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Jeremiah 30:1-31:22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. Oracles of the Restoration of Israel and Judah

Chapter 30

The Restoration.[a] This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write down on a scroll all the words I have spoken to you. For indeed, the days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel and Judah—oracle of the Lord. I will bring them back to the land which I gave to their ancestors, and they shall take possession of it.

These are the words the Lord spoke to Israel and to Judah: Thus says the Lord:

We hear a cry of fear:
    terror, not peace.
Inquire and see:
    does a male give birth?
Why, then, do I see all these men,
    their hands on their loins
Like women in labor,
    all their faces drained of color?
Ah! How mighty is that day—
    there is none like it!
A time of distress for Jacob,
    though he shall be saved from it.

On that day—oracle of the Lord of hosts—I will break his yoke off your neck and snap your bonds. Strangers shall no longer enslave them; instead, they shall serve the Lord, their God, and David, their king,[b] whom I will raise up for them.

10 But you, my servant Jacob, do not fear!—oracle of the Lord
    do not be dismayed, Israel!
For I will soon deliver you from places far away,
    your offspring from the land of their exile;
Jacob shall again find rest,
    secure, with none to frighten him,
11     for I am with you—oracle of the Lord—to save you.
I will bring to an end all the nations
    among whom I have scattered you;
    but you I will not bring to an end.
I will chastise you as you deserve,
    I will not let you go unpunished.
12     For thus says the Lord:
Incurable is your wound,
    grievous your injury;
13 There is none to plead your case,
    no remedy for your running sore,
    no healing for you.
14 All your lovers have forgotten you,
    they do not seek you out.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
    punishing you cruelly.
15 Why cry out over your wound?
    There is no relief for your pain.
Because of your great guilt,
    your numerous sins,
    I have done this to you.
16 Yet all who devour you shall be devoured,
    all your enemies shall go into exile.
All who plunder you shall become plunder,
    all who pillage you I will hand over to be pillaged.
17 For I will restore your health;
    I will heal your injuries—oracle of the Lord.
“The outcast” they have called you,
    “whom no one looks for.”
18     Thus says the Lord:
See! I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents,
    on his dwellings I will have compassion;
A city shall be rebuilt upon its own ruins,
    a citadel restored where it should be.
19 From them will come praise,
    the sound of people rejoicing.
I will increase them, they will not decrease,
    I will glorify them, they will not be insignificant.
20 His children shall be as of old,
    his assembly shall stand firm in my presence,
    I will punish all his oppressors.
21 His leader[c] shall be one of his own,
    and his ruler shall emerge from his ranks.
He shall approach me when I summon him;
    Why else would he dare
    approach me?—oracle of the Lord.
22 You shall be my people,
    and I will be your God.
23 Look! The storm of the Lord!
    His wrath breaks out
In a whirling storm
    that bursts upon the heads of the wicked.
24 The anger of the Lord will not abate
    until he has carried out completely
    the decisions of his heart.
In days to come
    you will fully understand it.

Chapter 31

Good News of the Return

At that time—oracle of the Lord
    I will be the God of all the families of Israel,
    and they shall be my people.
    [d]Thus says the Lord:
The people who escaped the sword
    find favor in the wilderness.
As Israel comes forward to receive rest,
    from afar the Lord appears:
With age-old love I have loved you;
    so I have kept my mercy toward you.
Again I will build you, and you shall stay built,
    virgin Israel;
Carrying your festive tambourines,
    you shall go forth dancing with merrymakers.
You shall again plant vineyards
    on the mountains of Samaria;
    those who plant them shall enjoy their fruits.
Yes, a day will come when the watchmen
    call out on Mount Ephraim:
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
    to the Lord, our God.”

The Road of Return

    For thus says the Lord:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
    exult at the head of the nations;
    proclaim your praise and say:
The Lord has saved his people,
    the remnant of Israel.
Look! I will bring them back
    from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the earth,
    the blind and the lame in their midst,
Pregnant women, together with those in labor—
    an immense throng—they shall return.
With weeping they shall come,
    but with compassion I will guide them;
I will lead them to streams of water,
    on a level road, without stumbling.
For I am a father to Israel,
    Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, you nations,
    proclaim it on distant coasts, and say:
The One who scattered Israel, now gathers them;
    he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
11 The Lord shall ransom Jacob,
    he shall redeem him from a hand too strong for him.
12 Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
    they shall come streaming to the Lord’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
    flocks of sheep and cattle;
They themselves shall be like watered gardens,
    never again neglected.
13 Then young women shall make merry and dance,
    young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
    I will show them compassion and have them rejoice after their sorrows.
14 I will lavish choice portions on the priests,
    and my people shall be filled with my blessings—
    oracle of the Lord.

End of Rachel’s Mourning

15     Thus says the Lord:
In Ramah[e] is heard the sound of sobbing,
    bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns for her children,
    she refuses to be consoled
    for her children—they are no more!
16     Thus says the Lord:
Cease your cries of weeping,
    hold back your tears!
There is compensation for your labor—
    oracle of the Lord
    they shall return from the enemy’s land.
17 There is hope for your future—oracle of the Lord
    your children shall return to their own territory.
18 Indeed, I heard Ephraim rocking in grief:
    You chastised me, and I was chastised;
    I was like an untamed calf.
Bring me back, let me come back,
    for you are the Lord, my God.
19 For after I turned away, I repented;
    after I came to myself, I struck my thigh;[f]
I was ashamed, even humiliated,
    because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
20 Is Ephraim not my favored son,
    the child in whom I delight?
Even though I threaten him,
    I must still remember him!
My heart stirs for him,
    I must show him compassion!—oracle of the Lord.

Summons to Return Home

21 Set up road markers,
    put up signposts;
Turn your attention to the highway,
    the road you walked.
Turn back, virgin Israel,
    turn back to these your cities.
22 How long will you continue to hesitate,
    rebellious daughter?
The Lord has created a new thing upon the earth:
    woman encompasses man.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 30:1–31:40 These two chapters contain salvation oracles that originally expressed the double expectation that the Lord would return the exiled survivors of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and reunite Israel and Judah as one kingdom under a just Davidic king. They were probably composed early in Josiah’s reign (the reference of v. 9), when he took advantage of Assyria’s internal disintegration and asserted control over northern Israel (cf. 2 Kgs 23:15–17). With the destruction of Jerusalem, the oracles were re-worked to include Judah and their fulfillment along with the renewal of the Davidic dynasty became associated with the eschatological “day of the Lord.”
  2. 30:9 David, their king: a descendant of David (“his leader” in v. 21) who, like his ancestor, would rule a unified kingdom and “walk in the ways of the Lord,” as the Deuteronomistic historians claimed David did. Other prophets also refer to this idealized ruler as “David”; cf. Ez 34:23–24; 37:24–25; Hos 3:5.
  3. 30:21 His leader: cf. v. 9. Approach me: i.e., in the sanctuary of the Temple for worship. This new David is given a priestly function to perform on behalf of the assembly. To approach God on one’s own brings death; cf. Lv 16:1–2.
  4. 31:2–3 Jeremiah describes the exiles of the Northern Kingdom on their way home from the nations where the Assyrians had resettled them (722/721 B.C.). The favor they discover in the wilderness is the appearance of the Lord (v. 3) coming to guide them to Jerusalem. Implicit in these verses is the presentation of the people’s return from captivity as a second exodus, a unifying theme in Second Isaiah (chaps. 40–55).
  5. 31:15 Ramah: a village about five miles north of Jerusalem, where one tradition locates Rachel’s tomb (1 Sm 10:2). The wife of Jacob/Israel, Rachel is the matriarchal ancestor of Ephraim, chief among the northern tribes. She personified Israel as a mother whose grief for her lost children is especially poignant because she had to wait a long time to bear them. Mt 2:18 applies this verse to Herod’s slaughter of the innocents.
  6. 31:19 Struck my thigh: a gesture signifying grief and dread (cf. Ez 21:17).
  7. 31:22 No satisfactory explanation has been given for this text. Jerome, for example, saw the image as a reference to the infant Jesus enclosed in Mary’s womb. Since Jeremiah often uses marital imagery in his description of a restored Israel, the phrase may refer to a wedding custom, perhaps women circling the groom in a dance. It may also be a metaphor describing the security of a new Israel, a security so complete that it defies the imagination and must be expressed as hyperbolic role reversal: any danger will be so insignificant that women can protect their men.
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 17:1-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

Creation of Human Beings

The Lord created human beings from the earth,
    and makes them return to earth again.
A limited number of days he gave them,
    but granted them authority over everything on earth.
He endowed them with strength like his own,
    and made them in his image.
He put fear of them in all flesh,
    and gave them dominion over beasts and birds.[a]
Discernment, tongues, and eyes,
    ears, and a mind for thinking he gave them.
With knowledge and understanding he filled them;
    good and evil he showed them.
He put fear of him into their hearts
    to show them the grandeur of his works,
That they might describe the wonders of his deeds
10     and praise his holy name.
11 He set before them knowledge,
    and allotted to them the law of life.
12 An everlasting covenant he made with them,
    and his commandments[b] he revealed to them.
13 His majestic glory their eyes beheld,
    his glorious voice their ears heard.
14 He said to them, “Avoid all evil”;
    to each of them he gave precepts about their neighbor.

Footnotes:

  1. 17:4

    Other ancient texts read as v. 5:

    They received the use of the Lord’s five faculties;

    of mind, the sixth, he granted them a share,

    as also of speech, the seventh, the interpreter of his actions.

  2. 17:12 An everlasting covenant…his commandments: God made several covenants, e.g., Gn 9:8–17; 15:17–21; 17:1–22, entered into with humankind, especially on Mount Sinai, where the people saw God’s glory and heard his voice (v. 13; cf. Ex 19:16–24:18).
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 6:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

Multiplication of the Loaves.[a] After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias].[b] A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. [c]When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” [d]He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages[e] worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves[f] and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass[g] in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. 12 When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets[h] with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. 14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet,[i] the one who is to come into the world.” 15 Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Walking on the Water.[j] 16 When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea[k] and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. 20 But he said to them, “It is I.[l] Do not be afraid.” 21 They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.

Footnotes:

  1. 6:1–15 This story of the multiplication of the loaves is the fourth sign (cf. note on Jn 5:1–47). It is the only miracle story found in all four gospels (occurring twice in Mark and Matthew). See notes on Mt 14:13–21; 15:32–39. John differs on the roles of Philip and Andrew, the proximity of Passover (Jn 6:4), and the allusion to Elisha (see Jn 6:9). The story here symbolizes the food that is really available through Jesus. It connotes a new exodus and has eucharistic overtones.
  2. 6:1 [Of Tiberias]: the awkward apposition represents a later name of the Sea of Galilee. It was probably originally a marginal gloss.
  3. 6:5 Jesus takes the initiative (in the synoptics, the disciples do), possibly pictured as (cf. Jn 6:14) the new Moses (cf. Nm 11:13).
  4. 6:6 Probably the evangelist’s comment; in this gospel Jesus is never portrayed as ignorant of anything.
  5. 6:7 Days’ wages: literally, “denarii”; a Roman denarius is a day’s wage in Mt 20:2.
  6. 6:9 Barley loaves: the food of the poor. There seems an allusion to the story of Elisha multiplying the barley bread in 2 Kgs 4:42–44.
  7. 6:10 Grass: implies springtime, and therefore Passover. Five thousand: so Mk 6:39, 44 and parallels.
  8. 6:13 Baskets: the word describes the typically Palestinian wicker basket, as in Mk 6:43 and parallels.
  9. 6:14 The Prophet: probably the prophet like Moses (see note on Jn 1:21). The one who is to come into the world: probably Elijah; cf. Mal 3:1, 23.
  10. 6:16–21 The fifth sign is a nature miracle, portraying Jesus sharing Yahweh’s power. Cf. the parallel stories following the multiplication of the loaves in Mk 6:45–52 and Mt 14:22–33.
  11. 6:19 Walking on the sea: although the Greek (cf. Jn 6:16) could mean “on the seashore” or “by the sea” (cf. Jn 21:1), the parallels, especially Mt 14:25, make clear that Jesus walked upon the water. John may allude to Jb 9:8: God “treads upon the crests of the sea.”
  12. 6:20 It is I: literally, “I am.” See also notes on Jn 4:26 and Mk 6:50.
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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