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Jeremiah 3-4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

If a man divorces his wife
    and she leaves him
    and then becomes the wife of another,
Can she return to the first?[a]
    Would not this land be wholly defiled?
But you have played the prostitute with many lovers,
    and yet you would return to me!—oracle of the Lord.
Raise your eyes to the heights, and look,
    where have men not lain with you?
Along the roadways you waited for them
    like an Arabian[b] in the wilderness.
You defiled the land
    by your wicked prostitution.
Therefore the showers were withheld,
    the spring rain did not fall.
But because you have a prostitute’s brow,
    you refused to be ashamed.
Even now do you not call me, “My father,
    you are the bridegroom of my youth?
Will he keep his wrath forever,
    will he hold his grudge to the end?”
This is what you say; yet you do
    all the evil you can.

Judah and Israel. The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Do you see what rebellious Israel has done? She has gone up every high mountain, and under every green tree she has played the prostitute. And I thought: After she has done all this, she will return to me. But she did not return. Then, even though that traitor her sister Judah, saw that, in response to all the adulteries rebel Israel had committed, I sent her away and gave her a bill of divorce, nevertheless Judah, the traitor, her sister, was not frightened; she too went off and played the prostitute. With her casual prostitution, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, Judah, the traitor, her sister, did not return to me wholeheartedly, but insincerely—oracle of the Lord.

Restoration of Israel. 11 Then the Lord said to me: Rebel Israel is more just than traitor Judah. 12 Go, proclaim these words toward the north, and say:

Return, rebel Israel—oracle of the Lord
    I will not remain angry with you;
For I am merciful, oracle of the Lord,
    I will not keep my anger forever.
13 Only admit your guilt:
    how you have rebelled against the Lord, your God,
How you ran here and there to strangers
    under every green tree
    and would not listen to my voice—oracle of the Lord.
14 Return, rebellious children—oracle of the Lord[c]
    for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan,
    and bring you to Zion.
15 I will appoint for you shepherds after my own heart,
    who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.
16 When you increase in number and are fruitful in the land—
    oracle of the Lord
They will in those days no longer say,
    “The ark of the covenant of the Lord!”
They will no longer think of it, or remember it,
    or miss it, or make another one.

17 At that time they will call Jerusalem “the Lord’s throne.” All nations will gather together there to honor the name of the Lord at Jerusalem, and they will no longer stubbornly follow their wicked heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah will walk alongside the house of Israel; together they will come from the land of the north to the land which I gave your ancestors as a heritage.

Conditions for Forgiveness

19 I thought:
    How I would like to make you my children!
So I gave you a pleasant land,
    the most beautiful heritage among the nations!
You would call me, “My Father,” I thought,
    and you would never turn away from me.
20 But like a woman faithless to her lover,
    thus have you been faithless to me,
    house of Israel—oracle of the Lord.
21 A cry is heard on the heights!
    the plaintive weeping of Israel’s children,
Because they have perverted their way,
    they have forgotten the Lord, their God.
22 Return, rebellious children!
    I will heal your rebellions.
“Here we are! We belong to you,
    for you are the Lord, our God.
23 Deceptive indeed are the hills,
    the mountains, clamorous;
Only in the Lord our God
    is Israel’s salvation.
24 The shameful thing[d] has devoured
    our ancestors’ worth from our youth,
Their sheep and cattle,
    their sons and daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame,
    let our disgrace cover us,
    for we have sinned against the Lord, our God,
We and our ancestors, from our youth to this day;
    we did not listen to the voice of the Lord, our God.”

Chapter 4

If you return, Israel—oracle of the Lord
    return to me.
If you put your detestable things out of my sight,
    and do not stray,
And swear, “As the Lord lives,”[e]
    in truth, in judgment, and in justice,
Then the nations shall bless themselves in him
    and in him glory.

For to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, thus says the Lord:

Till your untilled ground,
    and do not sow among thorns.
Be circumcised for the Lord,[f]
    remove the foreskins of your hearts,
    people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;
Or else my anger will break out like fire,
    and burn so that no one can quench it,
    because of your evil deeds.

The Invasion from the North

Proclaim it in Judah,
    in Jerusalem announce it;
Blow the trumpet throughout the land,
    call out, “Fill the ranks!”
Say, “Assemble, let us march
    to the fortified cities.”
Raise the signal—to Zion!
    Seek refuge! Don’t stand there!
Disaster I bring from the north,
    and great destruction.
Up comes the lion from its lair,
    the destroyer of nations has set out,
    has left its place,
To turn your land into a desolation,
    your cities into an uninhabited waste.
So put on sackcloth,
    mourn and wail:
“The blazing anger of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.”
    In that day—oracle of the Lord
The king will lose heart, and the princes;
    the priests will be horrified,
    and the prophets stunned.
10 “Ah! Lord God,” they will say,
    “You really did deceive[g] us
When you said: You shall have peace,
    while the sword was at our very throats.”
11 At that time it will be said
    to this people and to Jerusalem,
A scorching wind from the bare heights comes
    through the wilderness toward my daughter, the people.[h]
Not to winnow, not to cleanse,
12     a strong wind from there comes at my bidding.
Now I too pronounce
    sentence upon them.
13 See! like storm clouds he advances,
    like a whirlwind, his chariots;
Swifter than eagles, his horses:
    “Woe to us! we are ruined.”
14 Cleanse your heart of evil, Jerusalem,
    that you may be saved.
How long will you entertain
    wicked schemes?
15 A voice proclaims it from Dan,
    announces wickedness from Mount Ephraim:
16 “Make this known to the nations,
    announce it against Jerusalem:
Besiegers are coming from the distant land,
    shouting their war cry against the cities of Judah.”
17 Like watchers in the fields they surround her,
    for she has rebelled against me—oracle of the Lord.
18 Your conduct, your deeds, have done this to you;
    how bitter is this evil of yours,
    how it reaches to your very heart!
19 My body! my body! how I writhe![i]
    The walls of my heart!
My heart beats wildly,
    I cannot be still;
For I myself have heard the blast of the horn,
    the battle cry.
20 Ruin upon ruin is reported;
    the whole land is laid waste.
In an instant my tents are ravaged;
    in a flash, my shelters.
21 How long must I see the signal,
    hear the blast of the horn!
22 My people are fools,
    they do not know me;
They are senseless children,
    without understanding;
They are wise at evil,
    but they do not know how to do good.
23 I looked at the earth—it was waste and void;
    at the heavens—their light had gone out!
24 I looked at the mountains—they were quaking!
    All the hills were crumbling!
25 I looked—there was no one;
    even the birds of the air had flown away!
26 I looked—the garden land was a wilderness,
    with all its cities destroyed
    before the Lord, before his blazing anger.
27     For thus says the Lord:
The whole earth shall be waste,
    but I will not wholly destroy it.
28 Because of this the earth shall mourn,
    the heavens above shall darken;
I have spoken, I will not change my mind,
    I have decided, I will not turn back.
29 At the shout of rider and archer
    each city takes to flight;
They shrink into the thickets,
    they scale the rocks:
All the cities are abandoned,
    no one lives in them.
30 You now who are doomed, what are you doing
    dressing in purple,
    bedecking yourself with gold,
Enlarging your eyes with kohl?
    You beautify yourself in vain!
Your lovers reject you,
    they seek your life.
31 Yes, I hear the cry, like that of a woman in labor,
    like the anguish of a mother bearing her first child—
The cry of daughter Zion gasping,
    as she stretches out her hands:
“Ah, woe is me! I sink exhausted
    before my killers!”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1 Can she return to the first?: i.e., her first husband. Here the Hebrew is emended in light of the Septuagint and Dt 24:1–4, which forbids a man to take back a woman once he has divorced her. The prophet uses this analogy to illustrate the presumption of Judah, the unfaithful wife, who assumes she can easily return to the Lord after worshiping other gods.
  2. 3:2 An Arabian: here depicted as a marauder lying in wait for caravans.
  3. 3:14–18 A remnant of Israel (v. 14) will reunite with Judah (v. 18). The former Israelite community, represented by the ark of the covenant, will be replaced by a universal alliance, symbolized by Jerusalem, the Lord’s throne, to which all nations will be gathered (v. 17).
  4. 3:24 The shameful thing: Heb. bosheth (“shame”), a term often substituted for the name of Baal, a Canaanite god worshiped at local shrines.
  5. 4:2 As the Lord lives: this oath, made sincerely, implies Israel’s return and loyal adherence to God. Thus the ancient promises are fulfilled; cf. Gn 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; Ps 72:17.
  6. 4:4 The external rite of circumcision accomplishes nothing unless it is accompanied by the removal of blindness and obstinacy of heart. Jeremiah’s view is reflected in Rom 2:25, 29; 1 Cor 7:19; Gal 5:6; 6:13, 15.
  7. 4:10 You really did deceive: Jeremiah complains that the Lord misled the people by fostering their complacency, leaving them unprepared and unrepentant as judgment approaches.
  8. 4:11 My daughter, the people: the covenant people personified as a young woman. Ezekiel 16 presents Israel and Judah as female infants whom the Lord adopts and then abandons and punishes because they desire other lords.
  9. 4:19–21 Probably the prophet’s own anguish at the coming destruction of Judah.
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 9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

Advice Concerning Women[a]

Do not be jealous of the wife of your bosom,
    lest you teach her to do evil against you.[b]
Do not give a woman power over you
    to trample on your dignity.
Do not go near a strange woman,
    lest you fall into her snares.
Do not dally with a singer,
    lest you be captivated by her charms.
Do not entertain any thoughts about a virgin,
    lest you be enmeshed in damages for her.[c]
Do not give yourself to a prostitute
    lest you lose your inheritance.
Do not look around the streets of the city
    or wander through its squares.
Avert your eyes from a shapely woman;
    do not gaze upon beauty that is not yours;
Through woman’s beauty many have been ruined,
    for love of it burns like fire.
Never recline at table with a married woman,
    or drink intoxicants with her,
Lest your heart be drawn to her
    and you go down in blood[d] to the grave.

Choice of Friends[e]

10 Do not abandon old friends;
    new ones cannot equal them.
A new friend is like new wine—
    when it has aged, you drink it with pleasure.
11 Do not envy the wicked
    for you do not know when their day will come.
12 Do not delight in the pleasures of the ungodly;
    remember, they will not die unpunished.

13 Keep away from those who have power to kill,
    and you will not be filled with the dread of death.
But if you come near them, do not offend them,
    lest they take away your life.
Know that you are stepping among snares
    and walking over a net.

14 As best you can, answer your neighbor,
    and associate with the wise.
15 With the learned exchange ideas;
    and let all your conversation be about the law of the Most High.
16 Take the righteous for your table companions;
    and let your glory be in the fear of God.

Concerning Rulers[f]

17 Work by skilled hands will earn praise;
    but the people’s leader is proved wise by his words.
18 Loud mouths are feared in their city,
    and whoever is reckless in speech is hated.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:1–9 Ben Sira writes about women only from the androcentric viewpoint of his culture. Cf. 25:13–26:27.
  2. 9:1 Jealousy may lead to suspicion and may prompt a wife to those actions her husband fears.
  3. 9:5 Cf. Ex 22:15–16; Dt 22:28–29; Jb 31:1. Cf. note on Ex 22:16.
  4. 9:9 In blood: perhaps refers to blood revenge; cf. Lv 20:10.
  5. 9:10–16 The second of Ben Sira’s poems on friendship; cf. note on 6:5–17. In choosing friends, adherence to the law of the Lord should serve as a guide (v. 15). Associate with true friends (v. 10), with the righteous and the learned (vv. 14–16); avoid the company of the mighty and of sinners (vv. 11–13). Cf. 8:1–19.
  6. 9:17–10:5 Public office as conducted justly or unjustly benefits or destroys the people, according to the axiom, “as the prince, so the people.” God, however, has sovereignty over both.
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.

2 Timothy 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

Timothy’s Conduct. [a]So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well. Bear your share of hardship along with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. To satisfy the one who recruited him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of life. Similarly, an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to have the first share of the crop. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

[b]Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. 11 This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
    we shall also live with him;
12 if we persevere
    we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
    he will deny us.
13 If we are unfaithful
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot deny himself.

III. Instructions Concerning False Teaching

Warning Against Useless Disputes. 14 [c]Remind people of these things and charge them before God[d] to stop disputing about words. This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen. 15 Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation. 16 Avoid profane, idle talk, for such people will become more and more godless, 17 and their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have deviated from the truth by saying that [the] resurrection has already taken place and are upsetting the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands, bearing this inscription, “The Lord knows those who are his”; and, “Let everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord avoid evil.”

20 In a large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for lofty and others for humble use. 21 If anyone cleanses himself of these things, he will be a vessel for lofty use, dedicated, beneficial to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 22 So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord[e] with purity of heart. 23 Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. 24 A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, 25 correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, 26 [f]and that they may return to their senses out of the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1–7 This passage manifests a characteristic deep concern for safeguarding the faith and faithfully transmitting it through trustworthy people (2 Tm 2:1–2; cf. 2 Tm 1:14; 1 Tm 6:20; Ti 1:9). Comparisons to the soldier’s detachment, the athlete’s sportsmanship, and the farmer’s arduous work as the price of recompense (2 Tm 2:4–6) emphasize the need of singleness of purpose in preaching the word, even at the cost of hardship, for the sake of Christ (2 Tm 2:3).
  2. 2:8–13 The section begins with a sloganlike summary of Paul’s gospel about Christ (2 Tm 2:8) and concludes with what may be part of an early Christian hymn (2 Tm 2:11b–12a; most exegetes include the rest of 2 Tm 2:12 and all of 2 Tm 2:13 as part of the quotation). The poetic lines suggest that through baptism Christians die spiritually with Christ and hope to live with him and reign with him forever, but the Christian life includes endurance, witness, and even suffering, as the final judgment will show and as Paul’s own case makes clear; while he is imprisoned for preaching the gospel (2 Tm 2:9), his sufferings are helpful to the elect for obtaining the salvation and glory available in Christ (2 Tm 2:10), who will be true to those who are faithful and will disown those who deny him (2 Tm 2:12–13).
  3. 2:14–19 For those who dispute about mere words (cf. 2 Tm 2:23–24) and indulge in irreligious talk to the detriment of their listeners (2 Tm 2:16–19), see notes on 1 Tm 1:3–7; 6:20–21. Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tm 2:17), while accepting the Christian’s mystical death and resurrection in Christ through baptism, claimed that baptized Christians are already risen with Christ in this life and thus that there is no future bodily resurrection or eternal glory to come. The first quotation in 2 Tm 2:19 is from Nm 16:5; the other quotation is from some unidentified Jewish or Christian writing.
  4. 2:14 Before God: many ancient manuscripts read “before the Lord.”
  5. 2:22 Those who call on the Lord: those who believe in Christ and worship him as Lord, i.e., Christians (Acts 9:14–16, 20–21; Rom 10:12–13; cf. 2 Tm 2:19, literally, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord”).
  6. 2:26 Some interpreters would render this passage, “Thus they may come to their senses and, forced to do his (i.e., God’s) will, may escape the devil’s trap.” This interpretation of the Greek is possible, but the one accepted in the text seems more likely.
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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