothing you were sold,
    without money you shall be redeemed.

    For thus says the Lord God:
To Egypt long ago my people went down,
    to sojourn there;
    Assyria, too, oppressed them for nought.
But now, what am I to do here?
    —oracle of the Lord.
My people have been taken away for nothing;
    their rulers mock, oracle of the Lord;
    constantly, every day, my name is reviled.
Therefore my people shall know my name
    on that day, that it is I who speaks: Here I am!
How beautiful upon the mountains[f]
    are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
    announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
    “Your God is King!”

Listen! Your sentinels raise a cry,
    together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
    the Lord’s return to Zion.
Break out together in song,
    O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
    has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth can see
    the salvation of our God.

11 Depart, depart, go out from there,
    touch nothing unclean!
Out from there![g] Purify yourselves,
    you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
12 But not in hurried flight will you go out,
    nor leave in headlong haste,
For the Lord goes before you,
    and your rear guard is the God of Israel.

Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord[h]

13 See, my servant shall prosper,
    he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
14 Even as many were amazed at him—
    so marred were his features,
    beyond that of mortals
    his appearance, beyond that of human beings—
15 So shall he startle many nations,
    kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
    those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Footnotes:

  1. 51:1 Rock…quarry: your glorious ancestry.
  2. 51:4–5 The conversion of the nations.
  3. 51:6 While the heavens and the earth appear eternal and changeless, they are not so firm and lasting as God’s saving will for Israel.
  4. 51:9 Rahab: see note on 30:7. The dragon: see notes on 27:1; Ps 74:12–17.
  5. 51:10 Great deep: a reference to the primeval chaos (cf. Gn 1:2; 7:11; 49:25; Jb 28:14; Ps 36:7; Jon 2:4).
  6. 52:7–10 God leads the people back from Babylon to Zion, from whose ruined walls sentinels greet the returning exiles.
  7. 52:11 From there: from Babylon. Vessels of the Lord: taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, now carried back by the exiles returning in procession to Zion; cf. Ezr 1:7.
  8. 52:13–53:12 The last of the “servant of the Lord” oracles (see note on 42:1–4). Taken together, these oracles depict a figure of one called by God for a vocation to Israel and the nations (42:4; 49:5–6); the servant’s exaltation both opens and closes the passage (52:13; 53:12). The servant responded in fidelity but has suffered opposition (50:4–6). In this fourth oracle the servant is characterized as “a man of suffering” (53:3) and appears to be unjustly put to death (53:8–9). Those who have witnessed his career somehow recognize that he is innocent, has undergone suffering for their sins (53:4–6), and his death is referred to as a reparation offering (see note on 53:10–11). The servant is described in ways that identify him with Israel (which is frequently referred to as “servant” in the context of Second Isaiah—e.g., 41:8, 9; 44:2, 21; 43:4) and is designated as “Israel” in 49:3; yet Israel outside the “servant of the Lord” oracles is not presented as sinless, but rather in exile because of sin (40:2; 42:21–25) and even as servant as deaf and blind (42:18–19). The servant is thus both identified with Israel and distinguished from it. As with the previous servant poems, this chapter helped the followers of Jesus to interpret his suffering, death, and resurrection; see especially the passion narratives.
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 4:20-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Sincerity and Justice[a]

20 My son, watch for the right time; fear what is evil;
    do not bring shame upon yourself.
21 There is a shame heavy with guilt,
    and a shame that brings glory and respect.
22 Show no favoritism to your own discredit;
    let no one intimidate you to your own downfall.
23 Do not refrain from speaking at the proper time,
    and do not hide your wisdom;
24 For wisdom becomes known through speech,
    and knowledge through the tongue’s response.

25 Never speak against the truth,
    but of your own ignorance be ashamed.
26 Do not be ashamed to acknowledge your sins,
    and do not struggle against a rushing stream.
27 Do not abase yourself before a fool;
    do not refuse to do so before rulers.
28 Even to the death, fight for what is right,
    and the Lord will do battle for you.

29 Do not be haughty in your speech,
    or lazy and slack in your deeds.
30 Do not be like a lion at home,
    or sly and suspicious with your servants.
31 Do not let your hand be open to receive,
    but clenched when it is time to give.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:20–31 The student of wisdom is warned about interior trials of discipline and external dangers to sincerity and justice, namely evil, human respect (vv. 20–22), compromise of liberty in speech and action (vv. 23–25), false shame (v. 26). The student must fight for the truth (vv. 25, 28), avoiding cynicism and laziness (v. 29), and inconsistency (v. 30).
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 7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

Melchizedek, a Type of Christ. [a]This “Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High,”[b] “met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings” and “blessed him.” [c]And Abraham apportioned to him “a tenth of everything.” His name first means righteous king, and he was also “king of Salem,” that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life,[d] thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

[e]See how great he is to whom the patriarch “Abraham [indeed] gave a tenth” of his spoils. The descendants of Levi who receive the office of priesthood have a commandment according to the law to exact tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, although they also have come from the loins of Abraham. But he who was not of their ancestry received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. Unquestionably, a lesser person is blessed by a greater.[f] In the one case, mortal men receive tithes; in the other, a man of whom it is testified that he lives on. One might even say that Levi[g] himself, who receives tithes, was tithed through Abraham, 10 for he was still in his father’s loins when Melchizedek met him.

11 [h]If, then, perfection came through the levitical priesthood, on the basis of which the people received the law, what need would there still have been for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not reckoned according to the order of Aaron? 12 When there is a change of priesthood, there is necessarily a change of law as well. 13 Now he of whom these things are said[i] belonged to a different tribe, of which no member ever officiated at the altar. 14 It is clear that our Lord arose from Judah,[j] and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 [k]It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.[l] 17 For it is testified:

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

18 On the one hand, a former commandment is annulled because of its weakness and uselessness, 19 for the law brought nothing to perfection; on the other hand, a better hope[m] is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 [n]And to the degree that this happened not without the taking of an oath[o]—for others became priests without an oath, 21 but he with an oath, through the one who said to him:

“The Lord has sworn, and he will not repent:
    ‘You are a priest forever’”—

22 to that same degree has Jesus [also] become the guarantee of an [even] better covenant.[p] 23 Those priests were many because they were prevented by death from remaining in office, 24 but he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away. 25 [q]Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

26 It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:[r] holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.[s] 27 He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day,[t] first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–3 Recalling the meeting between Melchizedek and Abraham described in Gn 14:17–20, the author enhances the significance of this priest by providing the popular etymological meaning of his name and that of the city over which he ruled (Hb 7:2). Since Genesis gives no information on the parentage or the death of Melchizedek, he is seen here as a type of Christ, representing a priesthood that is unique and eternal (Hb 7:3).
  2. 7:1 The author here assumes that Melchizedek was a priest of the God of Israel (cf. Gn 14:22 and the note there).
  3. 7:2 In Gn 14, the Hebrew text does not state explicitly who gave tithes to whom. The author of Hebrews supplies Abraham as the subject, according to a contemporary interpretation of the passage. This supports the argument of the midrash and makes it possible to see in Melchizedek a type of Jesus. The messianic blessings of righteousness and peace are foreshadowed in the names “Melchizedek” and “Salem.”
  4. 7:3 Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life: this is perhaps a quotation from a hymn about Melchizedek. The rabbis maintained that anything not mentioned in the Torah does not exist. Consequently, since the Old Testament nowhere mentions Melchizedek’s ancestry, birth, or death, the conclusion can be drawn that he remains…forever.
  5. 7:4–10 The tithe that Abraham gave to Melchizedek (Hb 7:4), a practice later followed by the levitical priesthood (Hb 7:5), was a gift (Hb 7:6) acknowledging a certain superiority in Melchizedek, the foreign priest (Hb 7:7). This is further indicated by the fact that the institution of the levitical priesthood was sustained by hereditary succession in the tribe of Levi, whereas the absence of any mention of Melchizedek’s death in Genesis implies that his personal priesthood is permanent (Hb 7:8). The levitical priesthood itself, through Abraham, its ancestor, paid tithes to Melchizedek, thus acknowledging the superiority of his priesthood over its own (Hb 7:9–10).
  6. 7:7 A lesser person is blessed by a greater: though this sounds like a principle, there are some examples in the Old Testament that do not support it (cf. 2 Sm 14:22; Jb 31:20). The author may intend it as a statement of a liturgical rule.
  7. 7:9 Levi: for the author this name designates not only the son of Jacob mentioned in Genesis but the priestly tribe that was thought to be descended from him.
  8. 7:11–14 The levitical priesthood was not typified by the priesthood of Melchizedek, for Ps 110:4 speaks of a priesthood of a new order, the order of Melchizedek, to arise in messianic times (Hb 7:11). Since the levitical priesthood served the Mosaic law, a new priesthood (Hb 7:12) would not come into being without a change in the law itself. Thus Jesus was not associated with the Old Testament priesthood, for he was a descendant of the tribe of Judah, which had never exercised the priesthood (Hb 7:13–14).
  9. 7:13 He of whom these things are said: Jesus, the priest “according to the order of Melchizedek.” According to the author’s interpretation, Ps 110 spoke prophetically of Jesus.
  10. 7:14 Judah: the author accepts the early Christian tradition that Jesus was descended from the family of David (cf. Mt 1:1–2, 16, 20; Lk 1:27; 2:4; Rom 1:3). The Qumran community expected two Messiahs, one descended from Aaron and one from David; Hebrews shows no awareness of this view or at least does not accept it. Our author’s view is not attested in contemporaneous Judaism.
  11. 7:15–19 Jesus does not exercise a priesthood through family lineage but through his immortal existence (Hb 7:15–16), fulfilling Ps 110:4 (Hb 7:17; cf. Hb 7:3). Thus he abolishes forever both the levitical priesthood and the law it serves, because neither could effectively sanctify people (Hb 7:18) by leading them into direct communication with God (Hb 7:19).
  12. 7:16 A life that cannot be destroyed: the life to which Jesus has attained by virtue of his resurrection; it is his exaltation rather than his divine nature that makes him priest. The Old Testament speaks of the Aaronic priesthood as eternal (see Ex 40:15); our author does not explicitly consider this possible objection to his argument but implicitly refutes it in Hb 7:23–24.
  13. 7:19 A better hope: this hope depends upon the sacrifice of the Son of God; through it we “approach the throne of grace” (Hb 4:16); cf. Hb 6:19, 20.
  14. 7:20–25 As was the case with the promise to Abraham (Hb 6:13), though not with the levitical priesthood, the eternal priesthood of the order of Melchizedek was confirmed by God’s oath (Hb 7:20–21); cf. Ps 110:4. Thus Jesus becomes the guarantee of a permanent covenant (Hb 7:22) that does not require a succession of priests as did the levitical priesthood (Hb 7:23) because his high priesthood is eternal and unchangeable (Hb 7:24). Consequently, Jesus is able to save all who draw near to God through him since he is their ever-living intercessor (Hb 7:25).
  15. 7:20 An oath: God’s oath in Ps 110:4.
  16. 7:22 An [even] better covenant: better than the Mosaic covenant because it will be eternal, like the priesthood of Jesus upon which it is based. Hb 7:12 argued that a change of priesthood involves a change of law; since “law” and “covenant” are used correlatively, a new covenant is likewise instituted.
  17. 7:25 To make intercession: the intercession of the exalted Jesus, not the sequel to his completed sacrifice but its eternal presence in heaven; cf. Rom 8:34.
  18. 7:26 This verse with its list of attributes is reminiscent of Hb 7:3 and is perhaps a hymnic counterpart to it, contrasting the exalted Jesus with Melchizedek.
  19. 7:26–28 Jesus is precisely the high priest whom the human race requires, holy and sinless, installed far above humanity (Hb 7:26); one having no need to offer sacrifice daily for sins but making a single offering of himself (Hb 7:27) once for all. The law could only appoint high priests with human limitations, but the fulfillment of God’s oath regarding the priesthood of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4) makes the Son of God the perfect priest forever (Hb 7:28).
  20. 7:27 Such daily sacrifice is nowhere mentioned in the Mosaic law; only on the Day of Atonement is it prescribed that the high priest must offer sacrifice…for his own sins and then for those of the people (Lv 16:11–19). Once for all: this translates the Greek words ephapax/hapax that occur eleven times in Hebrews.
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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