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Jeremiah 17-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

The Sin of Judah and Its Punishment

The sin of Judah is written
    with an iron stylus,
Engraved with a diamond point
    upon the tablets of their hearts,

And the horns of their altars, when their children remember their altars and their asherahs, beside the green trees, on the high hills, the peaks in the country.

Your wealth and all your treasures
    I give as plunder,
As payment for all your sins
    throughout your territory,
You will relinquish your hold on your heritage
    which I have given you.
I will enslave you to your enemies
    in a land you do not know:
For a fire has broken out from my anger,
    burning forever.

True Wisdom

    Thus says the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
    who makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a barren bush in the wasteland
    that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in lava beds in the wilderness,
    a land, salty and uninhabited.
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord;
    the Lord will be their trust.
They are like a tree planted beside the waters
    that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It does not fear heat when it comes,
    its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
    but still produces fruit.
More tortuous than anything is the human heart,
    beyond remedy; who can understand it?
10 I, the Lord, explore the mind
    and test the heart,
Giving to all according to their ways,
    according to the fruit of their deeds.
11 A partridge that broods but does not hatch
    are those who acquire wealth unjustly:
In midlife it will desert them;
    in the end they are only fools.

The Source of Life

12 A throne of glory, exalted from the beginning,
    such is our holy place.
13 O Hope of Israel, Lord!
    all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
The rebels shall be enrolled in the netherworld;
    they have forsaken the Lord, source of living waters.

Prayer for Vengeance

14 Heal me, Lord, that I may be healed;
    save me, that I may be saved,
    for you are my praise.
15 See how they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come to pass!”
16 Yet I did not press you to send disaster;
    the day without remedy I have not desired.
You know what passed my lips;
    it is present before you.
17 Do not become a terror to me,
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 Let my persecutors be confounded—not me!
    let them be terrified—not me!
Bring upon them the day of disaster,
    crush them with double destruction.

Observance of the Sabbath. 19 Thus said the Lord to me: Go, stand at the Gate of Benjamin,[a] where the kings of Judah enter and leave, and at the other gates of Jerusalem. 20 There say to them: Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all you inhabitants of Jerusalem who enter these gates! 21 Thus says the Lord: As you love your lives, take care not to carry burdens on the sabbath, to bring them in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Bring no burden from your homes on the sabbath. Do no work whatever, but keep holy the sabbath day, as I commanded your ancestors, 23 though they did not listen or give ear, but stiffened their necks so they could not hear or take correction. 24 If you truly obey me—oracle of the Lord—and carry no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath, keeping the sabbath day holy and abstaining from all work on it, 25 then, through the gates of this city, kings who sit upon the throne of David will continue to enter, riding in their chariots or upon their horses, along with their princes, and the people of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This city will remain inhabited forever. 26 To it people will come from the cities of Judah and the neighborhood of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Shephelah, from the hill country and the Negeb, to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings, incense, and thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not obey me and keep holy the sabbath day, if you carry burdens and come through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath, I will set fire to its gates—a fire never to be extinguished—and it will consume the palaces of Jerusalem.

Chapter 18

The Potter’s Vessel.[b] This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Arise and go down to the potter’s house; there you will hear my word. I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the vessel of clay he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making another vessel of whatever sort he pleased. Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done?—oracle of the Lord. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel. At one moment I may decree concerning a nation or kingdom that I will uproot and tear down and destroy it; but if that nation against whom I have decreed turns from its evil, then I will have a change of heart regarding the evil which I have decreed. At another moment, I may decree concerning a nation or kingdom that I will build up and plant it; 10 but if that nation does what is evil in my eyes, refusing to obey my voice, then I will have a change of heart regarding the good with which I planned to bless it.

11 And now, tell this to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Look, I am fashioning evil against you and making a plan. Return, all of you, from your evil way; reform your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, “No use! We will follow our own devices; each one of us will behave according to the stubbornness of our evil hearts!”

Unnatural Apostasy

13     Therefore thus says the Lord:
Ask among the nations—
    who has ever heard the like?
Truly horrible things
    virgin Israel has done!
14 Does the snow of Lebanon[c]
    desert the rocky heights?
Do the gushing waters dry up
    that flow fresh down the mountains?
15 Yet my people have forgotten me:
    they offer incense in vain.
They stumble off their paths,
    the ways of old,
Traveling on bypaths,
    not the beaten track.
16 Their land shall be made a waste,
    an object of endless hissing:[d]
All passersby will be horrified,
    shaking their heads.
17 Like the east wind, I will scatter them
    before their enemies;
I will show them my back, not my face,
    in their day of disaster.

Another Prayer for Vengeance. 18 “Come,” they said, “let us devise a plot against Jeremiah, for instruction will not perish from the priests, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. Come, let us destroy him by his own tongue. Let us pay careful attention to his every word.”

19 Pay attention to me, O Lord,
    and listen to what my adversaries say.
20 Must good be repaid with evil
    that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
    to speak on their behalf,
    to turn your wrath away from them.
21 So now, give their children[e] to famine,
    deliver them to the power of the sword.
Let their wives be childless and widows;
    let their husbands die of pestilence,
    their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.
22 May cries be heard from their homes,
    when suddenly you send plunderers against them.
For they have dug a pit to capture me,
    they have hidden snares for my feet;
23 But you, Lord, know
    all their planning for my death.
Do not forgive their crime,
    and their sin do not blot out from your sight!
Let them stumble before you,
    in the time of your anger act against them.

Footnotes:

  1. 17:19 The Gate of Benjamin: this gate, probably part of the Temple area, is otherwise unknown.
  2. 18:1–12 The lesson of the potter is that God has the power to destroy or restore, changing his plans accordingly as these nations disobey him or fulfill his will. Cf. Jon 3:10.
  3. 18:14 Lebanon: here apparently including Mount Hermon, whose snow-capped peak can be seen from parts of Palestine all year round. The prophet contrasts the certainties of nature with Israel’s unnatural desertion of the Lord for idols (v. 15).
  4. 18:16 Hissing: in some ancient Near Eastern cultures hissing was not only a sign of derision but a magical means of keeping demons away; people hissed in order to ward off danger, like whistling in a cemetery.
  5. 18:21 Give their children: often an extended family is meant, to be rewarded or punished as a unit.
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 13:14-26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

15 Every living thing loves its own kind,
    and we all love someone like ourselves.
16 Every living being keeps close to its own kind;
    and people associate with their own kind.
17 Is a wolf ever allied with a lamb?
    So the sinner with the righteous.
18 Can there be peace between the hyena and the dog?
    Or peace between the rich and the poor?[a]
19 Wild donkeys of the desert are lion’s prey;
    likewise the poor are feeding grounds for the rich.
20 Humility is an abomination to the proud;
    and the poor are an abomination to the rich.
21 When the rich stumble they are supported by friends;
    when the poor trip they are pushed down by friends.
22 When the rich speak they have many supporters;
    though what they say is repugnant, it wins approval.
When the poor speak people say, “Come, come, speak up!”
    though they are talking sense, they get no hearing.
23 When the rich speak all are silent,
    their wisdom people extol to the clouds.
When the poor speak people say: “Who is that?”
    If they stumble, people knock them down.

24 Wealth is good where there is no sin;[b]
    but poverty is evil by the standards of the proud.
25 The heart changes one’s face,
    either for good or for evil.
26 The sign of a good heart is a radiant face;
    withdrawn and perplexed is the toiling schemer.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:18 The hostility between the dogs which guard the flocks (Jb 30:1) and the rapacious hyenas (Jer 12:9) is proverbial in Palestine.
  2. 13:24 Ben Sira allows that the rich can be virtuous—but with difficulty; cf. 31:1–11.
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.

John 3:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

Nicodemus.[a] Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.[b] He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born[c] from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind[d] blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can this happen?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? 11 Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. 12 If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up[e] the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 [f]so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave[g] his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn[h] the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 [i]And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. 21 But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1–21 Jesus instructs Nicodemus on the necessity of a new birth from above. This scene in Jerusalem at Passover exemplifies the faith engendered by signs (Jn 2:23). It continues the self-manifestation of Jesus in Jerusalem begun in Jn 2. This is the first of the Johannine discourses, shifting from dialogue to monologue (Jn 3:11–15) to reflection of the evangelist (Jn 3:16–21). The shift from singular through Jn 3:10 to plural in Jn 3:11 may reflect the early church’s controversy with the Jews.
  2. 3:1 A ruler of the Jews: most likely a member of the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin; see note on Mk 8:31.
  3. 3:3 Born: see note on Jn 1:13. From above: the Greek adverb anōthen means both “from above” and “again.” Jesus means “from above” (see Jn 3:31) but Nicodemus misunderstands it as “again.” This misunderstanding serves as a springboard for further instruction.
  4. 3:8 Wind: the Greek word pneuma (as well as the Hebrew rûah) means both “wind” and “spirit.” In the play on the double meaning, “wind” is primary.
  5. 3:14 Lifted up: in Nm 21:9, Moses simply “mounted” a serpent upon a pole. John here substitutes a verb implying glorification. Jesus, exalted to glory at his cross and resurrection, represents healing for all.
  6. 3:15 Eternal life: used here for the first time in John, this term stresses quality of life rather than duration.
  7. 3:16 Gave: as a gift in the incarnation, and also “over to death” in the crucifixion; cf. Rom 8:32.
  8. 3:17–19 Condemn: the Greek root means both judgment and condemnation. Jesus’ purpose is to save, but his coming provokes judgment; some condemn themselves by turning from the light.
  9. 3:19 Judgment is not only future but is partially realized here and now.
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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