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Jeremiah 3-4New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Unfaithful Israel

If[a] a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not such a land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
says the Lord.
Look up to the bare heights,[b] and see!
    Where have you not been lain with?
By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers,
    like a nomad in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land
    with your whoring and wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and the spring rain has not come;
yet you have the forehead of a whore,
    you refuse to be ashamed.
Have you not just now called to me,
    “My Father, you are the friend of my youth—
will he be angry forever,
    will he be indignant to the end?”
This is how you have spoken,
    but you have done all the evil that you could.

A Call to Repentance

The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? And I thought, “After she has done all this she will return to me”; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She[c] saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord.

11 Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:

Return, faithless Israel,
says the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
    for I am merciful,
says the Lord;
I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt,
    that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree,
    and have not obeyed my voice,
says the Lord.
14 Return, O faithless children,
says the Lord,
    for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
    and I will bring you to Zion.

15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage.

19 I thought
    how I would set you among my children,
and give you a pleasant land,
    the most beautiful heritage of all the nations.
And I thought you would call me, My Father,
    and would not turn from following me.
20 Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband,
    so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel,
says the Lord.

21 A voice on the bare heights[d] is heard,
    the plaintive weeping of Israel’s children,
because they have perverted their way,
    they have forgotten the Lord their God:
22 Return, O faithless children,
    I will heal your faithlessness.

“Here we come to you;
    for you are the Lord our God.
23 Truly the hills are[e] a delusion,
    the orgies on the mountains.
Truly in the Lord our God
    is the salvation of Israel.

24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

If you return, O Israel,

says the Lord,
    if you return to me,
if you remove your abominations from my presence,
    and do not waver,
and if you swear, “As the Lord lives!”
    in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,
then nations shall be blessed[f] by him,
    and by him they shall boast.

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

Break up your fallow ground,
    and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    remove the foreskin of your hearts,
    O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or else my wrath will go forth like fire,
    and burn with no one to quench it,
    because of the evil of your doings.

Invasion and Desolation of Judah Threatened

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

Blow the trumpet through the land;
    shout aloud[g] and say,
“Gather together, and let us go
    into the fortified cities!”
Raise a standard toward Zion,
    flee for safety, do not delay,
for I am bringing evil from the north,
    and a great destruction.
A lion has gone up from its thicket,
    a destroyer of nations has set out;
    he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
    your cities will be ruins
    without inhabitant.
Because of this put on sackcloth,
    lament and wail:
“The fierce anger of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.”

On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!”

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights[h] in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— 12 a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.

13 Look! He comes up like clouds,
    his chariots like the whirlwind;
his horses are swifter than eagles—
    woe to us, for we are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness
    so that you may be saved.
How long shall your evil schemes
    lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan
    and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.
16 Tell the nations, “Here they are!”
    Proclaim against Jerusalem,
“Besiegers come from a distant land;
    they shout against the cities of Judah.
17 They have closed in around her like watchers of a field,
    because she has rebelled against me,
says the Lord.
18 Your ways and your doings
    have brought this upon you.
This is your doom; how bitter it is!
    It has reached your very heart.”

Sorrow for a Doomed Nation

19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
    Oh, the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
    I cannot keep silent;
for I[i] hear the sound of the trumpet,
    the alarm of war.
20 Disaster overtakes disaster,
    the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed,
    my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the standard,
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “For my people are foolish,
    they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
    they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
    but do not know how to do good.”

23 I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;
    and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,
    and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,
    and all the birds of the air had fled.
26 I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,
    and all its cities were laid in ruins
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

28 Because of this the earth shall mourn,
    and the heavens above grow black;
for I have spoken, I have purposed;
    I have not relented nor will I turn back.

29 At the noise of horseman and archer
    every town takes to flight;
they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;
    all the towns are forsaken,
    and no one lives in them.
30 And you, O desolate one,
what do you mean that you dress in crimson,
    that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold,
    that you enlarge your eyes with paint?
In vain you beautify yourself.
    Your lovers despise you;
    they seek your life.
31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
    anguish as of one bringing forth her first child,
the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath,
    stretching out her hands,
“Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 3:1 Q Ms Gk Syr: MT Saying, If
  2. Jeremiah 3:2 Or the trails
  3. Jeremiah 3:8 Q Ms Gk Mss Syr: MT I
  4. Jeremiah 3:21 Or the trails
  5. Jeremiah 3:23 Gk Syr Vg: Heb Truly from the hills is
  6. Jeremiah 4:2 Or shall bless themselves
  7. Jeremiah 4:5 Or shout, take your weapons: Heb shout, fill (your hand)
  8. Jeremiah 4:11 Or the trails
  9. Jeremiah 4:19 Another reading is for you, O my soul,
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sirach 9New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Advice concerning Women

Do not be jealous of the wife of your bosom,
    or you will teach her an evil lesson to your own hurt.
Do not give yourself to a woman
    and let her trample down your strength.
Do not go near a loose woman,
    or you will fall into her snares.
Do not dally with a singing girl,
    or you will be caught by her tricks.
Do not look intently at a virgin,
    or you may stumble and incur penalties for her.
Do not give yourself to prostitutes,
    or you may lose your inheritance.
Do not look around in the streets of a city,
    or wander about in its deserted sections.
Turn away your eyes from a shapely woman,
    and do not gaze at beauty belonging to another;
many have been seduced by a woman’s beauty,
    and by it passion is kindled like a fire.
Never dine with another man’s wife,
    or revel with her at wine;
or your heart may turn aside to her,
    and in blood[a] you may be plunged into destruction.

Choice of Friends

10 Do not abandon old friends,
    for new ones cannot equal them.
A new friend is like new wine;
    when it has aged, you can drink it with pleasure.

11 Do not envy the success of sinners,
    for you do not know what their end will be like.
12 Do not delight in what pleases the ungodly;
    remember that they will not be held guiltless all their lives.

13 Keep far from those who have power to kill,
    and you will not be haunted by the fear of death.
But if you approach them, make no misstep,
    or they may rob you of your life.
Know that you are stepping among snares,
    and that you are walking on the city battlements.

14 As much as you can, aim to know your neighbors,
    and consult with the wise.
15 Let your conversation be with intelligent people,
    and let all your discussion be about the law of the Most High.
16 Let the righteous be your dinner companions,
    and let your glory be in the fear of the Lord.

Concerning Rulers

17 A work is praised for the skill of the artisan;
    so a people’s leader is proved wise by his words.
18 The loud of mouth are feared in their city,
    and the one who is reckless in speech is hated.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 9:9 Heb: Gk by your spirit
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Timothy 2New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus

You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 The saying is sure:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

A Worker Approved by God

14 Remind them of this, and warn them before God[a] that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. 16 Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.”

20 In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. 21 All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned[b] will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. 22 Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant[c] must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, 25 correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, 26 and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Timothy 2:14 Other ancient authorities read the Lord
  2. 2 Timothy 2:21 Gk of these things
  3. 2 Timothy 2:24 Gk slave
  4. 2 Timothy 2:26 Or by him, to do his (that is, God’s) will
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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