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Isaiah 58-59 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 58

Reasons for Judgment[a]

Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
    lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Proclaim to my people their transgression,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
They seek me day after day,
    and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
    and not abandoned the judgment of their God;
They ask of me just judgments,
    they desire to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see it?
    afflict ourselves, but you take no note?”
See, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
    and drive all your laborers.
See, you fast only to quarrel and fight
    and to strike with a wicked fist!
Do not fast as you do today
    to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I would choose,
    a day to afflict oneself?
To bow one’s head like a reed,
    and lie upon sackcloth and ashes?
Is this what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

Authentic Fasting That Leads to Blessing[b]

Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose:
    releasing those bound unjustly,
    untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
    breaking off every yoke?
Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry,
    bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
    and not turning your back on your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer,
    you shall cry for help, and he will say: “Here I am!”
If you remove the yoke from among you,
    the accusing finger, and malicious speech;
10 If you lavish your food on the hungry
    and satisfy the afflicted;
Then your light shall rise in the darkness,
    and your gloom shall become like midday;
11 Then the Lord will guide you always
    and satisfy your thirst in parched places,
    will give strength to your bones
And you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a flowing spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people shall rebuild the ancient ruins;
    the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
    “Restorer of ruined dwellings.”

Authentic Sabbath Observance That Leads to Blessing[c]

13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
    from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
    the Lord’s holy day glorious;
If you glorify it by not following your ways,
    seeking your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs—
14 Then you shall delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Chapter 59

Salvation Delayed

[d]No, the hand of the Lord is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.
Rather, it is your crimes
    that separate you from your God,
It is your sins that make him hide his face
    so that he does not hear you.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
    and your fingers with crime;
Your lips speak falsehood,
    and your tongue utters deceit.
No one brings suit justly,
    no one pleads truthfully;
They trust an empty plea and tell lies;
    they conceive mischief and bring forth malice.
[e]They hatch adders’ eggs,
    and weave spiders’ webs:
Whoever eats the eggs will die,
    if one of them is crushed, it will hatch a viper;
Their webs cannot serve as clothing,
    nor can they cover themselves with their works.
Their works are evil works,
    and deeds of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
    and they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness,
    violence and destruction are on their highways.
The way of peace they know not,
    and there is no justice on their paths;
Their roads they have made crooked,
    no one who walks in them knows peace.

Acknowledgment of Transgressions

[f]That is why judgment is far from us
    and justice does not reach us.
We look for light, but there is darkness;
    for brightness, and we walk in gloom!
10 Like those who are blind we grope along the wall,
    like people without eyes we feel our way.
We stumble at midday as if at twilight,
    among the vigorous, we are like the dead.
11 Like bears we all growl,
    like doves we moan without ceasing.
We cry out for justice, but it is not there;
    for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions before you are many,
    our sins bear witness against us.
Our transgressions are present to us,
    and our crimes we acknowledge:
13 Transgressing, and denying the Lord,
    turning back from following our God,
Planning fraud and treachery,
    uttering lying words conceived in the heart.
14 Judgment is turned away,
    and justice stands far off;
For truth stumbles in the public square,
    and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Fidelity is lacking,
    and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.

Divine Intervention

The Lord saw this, and was aggrieved
    that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
    was appalled that there was none to intervene;
Then his own arm brought about the victory,
    and his justice sustained him.
17 He put on justice as his breastplate,
    victory as a helmet on his head;
He clothed himself with garments of vengeance,
    wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal.
18 According to their deeds he repays his enemies
    and requites his foes with wrath;
    to the coastlands he renders recompense.
19 Those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord,
    and those in the east, his glory,
Coming like a pent-up stream
    driven on by the breath of the Lord.
20 Then for Zion shall come a redeemer,
    to those in Jacob who turn from transgression—oracle of the Lord.
21 [g]This is my covenant with them,
    which I myself have made, says the Lord:
My spirit which is upon you
    and my words that I have put in your mouth
Shall not depart from your mouth,
    nor from the mouths of your children
Nor the mouths of your children’s children
    from this time forth and forever, says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 58:1–5 The prophet is commanded to condemn the formalism of the people, specifically their hypocritical fasting.
  2. 58:6–12 Fasting is not genuine without reforming one’s way of life. A true social morality will ensure prosperity.
  3. 58:13–14 Sabbath observance becomes a cornerstone of postexilic piety; cf. 56:2, 4, 6.
  4. 59:1–20 This poem brings together a lament of the postexilic community and a harsh word of judgment from the prophet. After the opening rhetorical question, each of the stanzas begins with a reference to the justice and right judgment which are lacking among the people (vv. 4, 9, 14). Toward the end of the poem, God is depicted as a Divine Warrior (vv. 16–20) who is the only one who can intervene in order to bring redemption. This same Divine Warrior imagery is repeated in a similar fashion in 63:1–6.
  5. 59:5–6 The eggs signify evil works, doing positive harm; the webs are devices that serve no useful purpose.
  6. 59:9–15 The turning point in the poem comes when the people acknowledge their transgressions and describe the horror of their present state. Light is a metaphor for salvation (cf. 9:1; 42:16; 60:1–3, 19–20) and darkness represents sin and disaster.
  7. 59:21 This verse makes the transition from chaps. 56–59 to chaps. 60–62. Oracles of judgment yield to oracles about God’s redemptive action.
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 6:23-37 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

23 Listen, my child, and take my advice;
    do not refuse my counsel.
24 Put your feet into her fetters,
    and your neck under her yoke.
25 Bend your shoulders and carry her
    and do not be irked at her bonds.

26 With all your soul draw close to her;
    and with all your strength keep her ways.
27 Inquire and search, seek and find;
    when you get hold of her, do not let her go.
28 Thus at last you will find rest in her,
    and she will become your joy.

29 Her fetters will be a place of strength;
    her snare, a robe of spun gold.
30 Her yoke will be a gold ornament;
    her bonds, a purple cord.
31 You will wear her as a robe of glory,
    and bear her as a splendid crown.

32 If you wish, my son, you can be wise;
    if you apply yourself, you can be shrewd.
33 If you are willing to listen, you can learn;
    if you pay attention, you can be instructed.

34 Stand in the company of the elders;
    stay close to whoever is wise.
35 Be eager to hear every discourse;
    let no insightful saying escape you.
36 If you see the intelligent, seek them out;
    let your feet wear away their doorsteps!

37 Reflect on the law of the Most High,
    and let his commandments be your constant study.
Then he will enlighten your mind,
    and make you wise as you desire.

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 10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

One Sacrifice Instead of Many. [a]Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come,[b] and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins, for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:[c]

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
    Behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings,[d] you neither desired nor delighted in.” These are offered according to the law. Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this “will,” we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 [e]Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; 13 [f]now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated. 15 [g]The holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

16 “This is the covenant I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord:
    ‘I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them upon their minds,’”

17 he also says:[h]

“Their sins and their evildoing
    I will remember no more.”

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.

Recalling the Past.[i] 19 Therefore, brothers, since through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary 20 [j]by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, 21 [k]and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,” 22 let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience[l] and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. 25 We should not stay away from our assembly,[m] as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.

26 [n]If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who rejects the law of Moses[o] is put to death without pity on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Do you not think that a much worse punishment is due the one who has contempt for the Son of God, considers unclean the covenant-blood by which he was consecrated, and insults the spirit of grace? 30 We know the one who said:

“Vengeance is mine; I will repay,”

and again:

“The Lord will judge his people.”

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened,[p] you endured a great contest of suffering. 33 At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction; at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated. 34 You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, knowing that you had a better and lasting possession. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. 36 You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.

37 “For, after just a brief moment,[q]
    he who is to come shall come;
    he shall not delay.
38 But my just one shall live by faith,
    and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him.”

39 We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:1–10 Christian faith now realizes that the Old Testament sacrifices did not effect the spiritual benefits to come but only prefigured them (Hb 10:1). For if the sacrifices had actually effected the forgiveness of sin, there would have been no reason for their constant repetition (Hb 10:2). They were rather a continual reminder of the people’s sins (Hb 10:3). It is not reasonable to suppose that human sins could be removed by the blood of animal sacrifices (Hb 10:4). Christ, therefore, is here shown to understand his mission in terms of Ps 40:6–8, cited according to the Septuagint (Hb 10:5–7). Jesus acknowledged that the Old Testament sacrifices did not remit the sins of the people and so, perceiving the will of God, offered his own body for this purpose (Hb 10:8–10).
  2. 10:1 A shadow of the good things to come: the term shadow was used in Hb 8:5 to signify the earthly counterpart of the Platonic heavenly reality. But here it means a prefiguration of what is to come in Christ, as it is used in the Pauline literature; cf. Col 2:17.
  3. 10:5–7 A passage from Ps 40:7–9 is placed in the mouth of the Son at his incarnation. As usual, the author follows the Septuagint text. There is a notable difference in Hb 10:5 (Ps 40:6), where the Masoretic text reads “ears you have dug for me” (“ears open to obedience you gave me,” NAB), but most Septuagint manuscripts have “a body you prepared for me,” a reading obviously more suited to the interpretation of Hebrews.
  4. 10:8 Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings: these four terms taken from the preceding passage of Ps 40 (with the first two changed to plural forms) are probably intended as equivalents to the four principal types of Old Testament sacrifices: peace offerings (Lv 3, here called sacrifices); cereal offerings (Lv 2, here called offerings); holocausts (Lv 1); and sin offerings (Lv 4–5). This last category includes the guilt offerings of Lv 5:14–19.
  5. 10:11–18 Whereas the levitical priesthood offered daily sacrifices that were ineffectual in remitting sin (Hb 10:11), Jesus offered a single sacrifice that won him a permanent place at God’s right hand. There he has only to await the final outcome of his work (Hb 10:12–13; cf. Ps 110:1). Thus he has brought into being in his own person the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer 31:33–34) that has rendered meaningless all other offerings for sin (Hb 10:14–18).
  6. 10:13 Until his enemies are made his footstool: Ps 110:1 is again used; the reference here is to the period of time between the enthronement of Jesus and his second coming. The identity of the enemies is not specified; cf. 1 Cor 15:25–27.
  7. 10:15–17 The testimony of the scriptures is now invoked to support what has just preceded. The passage cited is a portion of the new covenant prophecy of Jer 31:31–34, which the author previously used in Hb 8:8–12.
  8. 10:17 He also says: these words are not in the Greek text, which has only kai, “also,” but the expression “after saying” in Hb 10:15 seems to require such a phrase to divide the Jeremiah text into two sayings. Others understand “the Lord says” of Hb 10:16 (here rendered says the Lord) as outside the quotation and consider Hb 10:16b as part of the second saying. Two ancient versions and a number of minuscules introduce the words “then he said” or a similar expression at the beginning of Hb 10:17.
  9. 10:19–39 Practical consequences from these reflections on the priesthood and the sacrifice of Christ should make it clear that Christians may now have direct and confident access to God through the person of Jesus (Hb 10:19–20), who rules God’s house as high priest (Hb 10:21). They should approach God with sincerity and faith, in the knowledge that through baptism their sins have been remitted (Hb 10:22), reminding themselves of the hope they expressed in Christ at that event (Hb 10:23). They are to encourage one another to Christian love and activity (Hb 10:24), not refusing, no matter what the reason, to participate in the community’s assembly, especially in view of the parousia (Hb 10:25; cf. 1 Thes 4:13–18). If refusal to participate in the assembly indicates rejection of Christ, no sacrifice exists to obtain forgiveness for so great a sin (Hb 10:26); only the dreadful judgment of God remains (Hb 10:27). For if violation of the Mosaic law could be punished by death, how much worse will be the punishment of those who have turned their backs on Christ by despising his sacrifice and disregarding the gifts of the holy Spirit (Hb 10:28–29). Judgment belongs to the Lord, and he enacts it by his living presence (Hb 10:30–31). There was a time when the spirit of their community caused them to welcome and share their sufferings (Hb 10:32–34). To revitalize that spirit is to share in the courage of the Old Testament prophets (cf. Is 26:20; Hb 2:3–4), the kind of courage that must distinguish the faith of the Christian (Hb 10:35–39).
  10. 10:20 Through the veil, that is, his flesh: the term flesh is used pejoratively. As the temple veil kept people from entering the Holy of Holies (it was rent at Christ’s death, Mk 15:38), so the flesh of Jesus constituted an obstacle to approaching God.
  11. 10:21 The house of God: this refers back to Hb 3:6, “we are his house.”
  12. 10:22 With our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience: as in Hb 9:13 (see note there), the sprinkling motif refers to the Mosaic rite of cleansing from ritual impurity. This could produce only an external purification, whereas sprinkling with the blood of Christ (Hb 9:14) cleanses the conscience. Washed in pure water: baptism is elsewhere referred to as a washing; cf. 1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26.
  13. 10:25 Our assembly: the liturgical assembly of the Christian community, probably for the celebration of the Eucharist. The day: this designation for the parousia also occurs in the Pauline letters, e.g., Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 3:13; 1 Thes 5:2.
  14. 10:26 If we sin deliberately: verse 29 indicates that the author is here thinking of apostasy; cf. Hb 3:12; 6:4–8.
  15. 10:28 Rejects the law of Moses: evidently not any sin against the law, but idolatry. Dt 17:2–7 prescribed capital punishment for idolaters who were convicted on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
  16. 10:32 After you had been enlightened: “enlightenment” is an ancient metaphor for baptism (cf. Eph 5:14; Jn 9:11), but see Hb 6:4 and the note there.
  17. 10:37–38 In support of his argument, the author uses Hb 2:3–4 in a wording almost identical with the text of the Codex Alexandrinus of the Septuagint but with the first and second lines of Hb 10:4 inverted. He introduces it with a few words from Is 26:20: after just a brief moment. Note the Pauline usage of Hb 2:4 in Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11.
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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