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Isaiah 53-55 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 53

Who would believe what we have heard?[a]
    To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
    like a shoot from the parched earth;
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
    no beauty to draw us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
    a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
    spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our pain that he bore,
    our sufferings he endured.
We thought of him as stricken,
    struck down by God[b] and afflicted,
But he was pierced for our sins,
    crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
    by his wounds we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
    all following our own way;
But the Lord laid upon him[c]
    the guilt of us all.

Though harshly treated, he submitted
    and did not open his mouth;
Like a lamb led to slaughter
    or a sheep silent before shearers,
    he did not open his mouth.
Seized and condemned, he was taken away.
    Who would have thought any more of his destiny?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
    struck for the sins of his people.
He was given a grave among the wicked,
    a burial place with evildoers,
Though he had done no wrong,
    nor was deceit found in his mouth.
10 But it was the Lord’s will to crush him with pain.
By making his life as a reparation offering,[d]
    he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days,
    and the Lord’s will shall be accomplished through him.
11 Because of his anguish he shall see the light;
    because of his knowledge he shall be content;
My servant, the just one, shall justify the many,
    their iniquity he shall bear.
12 Therefore I will give him his portion among the many,
    and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death,
    was counted among the transgressors,
Bore the sins of many,
    and interceded for the transgressors.

Chapter 54

The New Zion

Raise a glad cry, you barren one[e] who never bore a child,
    break forth in jubilant song, you who have never been in labor,
For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife
    than the children of her who has a husband,
    says the Lord.
Enlarge the space for your tent,
    spread out your tent cloths unsparingly;
    lengthen your ropes and make firm your pegs.
For you shall spread abroad to the right and left;
    your descendants shall dispossess the nations
    and shall people the deserted cities.[f]

[g]Do not fear, you shall not be put to shame;
    do not be discouraged, you shall not be disgraced.
For the shame of your youth you shall forget,
    the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
For your husband is your Maker;
    the Lord of hosts is his name,
Your redeemer,[h] the Holy One of Israel,
    called God of all the earth.

The Lord calls you back,
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
A wife married in youth and then cast off,
    says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
    I hid my face from you;
But with enduring love I take pity on you,
    says the Lord, your redeemer.

This is for me like the days of Noah:
As I swore then that the waters of Noah
    should never again flood the earth,
So I have sworn now not to be angry with you,
    or to rebuke you.
10 Though the mountains fall away
    and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never fall away from you
    nor my covenant of peace[i] be shaken,
    says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

11 O afflicted one,[j] storm-battered and unconsoled,
    I lay your pavements in carnelians,
    your foundations in sapphires;
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
    your gates of jewels,
    and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord;
    great shall be the peace of your children.
14 In justice shall you be established,
    far from oppression, you shall not fear,
    from destruction, it cannot come near.
15 If there be an attack, it is not my doing;
    whoever attacks shall fall before you.

16 See, I have created the smith
    who blows on the burning coals
    and forges weapons as his work;
It is I also who have created
    the destroyer to work havoc.
17 Every weapon fashioned against you shall fail;
    every tongue that brings you to trial
    you shall prove false.

This is the lot of the servants of the Lord,
    their vindication from me—oracle of the Lord.

Chapter 55

An Invitation to Grace

All you who are thirsty,[k]
    come to the water!
You who have no money,
    come, buy grain and eat;
Come, buy grain without money,
    wine and milk without cost!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
    your wages for what does not satisfy?
Only listen to me, and you shall eat well,
    you shall delight in rich fare.
Pay attention and come to me;
    listen, that you may have life.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    the steadfast loyalty promised to David.
As I made him a witness to peoples,
    a leader and commander of peoples,
So shall you summon a nation you knew not,
    and a nation[l] that knew you not shall run to you,
Because of the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

[m]Seek the Lord while he may be found,
    call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their way,
    and sinners their thoughts;
Let them turn to the Lord to find mercy;
    to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways,
    my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

10 [n]Yet just as from the heavens
    the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
    till they have watered the earth,
    making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
    and bread to the one who eats,
11 So shall my word be
    that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me empty,
    but shall do what pleases me,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.

12 Yes, in joy you shall go forth,
    in peace you shall be brought home;
Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you,
    all trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 In place of the thornbush, the cypress shall grow,
    instead of nettles,[o] the myrtle.
This shall be to the Lord’s renown,
    as an everlasting sign that shall not fail.

Footnotes:

  1. 53:1–10 What we have heard: this fourth servant oracle is introduced by words of the Lord (52:13–15) but is now continued by speakers who are not identified, perhaps those referred to in 52:15, perhaps Israel (cf. “struck for the sins of his people”—v. 8). The Lord is again the speaker in vv. 11–13.
  2. 53:4 Struck down by God: the Bible often sees suffering as a punishment for sin (e.g., Ps 6:2; 32:1–5), yet sin sometimes appears to go unpunished and the innocent often suffer (cf. Ps 73; the Book of Job). In the case of the servant, the onlookers initially judge him guilty because of his suffering but, in some way not explained, they come to understand that his sufferings are for the sins of others. One notes the element of surprise, for such vicarious suffering, in the form described here, is without parallel in the Old Testament.
  3. 53:6 The Lord laid upon him: the servant’s suffering is no accidental or casual matter, but part of God’s plan; see also v. 10. The bystanders’ speculation of v. 4 is verified, but not in the sense intended by them.
  4. 53:10–11 Reparation offering: the Hebrew term ’asham is used of a particular kind of sacrifice, one that is intended as compensation for that which is due because of guilt. See Lv 5:14–26 and note. Justify: the verb means “to be acquitted,” “declared innocent,” but since the servant bears “their iniquity,” an effective rather than simply legal action is suggested.
  5. 54:1 Jerusalem, pictured as a wife who had been barren and deserted, now suddenly finds herself with innumerable children (the returning exiles); cf. Gal 4:27 for an application to a new context.
  6. 54:3 Those who had taken advantage of the exile to encroach on Jerusalem’s territory will be driven out, and the returning exiles will repopulate the cities of Judah.
  7. 54:4–8 As with some other Old Testament themes, Second Isaiah uses that of Israel as the Lord’s bride in a new manner. Whereas Hosea and Jeremiah had depicted Israel as the Lord’s spouse to emphasize both Israel’s infidelity and the Lord’s continued love (Hos 1–3; Jer 2:2; 3:1–15) and Ezekiel to accuse Israel unsparingly (Ez 16; 23), Second Isaiah speaks only of the love with which the Lord restores the people, speaking tender words with no hint of reproach.
  8. 54:5 Redeemer: cf. note on 41:14.
  9. 54:10 Covenant of peace: this whole section, vv. 9–17, is given to various assurances of God’s love for Israel and of safety from various possible threats; the phrase sums up both the positive aspects of shalom, which implies a fullness of blessing, and protection from all that might harm. Cf. also 55:3; Nm 25:12; Ez 34:25; 37:26; Mal 2:5.
  10. 54:11 Afflicted one: Jerusalem.
  11. 55:1–3 The prophet invites all to return, under the figure of a banquet; cf. the covenant banquet in Ex 24:9–11 and wisdom’s banquet in Prv 9:1–6. The Lord’s covenant with David (2 Sm 7) is now to be extended beyond his dynasty.
  12. 55:5 The “nation” is Persia under Cyrus, but the perspective is worldwide.
  13. 55:6–9 The invitation to seek the Lord is motivated by the mercy of a God whose “ways” are completely mysterious.
  14. 55:10–11 The efficacy of the word of God recalls 40:5, 8.
  15. 55:13 Thornbush…nettles: suggestive of the desert and therefore symbolic of suffering and hardship; cypress…myrtle: suggestive of fertile land and therefore symbolic of joy and strength. To the Lord’s renown: lit., “to the name of the Lord.”
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 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Against Presumption[a]

Do not rely on your wealth,
    or say, “I have the power.”
Do not rely on your strength
    in following the desires of your heart.
Do not say, “Who can prevail against me?”
    for the Lord will exact punishment.
Do not say, “I have sinned, yet what has happened to me?”
    for the Lord is slow to anger!
Do not be so confident of forgiveness
    that you add sin upon sin.
Do not say, “His mercy is great;
    my many sins he will forgive.”
For mercy and anger alike are with him;
    his wrath comes to rest on the wicked.
Do not delay turning back to the Lord,
    do not put it off day after day.
For suddenly his wrath will come forth;
    at the time of vengeance, you will perish.
Do not rely on deceitful wealth,
    for it will be no help on the day of wrath.

Use and Abuse of the Tongue[b]

Do not winnow in every wind,
    nor walk in every path.[c]
10 Be steadfast regarding your knowledge,
    and let your speech be consistent.
11 Be swift to hear,
    but slow to answer.
12 If you can, answer your neighbor;
    if not, place your hand over your mouth!
13 Honor and dishonor through speaking!
    The tongue can be your downfall.
14 Do not be called double-tongued;
    and with your tongue do not slander a neighbor.
For shame has been created for the thief,
    and sore disgrace for the double-tongued.
15 In little or in much, do not act corruptly;

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1–8 The vices of the rich are pride and independence (vv. 1–2), presumption (v. 3), false security (vv. 4–6), and impenitence (v. 7), which cannot escape the divine wrath (vv. 7–8). Cf. Prv 18:23; 19:1; 28:6.
  2. 5:9–6:1 Proper use of the tongue requires constancy in speech (v. 10), prudence (vv. 11–12), good judgment (v. 13), charity (5:15; 6:1); detraction, calumny (v. 14), and double-talk bring shame and disgrace (5:14; 6:1).
  3. 5:9 The metaphors indicate careless behavior.
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 8 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

Heavenly Priesthood of Jesus.[a] The main point of what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister of the sanctuary[b] and of the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. Now every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus the necessity for this one also to have something to offer. If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are those who offer gifts according to the law. They worship in a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, as Moses was warned when he was about to erect the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Now he has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.

Old and New Covenants.[c] For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one. But he finds fault with them and says:[d]

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
    when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
    the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they did not stand by my covenant
    and I ignored them, says the Lord.
10 But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel
    after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds
    and I will write them upon their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen
    and kinsman, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for all shall know me,
    from least to greatest.
12 For I will forgive their evildoing
    and remember their sins no more.”

13 [e]When he speaks of a “new” covenant, he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:1–6 The Christian community has in Jesus the kind of high priest described in Hb 7:26–28. In virtue of his ascension Jesus has taken his place at God’s right hand in accordance with Ps 110:1 (Hb 8:1), where he presides over the heavenly sanctuary established by God himself (Hb 8:2). Like every high priest, he has his offering to make (Hb 8:3; cf. Hb 9:12, 14), but it differs from that of the levitical priesthood in which he had no share (Hb 8:4) and which was in any case but a shadowy reflection of the true offering in the heavenly sanctuary (Hb 8:5). But Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary is that of mediator of a superior covenant that accomplishes what it signifies (Hb 8:6).
  2. 8:2 The sanctuary: the Greek term could also mean “holy things” but bears the meaning “sanctuary” elsewhere in Hebrews (Hb 9:8, 12, 24, 25; 10:19; 13:11). The true tabernacle: the heavenly tabernacle that the Lord…set up is contrasted with the earthly tabernacle that Moses set up in the desert. True means “real” in contradistinction to a mere “copy and shadow” (Hb 8:5); compare the Johannine usage (e.g., Jn 1:9; 6:32; 15:1). The idea that the earthly sanctuary is a reflection of a heavenly model may be based upon Ex 25:9, but probably also derives from the Platonic concept of a real world of which our observable world is merely a shadow.
  3. 8:7–13 Since the first covenant was deficient in accomplishing what it signified, it had to be replaced (Hb 8:7), as Jeremiah (Jer 31:31–34) had prophesied (Hb 8:8–12). Even in the time of Jeremiah, the first covenant was antiquated (Hb 8:13). In Hb 7:22–24, the superiority of the new covenant was seen in the permanence of its priesthood; here the superiority is based on better promises, made explicit in the citation of Jer 31:31–34 (LXX: 38), namely, in the immediacy of the people’s knowledge of God (Hb 8:11) and in the forgiveness of sin (Hb 8:12).
  4. 8:8–12 In citing Jeremiah the author follows the Septuagint; some apparent departures from it may be the result of a different Septuagintal text rather than changes deliberately introduced.
  5. 8:13 Close to disappearing: from the prophet’s perspective, not that of the author of 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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