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Isaiah 62-64 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 62

A New Name for Zion

[a]For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
    for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep still,
Until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
    and her salvation like a burning torch.
Nations shall behold your vindication,
    and all kings your glory;
You shall be called by a new name
    bestowed by the mouth of the Lord.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord,
    a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No more shall you be called “Forsaken,”
    nor your land called “Desolate,”
But you shall be called “My Delight is in her,”
    and your land “Espoused.”
For the Lord delights in you,
    and your land shall be espoused.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
    your Builder shall marry you;
And as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
    so shall your God rejoice in you.
Upon your walls, Jerusalem,
    I have stationed sentinels;
By day and by night,
    they shall never be silent.
You who are to remind the Lord,
    take no rest,
And give him no rest,
    until he re-establishes Jerusalem
And makes it the praise of the earth.

The Blessings of Salvation for God’s People

[b]The Lord has sworn by his right hand
    and by his mighty arm:
No more will I give your grain
    as food to your enemies;
Nor shall foreigners drink the wine,
    for which you toiled.
But those who harvest shall eat,
    and praise the Lord;
Those who gather shall drink
    in my holy courts.
10 [c]Pass through, pass through the gates,
    prepare a way for the people;
Build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones,
    raise up a standard over the nations.
11 The Lord has proclaimed
    to the ends of the earth:
Say to daughter Zion,
    “See, your savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
    his recompense before him.”
12 They shall be called “The Holy People,”
    “The Redeemed of the Lord.”
And you shall be called “Cared For,”
    “A City Not Forsaken.”

Chapter 63

The Divine Warrior[d]

Who is this that comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments, from Bozrah?
Who is this, glorious in his apparel,
    striding in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, I who announce vindication,
    mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red,
    and your garments like one who treads the wine press?
“The wine press I have trodden alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me.
I trod them in my anger,
    and trampled them down in my wrath;
Their blood spurted on my garments,
    all my apparel I stained.
For a day of vindication was in my heart,
    my year for redeeming had come.
I looked about, but there was no one to help,
    I was appalled that there was no one to lend support;
So my own arm brought me victory
    and my own wrath lent me support.
I trampled down the peoples in my anger,
    I made them drunk in my wrath,
    and I poured out their blood upon the ground.”

Prayer for the Return of God’s Favor

[e]The loving deeds of the Lord I will recall,
    the glorious acts of the Lord,
Because of all the Lord has done for us,
    the immense goodness to the house of Israel,
Which he has granted according to his mercy
    and his many loving deeds.
He said: “They are indeed my people,
    children who are not disloyal.”
So he became their savior
    in their every affliction.
It was not an envoy or a messenger,
    but his presence that saved them.
Because of his love and pity
    the Lord redeemed them,
Lifting them up and carrying them
    all the days of old.
10 But they rebelled
    and grieved his holy spirit;
So he turned to become their enemy,
    and warred against them.

11 Then they remembered the days of old, of Moses, his servant:

Where is the one who brought up out of the sea
    the shepherd of his flock?
Where is the one who placed in their midst
    his holy spirit,
12 Who guided Moses by the hand,
    with his glorious arm?
Where is the one who divided the waters before them—
    winning for himself an everlasting renown—
13 Who guided them through the depths,
    like horses in open country?
14 As cattle going down into the valley,
    they did not stumble.
    The spirit of the Lord guided them.
Thus you led your people,
    to make for yourself a glorious name.
15 Look down from heaven and regard us
    from your holy and glorious palace!
Where is your zealous care and your might,
    your surge of pity?
Your mercy hold not back!
16     For you are our father.
Were Abraham not to know us,
    nor Israel to acknowledge us,
You, Lord, are our father,
    our redeemer you are named from of old.
17 Why do you make us wander, Lord, from your ways,
    and harden our hearts so that we do not fear you?[f]
Return for the sake of your servants,
    the tribes of your heritage.
18 Why have the wicked invaded your holy place,
    why have our enemies trampled your sanctuary?
19 [g]Too long have we been like those you do not rule,
    on whom your name is not invoked.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
    with the mountains quaking before you,

Chapter 64

As when brushwood is set ablaze,
    or fire makes the water boil!
Then your name would be made known to your enemies
    and the nations would tremble before you,
While you worked awesome deeds we could not hope for,[h]
    such as had not been heard of from of old.
No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen,
    any God but you
    working such deeds for those who wait for him.
Would that you might meet us doing right,
    that we might be mindful of you in our ways!
Indeed, you are angry; we have sinned,
    we have acted wickedly.
We have all become like something unclean,
    all our just deeds are like polluted rags;
We have all withered like leaves,
    and our crimes carry us away like the wind.
There are none who call upon your name,
    none who rouse themselves to take hold of you;
For you have hidden your face from us
    and have delivered us up to our crimes.

A Final Plea

[i]Yet, Lord, you are our father;
    we are the clay and you our potter:
    we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be so very angry, Lord,
    do not remember our crimes forever;
    look upon us, who are all your people!
Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
    Zion has become wilderness, Jerusalem desolation!
10 Our holy and glorious house
    in which our ancestors praised you
Has been burned with fire;
    all that was dear to us is laid waste.
11 Can you hold back, Lord, after all this?
    Can you remain silent, and afflict us so severely?

Footnotes:

  1. 62:1–12 As in chap. 60, the prophet addresses Zion, announcing the reversal of her fortune. Several motifs reappear: light and glory (60:1–3, 19–20), tribute of nations (60:11), and especially the marriage (61:10; cf. also 54:5–8).
  2. 62:8–9 Peace and prosperity are indicated by the absence of invaders who would live off the land.
  3. 62:10–11 The gates of Babylon are to be opened for the exiles to return, led by the Lord, as in 40:3–5, 10.
  4. 63:1–6 Two questions are raised at the approach of a majestic figure coming from Edom. It is the Lord, his garments red with the blood from the judgment battle. Edom (its capital Bozrah) plundered Judah after the fall of Jerusalem; cf. 34:5–17. Wine press: here a symbol of a bloody judgment; cf. Lam 1:15; Jl 4:13.
  5. 63:7–64:11 This lament of the exilic community recalls God’s protection, and especially the memories of the exodus (vv. 7–14), before begging the Lord to come once more to their aid (63:15–64:3), as they confess their sins (64:4–11). The prayer is marked by God’s “holy spirit” (63:10–11, 14) and fatherhood (63:8, 9, 16; 64:7).
  6. 63:17 The hardening of the heart (Ex 4:21; 7:3) serves to explain Israel’s sins—a motif to induce the Lord to relent.
  7. 63:19–64:3 A new theophany, like Sinai of old, is invoked so that Israel’s enemies will be humbled by God’s intervention.
  8. 64:2 The translation here omits some words repeated in the Hebrew from 63:19 (“would that you would come down, with the mountains trembling before you”).
  9. 64:7–11 The motifs of father (63:16) and creator (clay and potter, 29:16; 45:9) are adduced to move the Lord to action in view of the damage done to his “holy cities” and “glorious house.”
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 7:18-36 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Duties of Family Life, Religion and Charity[a]

18 Do not barter a friend for money,
    or a true brother for the gold of Ophir.[b]
19 Do not reject a sensible wife;
    a gracious wife is more precious than pearls.
20 Do not mistreat a servant who works faithfully,
    or laborers who devote themselves to their task.
21 Love wise servants as yourself;
    do not refuse them freedom.[c]

22 Do you have livestock? Look after them;
    if they are dependable, keep them.
23 Do you have sons? Correct them
    and cure their stubbornness[d] in their early youth.
24 Do you have daughters? Keep them chaste,
    and do not be indulgent to them.
25 Give your daughter in marriage, and a worry comes to an end;
    but give her to a sensible man.
26 Do you have a wife? Do not mistreat her,
    but do not trust the wife you hate.

27 With your whole heart honor your father;
    your mother’s birth pangs do not forget.
28 Remember, of these parents you were born;
    what can you give them for all they gave you?

29 With all your soul fear God
    and revere his priests.
30 With all your strength love your Maker
    and do not neglect his ministers.
31 Honor God and respect the priest;
    give him his portion as you have been commanded:
First fruits and contributions,
    his portion of victims and holy offerings.[e]

32 To the poor also extend your hand,
    that your blessing may be complete.
33 Give your gift to all the living,
    and do not withhold your kindness from the dead.[f]
34 Do not avoid those who weep,
    but mourn with those who mourn.
35 Do not hesitate to visit the sick,
    because for such things you will be loved.

36 In whatever you do, remember your last days,
    and you will never sin.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 7:18–36 Respect and appreciation, justice and kindness should characterize relations toward members of the household (vv. 18–28), God and the priests (vv. 29–31), the poor and afflicted, the living and the dead (vv. 32–35).
  2. 7:18 Ophir: the port, at present unidentified, to which the ships of Solomon sailed and from which they brought back gold and silver; cf. note on Ps 45:10.
  3. 7:21 After six years of service a Hebrew slave was entitled to freedom; cf. Ex 21:2; Dt 15:12–15.
  4. 7:23 Cure their stubbornness: keep them from rebellious pride; so with the Greek. Cf. 30:1–13. The Hebrew text, probably not original here, reads: “Choose wives for them while they are young.”
  5. 7:31 First fruits…holy offerings: cf. Ex 29:27; Lv 7:31–34; Nm 18:8–20; Dt 18:1–5.
  6. 7:33 This seems to refer to the observances ordained toward the dead, that is, proper mourning and burial. Cf. 2 Sm 21:12–14; Tb 1:17–18; 12:12.
  7. 7:36 Never sin: because the last days of the sinner, it was presumed, would be troubled.
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 12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 12

God Our Father.[a] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us[b] and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons:

“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
    or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
    he scourges every son he acknowledges.”

Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards. Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not [then] submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live? 10 They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness. 11 At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

12 So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. 13 Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Penalties of Disobedience. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 [c]See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled, 16 that no one be an immoral or profane person like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit his father’s blessing, he was rejected because he found no opportunity to change his mind, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

18 [d]You have not approached that which could be touched[e] and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm 19 and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them, 20 for they could not bear to hear the command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” 22 No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, 23 and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,[f] and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, 24 and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently[g] than that of Abel.

25 See that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much more in our case if we turn away from the one who warns from heaven. 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only earth but heaven.” 27 That phrase, “once more,” points to [the] removal of shaken, created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. 28 Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:1–13 Christian life is to be inspired not only by the Old Testament men and women of faith (Hb 12:1) but above all by Jesus. As the architect of Christian faith, he had himself to endure the cross before receiving the glory of his triumph (Hb 12:2). Reflection on his sufferings should give his followers courage to continue the struggle, if necessary even to the shedding of blood (Hb 12:3–4). Christians should regard their own sufferings as the affectionate correction of the Lord, who loves them as a father loves his children.
  2. 12:1 That clings to us: the meaning is uncertain, since the Greek word euperistatos, translated cling, occurs only here. The papyrus P46 and one minuscule read euperispastos, “easily distracting,” which also makes good sense.
  3. 12:15–17 Esau serves as an example in two ways: his profane attitude illustrates the danger of apostasy, and his inability to secure a blessing afterward illustrates the impossibility of repenting after falling away (see Hb 6:4–6).
  4. 12:18–29 As a final appeal for adherence to Christian teaching, the two covenants, of Moses and of Christ, are compared. The Mosaic covenant, the author argues, is shown to have originated in fear of God and threats of divine punishment (Hb 12:18–21). The covenant in Christ gives us direct access to God (Hb 12:22), makes us members of the Christian community, God’s children, a sanctified people (Hb 12:23), who have Jesus as mediator to speak for us (Hb 12:24). Not to heed the voice of the risen Christ is a graver sin than the rejection of the word of Moses (Hb 12:25–26). Though Christians fall away, God’s kingdom in Christ will remain and his justice will punish those guilty of deserting it (Hb 12:28–29).
  5. 12:18 This remarkably beautiful passage contrasts two great assemblies of people: that of the Israelites gathered at Mount Sinai for the sealing of the old covenant and the promulgation of the Mosaic law, and that of the followers of Jesus gathered at Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the assembly of the new covenant. This latter scene, marked by the presence of countless angels and of Jesus with his redeeming blood, is reminiscent of the celestial liturgies of the Book of Revelation.
  6. 12:23 The assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven: this expression may refer to the angels of Hb 12:22, or to the heroes of the Old Testament (see Hb 11), or to the entire assembly of the new covenant.
  7. 12:24 Speaks more eloquently: the blood of Abel, the first human blood to be shed, is contrasted with that of Jesus. Abel’s blood cried out from the earth for vengeance, but the blood of Jesus has opened the way for everyone, providing cleansing and access to God (Hb 10:19).
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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