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Jeremiah 7-8 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

II. Oracles Primarily from the Days of Jehoiakim

Chapter 7

The Temple Sermon.[a] The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand at the gate of the house of the Lord and proclaim this message there: Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds so that I may dwell with you in this place. Do not put your trust in these deceptive words: “The temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord!” Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with your neighbor; if you no longer oppress the alien,[b] the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow after other gods to your own harm, only then will I let you continue to dwell in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors long ago and forever.

But look at you! You put your trust in deceptive words to your own loss! Do you think you can steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, sacrifice to Baal, follow other gods that you do not know, 10 and then come and stand in my presence in this house, which bears my name, and say: “We are safe! We can commit all these abominations again!”? 11 Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I have seen it for myself!—oracle of the Lord. 12 Go to my place at Shiloh,[c] where I made my name dwell in the beginning. See what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have committed all these deeds—oracle of the Lord—because you did not listen, though I spoke to you untiringly, and because you did not answer, though I called you, 14 I will do to this house, which bears my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your ancestors, exactly what I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast away all your kindred, all the offspring of Ephraim.

Abuses in Worship. 16 You, now, must not intercede for this people! Do not raise a cry or prayer in their behalf! Do not press me, for I will not listen to you! 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven,[d] while libations are poured out to other gods—all to offend me! 19 Are they really offending me—oracle of the Lord—or rather themselves, to their own disgrace? 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God: my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this place, upon human being and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruits of the earth; it will burn and not be quenched.

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Heap your burnt offerings upon your sacrifices; eat up the meat! 22 In speaking to your ancestors on the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I gave them no command[e] concerning burnt offering or sacrifice. 23 This rather is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk exactly in the way I command you, so that you may prosper.

24 But they did not listen to me, nor did they pay attention. They walked in the stubbornness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. 25 From the day that your ancestors left the land of Egypt even to this day, I kept on sending all my servants the prophets to you. 26 Yet they have not listened to me nor have they paid attention; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their ancestors. 27 When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.

29 Cut off your hair[f] and throw it away!
    on the heights raise a lament;
The Lord has indeed rejected and cast off
    the generation that draws down his wrath.

30 The people of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes—oracle of the Lord. They have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, thereby defiling it. 31 In the Valley of Ben-hinnom[g] they go on building the high places of Topheth to sacrifice their sons and daughters by fire, something I never commanded or considered. 32 Be assured! Days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when they will no longer say “Topheth” or “Valley of Ben-hinnom” but “Valley of Slaughter.” For want of space, Topheth will become burial ground. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and beasts of the earth, which no one will drive away. 34 I will silence the cry of joy, the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land will be turned to rubble.

Chapter 8

At that time—oracle of the Lord—the bones of the kings and princes of Judah, the bones of the priests and the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves and spread out before the sun, the moon, and the whole host of heaven,[h] which they loved and served, which they followed, consulted, and worshiped. They will not be gathered up for burial, but will lie like dung upon the ground. Death will be preferred to life by all the survivors of this wicked people who remain in any of the places to which I banish them—oracle of the Lord of hosts.

Israel’s Conduct Incomprehensible

    Tell them: Thus says the Lord:
When someone falls, do they not rise again?
    if they turn away, do they not turn back?
Why then do these people resist
    with persistent rebellion?
Why do they cling to deception,
    refuse to turn back?
I have listened closely:
    they speak what is not true;
No one regrets wickedness,
    saying, “What have I done?”
Everyone keeps on running their course,
    like a horse dashing into battle.
Even the stork in the sky
    knows its seasons;
Turtledove, swift, and thrush
    observe the time of their return,
But my people do not know
    the order of the Lord.
How can you say, “We are wise,
    we have the law of the Lord”?
See, that has been changed into falsehood
    by the lying pen of the scribes![i]
The wise are put to shame,
    terrified, and trapped;
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord,
    what sort of wisdom do they have?

Shameless in Their Crimes

10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men,
    their fields to new owners.
Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain,
    prophet and priest, all practice fraud.
11 They have treated lightly
    the injury to the daughter of my people:[j]
“Peace, peace!” they say,
    though there is no peace.
12 They have acted shamefully; they have done abominable things,
    yet they are not at all ashamed,
    they do not know how to blush.
Hence they shall be among those who fall;
    in their time of punishment they shall stumble,
    says the Lord.

Threats of Punishment

13 I will gather them all in—oracle of the Lord:
    no grapes on the vine,
No figs on the fig trees,
    foliage withered!
Whatever I have given them is gone.
14 Why do we remain here?
    Let us assemble and flee to the fortified cities,
    where we will meet our doom;
For the Lord our God has doomed us,
    he has given us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We wait for peace to no avail;
    for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
16 From Dan is heard
    the snorting of horses;
The neighing of stallions
    shakes the whole land.
They come to devour the land and everything in it,
    the city and its inhabitants.
17 Yes, I will send against you
    poisonous snakes.
Against them no charm will work
    when they bite you—oracle of the Lord.

The Prophet’s Grief over the People’s Suffering

18 My joy is gone,
    grief is upon me,
    my heart is sick.
19 Listen! the cry of the daughter of my people,
    far and wide in the land!
“Is the Lord no longer in Zion,
    is her King no longer in her midst?”
Why do they provoke me with their idols,
    with their foreign nonentities?
20 “The harvest is over, the summer ended,
    but we have not yet been saved!”
21 I am broken by the injury of the daughter of my people.
    I am in mourning; horror has seized me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead,[k]
    no healer there?
Why does new flesh not grow
    over the wound of the daughter of my people?
23 Oh, that my head were a spring of water,
    my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
    over the slain from the daughter of my people!

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–15 The Temple of the Lord will not guarantee safety against enemy invasion or any other misfortune.
  2. 7:6 The alien: specially protected within Israelite society; cf. Ex 22:20; Nm 9:14; 15:14; Dt 5:14; 28:43.
  3. 7:12 Shiloh: an important sanctuary where the ark of the covenant was kept, according to the Books of Joshua, Judges, and 1 Samuel. In response to the corrupt behavior of the priests serving there, God allows the Philistines to destroy Shiloh and take the ark of the covenant. Cf. 1 Sm 1:9; 4:3–4; Ps 78:60, 68–69.
  4. 7:18 Queen of Heaven: probably Astarte, goddess of fertility (cf. 1 Sm 31:10; 1 Kgs 11:5), worshiped particularly by women (cf. Jer 44:15–19). Such worship was evidently reinforced during the reign of King Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:3–7) and was revived after Josiah’s death.
  5. 7:22 I gave them no command: right conduct rather than formal ritual was God’s will concerning his people (v. 23).
  6. 7:29 Hair: the unshorn hair of the nazirite, regarded as sacred because of a vow, temporary or permanent, to abstain from cutting or shaving the hair; nazirites also avoided contact with a corpse and with all products of the vine; cf. Nm 6:4–8. The cutting of this hair was a sign of extreme mourning.
  7. 7:31 Valley of Ben-hinnom: this valley was probably south of Jerusalem. Topheth: perhaps, “fire pit.”
  8. 8:2 Host of heaven: the stars, worshiped by other nations and even by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, particularly during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon.
  9. 8:8 Lying pen of the scribes: because the teachings and interpretations of the scribes ran counter to the word of the Lord.
  10. 8:11 Daughter of my people: see note on 4:11.
  11. 8:22 Gilead: a region southeast of the Sea of Galilee noted for its healing balm.
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 10:19-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

True Glory[a]

19 Whose offspring can be honorable? Human offspring.
    Those who fear the Lord are honorable offspring.
Whose offspring can be disgraceful? Human offspring.
    Those who transgress the commandment are disgraceful offspring.
20 Among relatives their leader is honored;
    but whoever fears God is honored among God’s people.[b]
22 Resident alien, stranger, foreigner, pauper—
    their glory is the fear of the Lord.
23 It is not right to despise anyone wise but poor,
    nor proper to honor the lawless.

24 The prince, the ruler, the judge are in honor;
    but none is greater than the one who fears God.
25 When the free serve a wise slave,
    the wise will not complain.
26 Do not flaunt your wisdom in managing your affairs,
    or boast in your time of need.
27 Better the worker who has goods in plenty
    than the boaster who has no food.

28 My son, with humility have self-esteem;
    and give yourself the esteem you deserve.
29 Who will acquit those who condemn themselves?
    Who will honor those who disgrace themselves?

30 The poor are honored for their wisdom;
    the rich are honored for their wealth.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:19–11:6 Genuine honor comes not from one’s place in society but from fear of the Lord and a true estimate of oneself. The Lord exalts the lowly and oppressed; transgressors of the commandment merit dishonor and disgrace.
  2. 10:20

    Other ancient texts read as v. 21:

    The beginning of acceptance is the fear of the Lord;

    the beginning of rejection, effrontery and pride.

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 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

Solemn Charge.[a] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,[b] will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.

Reward for Fidelity. [c]For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. [d]I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. [e]From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

IV. Personal Requests and Final Greetings

Paul’s Loneliness. [f]Try to join me soon, 10 for Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia,[g] and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. 12 I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

14 Alexander[h] the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

16 At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greeting. 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila[i] and the family of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus[j] remained in Corinth, while I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. 21 Try to get here before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus,[k] Claudia, and all the brothers send greetings.

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–5 The gravity of the obligation incumbent on Timothy to preach the word can be gauged from the solemn adjuration: in the presence of God, and of Christ coming as universal judge, and by his appearance and his kingly power (2 Tm 4:1). Patience, courage, constancy, and endurance are required despite the opposition, hostility, indifference, and defection of many to whom the truth has been preached (2 Tm 4:2–5).
  2. 4:3 Insatiable curiosity: literally, “with itching ears.”
  3. 4:6 The apostle recognizes his death through martyrdom to be imminent. He regards it as an act of worship in which his blood will be poured out in sacrifice; cf. Ex 29:38–40; Phil 2:17.
  4. 4:7 At the close of his life Paul could testify to the accomplishment of what Christ himself foretold concerning him at the time of his conversion, “I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16).
  5. 4:8 When the world is judged at the parousia, all who have eagerly looked for the Lord’s appearing and have sought to live according to his teachings will be rewarded. The crown is a reference to the laurel wreath placed on the heads of victorious athletes and conquerors in war; cf. 2 Tm 2:5; 1 Cor 9:25.
  6. 4:9–13 Demas either abandoned the work of the ministry for worldly affairs or, perhaps, gave up the faith itself (2 Tm 4:10). Luke (2 Tm 4:11) may have accompanied Paul on parts of his second and third missionary journeys (Acts 16:10–12; 20:5–7). Notice the presence of the first personal pronoun “we” in these Acts passages, suggesting to some that Luke (or at least some traveling companion of Paul’s) was the author of Acts. Mark, once rejected by Paul (Acts 13:13; 15:39), is now to render him a great service (2 Tm 4:11); cf. Col 4:10; Phlm 24. For Tychicus, see Eph 6:21; cf. also Acts 20:4; Col 4:7.
  7. 4:10 Galatia: some manuscripts read “Gaul” or “Gallia.”
  8. 4:14–18 Alexander: an opponent of Paul’s preaching (2 Tm 4:14–15), perhaps the one who is mentioned in 1 Tm 1:20. Despite Paul’s abandonment by his friends in the province of Asia (cf. 2 Tm 1:15–16), the divine assistance brought this first trial to a successful issue, even to the point of making the gospel message known to those who participated in or witnessed the trial (2 Tm 4:16–17).
  9. 4:19 Prisca and Aquila: they assisted Paul in his ministry in Corinth (Acts 18:2–3) and Ephesus (Acts 18:19, 26; 1 Cor 16:19). They risked death to save his life, and all the Gentile communities are indebted to them (Rom 16:3–5).
  10. 4:20 Erastus: he was the treasurer of the city of Corinth (Rom 16:24); cf. also Acts 19:22. Trophimus: from the province of Asia, he accompanied Paul from Greece to Troas (Acts 20:4–5).
  11. 4:21 Linus: Western tradition sometimes identified this Linus with the supposed successor of Peter as bishop of Rome, and Claudia as the mother of Linus (Apostolic Constitutions, fourth century).
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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