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Isaiah 65-66 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 65

[a]I was ready to respond to those who did not ask,
    to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said: Here I am! Here I am!
    To a nation that did not invoke my name.
I have stretched out my hands all day
    to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
    following their own designs;
A people who provoke me
    continually to my face,
Offering sacrifices in gardens
    and burning incense on bricks,
Sitting in tombs
    and spending the night in caves,
Eating the flesh of pigs,
    with broth of unclean meat in their dishes;
Crying out, “Hold back,
    do not come near me, lest I render you holy!”[b]
These things are smoke in my nostrils,
    a fire that burns all the day.
See, it stands written before me;
    I will not remain quiet until I have repaid in full
Your crimes and the crimes of your ancestors as well,
    says the Lord.
Since they burned incense on the mountains,
    and insulted me on the hills,
I will at once pour out in full measure
    their recompense into their laps.

Fate of the Just and Unjust in Israel

    [c]Thus says the Lord:
As when the juice is pressed from a cluster,
    and someone says, “Do not destroy it,
    for there is still good in it,”
So will I do for the sake of my servants:
    I will not destroy them all.
From Jacob I will bring forth offspring,
    from Judah, those who are to possess my mountains;
My chosen ones shall possess the land,
    my servants shall dwell there.
10 Sharon shall become a pasture for the flocks,
    the Valley of Achor a resting place for the cattle,
    for my people who have sought me.
11 But you who forsake the Lord,
    who forget my holy mountain,
Who spread a table for Fortune
    and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,[d]
12 You I will destine for the sword;
    you shall all bow down for slaughter;
Because I called and you did not answer,
    I spoke and you did not listen,
But did what is evil in my sight
    and things I do not delight in, you chose,
13     therefore thus says the Lord God:
My servants shall eat,
    but you shall go hungry;
My servants shall drink,
    but you shall be thirsty;
My servants shall rejoice,
    but you shall be put to shame;
14 My servants shall shout
    for joy of heart,
But you shall cry out for grief of heart,
    and howl for anguish of spirit.
15 You will leave your name for a curse to my chosen ones
    when the Lord God slays you,
    and calls his servants by another name.
16 Whoever invokes a blessing in the land
    shall bless by the God of truth;[e]
Whoever takes an oath in the land
    shall swear by the God of truth;
For the hardships of the past shall be forgotten
    and hidden from my eyes.

A World Renewed

17 [f]See, I am creating new heavens
    and a new earth;
The former things shall not be remembered
    nor come to mind.
18 Instead, shout for joy and be glad forever
    in what I am creating.
Indeed, I am creating Jerusalem to be a joy
    and its people to be a delight;
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
    or the sound of crying;
20 No longer shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    nor anyone who does not live a full lifetime;
One who dies at a hundred years shall be considered a youth,
    and one who falls short of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
21 They shall build houses and live in them,
    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit;
22 They shall not build and others live there;
    they shall not plant and others eat.
As the years of a tree, so the years of my people;
    and my chosen ones shall long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
23 They shall not toil in vain,
    nor beget children for sudden destruction;
For they shall be a people blessed by the Lord
    and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call, I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25 [g]The wolf and the lamb shall pasture together,
    and the lion shall eat hay like the ox—
    but the serpent’s food shall be dust.
None shall harm or destroy
    on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

Chapter 66

True and False Worship

    [h]Thus says the Lord:
The heavens are my throne,
    the earth, my footstool.
What house can you build for me?
    Where is the place of my rest?
My hand made all these things
    when all of them came to be—oracle of the Lord.
This is the one whom I approve:
    the afflicted one, crushed in spirit,
    who trembles at my word.
[i]The one slaughtering an ox, striking a man,
    sacrificing a lamb, breaking a dog’s neck,
Making an offering of pig’s blood,
    burning incense, honoring an idol—
These have chosen their own ways,
    and taken pleasure in their own abominations.
I in turn will choose affliction for them
    and bring upon them what they fear.
Because when I called, no one answered,
    when I spoke, no one listened.
Because they did what was evil in my sight,
    and things I do not delight in they chose,
Hear the word of the Lord,
    you who tremble at his word!
Your kin who hate you
    and cast you out because of my name say,
“May the Lord show his glory,
    that we may see your joy”;
    but they shall be put to shame.
A voice roaring from the city,
    a voice from the temple;
The voice of the Lord
    rendering recompense to his enemies!

Blessings of Prosperity and Consolation

[j]Before she is in labor,
    she gives birth;
Before her pangs come upon her,
    she delivers a male child.
Who ever heard of such a thing,
    or who ever saw the like?
Can a land be brought forth in one day,
    or a nation be born in a single moment?
Yet Zion was scarcely in labor
    when she bore her children.
Shall I bring a mother to the point of birth,
    and yet not let her child be born? says the Lord.
Or shall I who bring to birth
    yet close her womb? says your God.
10 [k]Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
    all you who love her;
Rejoice with her in her joy,
    all you who mourn over her—
11 So that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her consoling breast;
That you may drink with delight
    at her abundant breasts!
12     For thus says the Lord:
I will spread prosperity over her like a river,
    like an overflowing torrent,
    the wealth of nations.
You shall nurse, carried in her arms,
    cradled upon her knees;
13 As a mother comforts her child,
    so I will comfort you;
    in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.
14 You will see and your heart shall exult,
    and your bodies shall flourish like the grass;
The Lord’s power shall be revealed to his servants,
    but to his enemies, his wrath.
15 For see, the Lord will come in fire,
    his chariots like the stormwind;
To wreak his anger in burning rage
    and his rebuke in fiery flames.
16 For with fire the Lord shall enter into judgment,
    and, with his sword, against all flesh;
    Those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 [l]Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who stands within, eating pig’s flesh, abominable things, and mice, shall all together come to an end, with their deeds and purposes—oracle of the Lord.

God Gathers the Nations. 18 [m]I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; they shall come and see my glory. 19 I will place a sign among them; from them I will send survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands which have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your kin from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the Lord.

22 Just as the new heavens and the new earth
    which I am making
Shall endure before me—oracle of the Lord
    so shall your descendants and your name endure.
23 From new moon to new moon,
    and from sabbath to sabbath,
All flesh shall come to worship
    before me, says the Lord.
24 [n]They shall go out and see the corpses
    of the people who rebelled against me;
For their worm shall not die,
    their fire shall not be extinguished;
    and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Footnotes:

  1. 65:1–7 These verses serve as a response to the preceding questions about God’s inaction (64:6, 11). It is not God who has been absent, but the people who have walked away from God by idolatrous acts and rituals (vv. 3–4). That is the reason for their punishment (vv. 6–7).
  2. 65:5 Render you holy: unclean food is what these people claim has made them sacred! The prophet ridicules them. Sacredness was understood as something communicable (cf. Ex 19:9–15).
  3. 65:8 This verse reflects the remnant theology found elsewhere in the Book of Isaiah: 1:8–9; 4:3; 6:11–13; etc.
  4. 65:11–12 Destiny: the play on words is found in the Hebrew, in which “destiny” and “destine” are menî and manîthî.
  5. 65:16 God of truth: lit., “God of Amen,” i.e., the one who keeps his word.
  6. 65:17–18 The new creation (cf. 66:22) is described with apocalyptic exuberance: long life, material prosperity, and so forth. As the former events in 43:18 are to be forgotten, so also the new creation wipes out memory of the first creation.
  7. 65:25 The imagery reflects the ideal era described in 11:6–9; see note there.
  8. 66:1–2 The Lord rejects the abuses associated with Temple worship in order to emphasize his concern for the sincere worshiper.
  9. 66:3–6 The sacrificial abuses listed will only merit punishment. The true worshipers, the downtrodden, are those who “tremble” (vv. 2, 5) at God’s word. Although they are ridiculed by those who reject them (v. 5), the latter will be afflicted with divine punishment; their “choice” will be met by the Lord’s choice (v. 4).
  10. 66:7–9 The renewal of Zion is pictured in terms of a miraculous, instantaneous birth, facilitated by God’s intervention.
  11. 66:10–16 The poet addresses the children born of Jerusalem, their mother. In v. 13 the metaphor switches to the Lord as mother (cf. 49:15), comforting her charges but destroying the enemies.
  12. 66:17 This verse seems to have some connection with 65:2–3.
  13. 66:18–21 God summons the neighboring nations to Zion and from among them will send some to far distant lands to proclaim the divine glory. All your kin: Jews in exile. The “gathering of the people and the nations” is an eschatological motif common in the prophetic tradition; cf. 56:8.
  14. 66:24 God’s enemies lie dead outside the walls of the New Jerusalem; just as in the past, corpses, filth and refuse lay in the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) outside the city; cf. 34:1–4; 2 Kgs 23:10.
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 8:1-9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

Prudence in Dealing with Others[a]

Do not contend with the mighty,
    lest you fall into their power.
Do not quarrel with the rich,
    lest they pay out the price of your downfall.
For gold has unsettled many,
    and wealth perverts the character of princes.

Do not quarrel with loud-mouths,
    or heap wood upon their fire.[b]
Do not associate with the senseless,
    lest your ancestors be insulted.

Do not reproach one who turns away from sin;
    remember, we all are guilty.[c]
Do not insult one who is old,
    for some of us will also grow old.
Do not rejoice when someone dies;
    remember, we are all to be gathered in.

Do not neglect the discourse of the wise,
    but busy yourself with their proverbs;
For in this way you will acquire the training
    to stand in the presence of princes.
Do not reject the tradition of the elders
    which they have heard from their ancestors;
For from it you will learn
    how to answer when the need arises.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:1–19 The prudent will be circumspect, avoiding conflict with the powerful, the rich and insolent, the impious, the irascible, and judges (vv. 1–3, 10–12, 14, 16). They will not associate with the undisciplined (v. 4) or the ruthless (v. 15), with fools or strangers (vv. 17–19), but with the wise and the elders of the people (vv. 8–9). Caution is a recurring theme in Ben Sira.
  2. 8:3 One should avoid increasing the ire of those who are hotheaded; cf. vv. 10, 16.
  3. 8:5 We all are guilty: cf. 1 Kgs 8:46; 2 Chr 6:36; Jb 25:4; Eccl 7:20; Rom 3:9–10; 5:12; 1 Jn 1:8.
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 13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. Final Exhortation, Blessing, Greetings

Chapter 13

[a]Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Thus we may say with confidence:

“The Lord is my helper,
[and] I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.[b] It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them. 10 We have an altar[c] from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 The bodies of the animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, to consecrate the people by his own blood. 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach that he bore. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come. 15 Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

17 [d]Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect. 19 I especially ask for your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon.

20 [e]May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, 21 furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever [and ever]. Amen.

22 Brothers, I ask you to bear with this message of encouragement, for I have written to you rather briefly. 23 I must let you know that our brother Timothy has been set free. If he comes soon, I shall see you together with him. 24 Greetings to all your leaders and to all the holy ones. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1–16 After recommendations on social and moral matters (Hb 13:1–6), the letter turns to doctrinal issues. The fact that the original leaders are dead should not cause the recipients of this letter to lose their faith (Hb 13:7), for Christ still lives and he remains always the same (Hb 13:8). They must not rely for their personal sanctification on regulations concerning foods (Hb 13:9), nor should they entertain the notion that Judaism and Christianity can be intermingled (Hb 13:10; cf. notes on Gal 2:11–14; 2:15–21). As Jesus died separated from his own people, so must the Christian community remain apart from the religious doctrines of Judaism (Hb 13:11–14). Christ must be the heart and center of the community (Hb 13:15–16).
  2. 13:9 Strange teaching: this doctrine about foods probably refers to the Jewish food laws; in view of Hb 13:10, however, the author may be thinking of the Mosaic sacrificial banquets.
  3. 13:10 We have an altar: this does not refer to the Eucharist, which is never clearly mentioned in Hebrews, but to the sacrifice of Christ.
  4. 13:17–25 Recommending obedience to the leaders of the community, the author asks for prayers (Hb 13:17–19). The letter concludes with a blessing (Hb 13:20–21), a final request for the acceptance of its message (Hb 13:22), information regarding Timothy (Hb 13:23), and general greetings (Hb 13:24–25).
  5. 13:20–21 These verses constitute one of the most beautiful blessings in the New Testament. The resurrection of Jesus is presupposed throughout Hebrews, since it is included in the author’s frequently expressed idea of his exaltation, but this is the only place where it is explicitly mentioned.
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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