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Joshua 1-3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Conquest of Canaan

Chapter 1

Divine Promise of Assistance. After Moses, the servant of the Lord, had died, the Lord said to Moses’ aide Joshua, son of Nun: [a]Moses my servant is dead. So now, you and the whole people with you, prepare to cross the Jordan to the land that I will give the Israelites. Every place where you set foot I have given you, as I promised Moses. [b]All the land of the Hittites, from the wilderness and the Lebanon east to the great river Euphrates and west to the Great Sea, will be your territory. No one can withstand you as long as you live. As I was with Moses, I will be with you: I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and steadfast, so that you may give this people possession of the land I swore to their ancestors that I would give them. Only be strong and steadfast, being careful to observe the entire law which Moses my servant enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you go. Do not let this book of the law depart from your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may carefully observe all that is written in it; then you will attain your goal; then you will succeed. I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.

10 So Joshua commanded the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for three days from now you shall cross the Jordan here, to march in and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving as your possession.’”

The Transjordan Tribes. 12 Joshua addressed the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh: 13 “Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you when he said, ‘The Lord, your God, is about to give you rest; he will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your children, and your livestock may remain in the land Moses gave you here beyond the Jordan. But all the warriors among you must cross over armed, ahead of your kindred, and you must help them 15 until the Lord has settled your kindred, and they like you possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving them. Afterward you may return and possess your own land, which Moses, the servant of the Lord, has given you east of the Jordan.” 16 They answered Joshua, “We will do all you have commanded us, and we will go wherever you send us. 17 As completely as we obeyed Moses, we will obey you. Only, may the Lord, your God, be with you as God was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey all your commands shall be put to death. Only be strong and steadfast.”

Chapter 2

Spies Saved by Rahab. Then Joshua, son of Nun, secretly sent out two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the land and Jericho.” When the two reached Jericho, they went into the house of a prostitute named Rahab, where they lodged. But a report was brought to the king of Jericho: “Some men came here last night, Israelites, to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent Rahab the order, “Bring out the men who have come to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the entire land.” The woman had taken the two men and hidden them, so she said, “True, the men you speak of came to me, but I did not know where they came from. At dark, when it was time to close the gate, they left, and I do not know where they went. You will have to pursue them quickly to overtake them.” Now, she had led them to the roof, and hidden them among her stalks of flax spread out[c] there. But the pursuers set out along the way to the fords of the Jordan. As soon as they had left to pursue them, the gate was shut.

Before the spies lay down, Rahab went up to them on the roof and said:[d] “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that a dread of you has come upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land tremble with fear because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan, whom you destroyed under the ban. 11 We heard, and our hearts melted within us; everyone is utterly dispirited because of you, since the Lord, your God, is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now then, swear to me by the Lord that, since I am showing kindness to you, you in turn will show kindness to my family. Give me a reliable sign 13 that you will allow my father and mother, brothers and sisters, and my whole family to live, and that you will deliver us from death.” 14 “We pledge our lives for yours,” they answered her. “If you do not betray our mission, we will be faithful in showing kindness to you when the Lord gives us the land.”

15 Then she let them down through the window with a rope; for she lived in a house built into the city wall.[e] 16 “Go up into the hill country,” she said, “that your pursuers may not come upon you. Hide there for three days, until they return; then you may go on your way.” 17 They answered her, “We are free of this oath that you made us take, unless, 18 when we come into the land, you tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you are letting us down. Gather your father and mother, your brothers, and all your family into your house. 19 Should any of them pass outside the doors of your house, their blood will be on their own heads, and we will be guiltless. But if anyone in your house is harmed, their blood will be on our heads. 20 If, however, you betray our mission, we will be free of the oath you have made us take.” 21 “Let it be as you say,” she replied, and sent them away. When they were gone, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 They went up into the hill country, where they stayed three days until their pursuers, who had sought them all along the road without finding them, returned. 23 Then the two came back down from the hills, crossed the Jordan to Joshua, son of Nun, and told him all that had happened to them. 24 They assured Joshua, “The Lord has given all this land into our power; indeed, all the inhabitants of the land tremble with fear because of us.”

Chapter 3

Preparations for Crossing the Jordan. Early the next morning, Joshua and all the Israelites moved from Shittim and came to the Jordan, where they stayed before crossing over. Three days later the officers went through the camp and issued these commands to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord, your God, which the levitical priests will carry, you must break camp and follow it, that you may know the way to take, for you have not gone over this road before. But let there be a space of two thousand cubits between you and the ark: do not come nearer to it.” Joshua also said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform wonders among you.” And he told the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross ahead of the people”; so they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.

Then the Lord said to Joshua: Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. Now command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant, “When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, there take your stand.”

So Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord, your God.” 10 He continued: “By this you will know that there is a living God in your midst: he will certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. 11 The ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth will cross the Jordan before you. 12 Now choose twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel. 13 When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the Lord, the Lord of the whole earth, touch the waters of the Jordan, it will cease to flow; the water flowing down from upstream will halt in a single heap.”[f]

The Crossing Begun. 14 The people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of them. 15 When those bearing the ark came to the Jordan and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were immersed in the waters of the Jordan—which overflows all its banks during the entire season of the harvest—[g] 16 the waters flowing from upstream halted, standing up in a single heap for a very great distance indeed, from Adam, a city in the direction of Zarethan; those flowing downstream toward the Salt Sea of the Arabah disappeared entirely.[h] Thus the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the Jordan riverbed while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until the whole nation had completed the crossing of the Jordan.


  1. 1:2–9 The beginning of the Book of Joshua strongly emphasizes the credentials of Joshua as Moses’ worthy successor (vv. 2, 3, 4, 7; cf. v. 17; 3:7; 4:14; 5:15). The movement Joshua leads, whereby the Israelites take possession of the land of Canaan, is thus made continuous with the exodus from Egypt, even though (except for Joshua and Caleb) the generation that left Egypt under Moses’ leadership has died out (5:4, 6), and the people who will make the land of Canaan the land of Israel are a new generation. Thus the book is at pains to establish the continuity between exodus and conquest.
  2. 1:4 The frontiers are as follows: in the south the wilderness of Sinai, in the north the Lebanon range, in the east the Euphrates, and in the west the Great Sea, the Mediterranean. These boundaries are ideal rather than actual.
  3. 2:6 Stalks of flax spread out: to dry in the sun, after they had been soaked in water, according to the ancient process of preparing flax for linen-making. In the Near East the flax harvest occurs near the time of the feast of the Passover (4:19; 5:10); cf. Ex 9:31.
  4. 2:9–11 Rahab’s speech is Deuteronomic in content and style. Through her, the author expresses a theological conviction: the Lord, the God of Israel, is God above all gods; the formation of the people Israel and its success is the Lord’s doing; and all the rulers of the neighboring nations do well to panic at what the Lord is doing (cf. 5:1). Rahab the prostitute is pointedly mentioned in the Matthean genealogy of Jesus (Mt 1:5) and in Jas 2:25.
  5. 2:15 A house built into the city wall: the city wall formed the back wall of the house; remains of such houses have been found at ancient sites. The upper story of Rahab’s house was evidently higher than the city wall. It was through the window of such a house that St. Paul escaped from Damascus; cf. Acts 9:25; 2 Cor 11:33.
  6. 3:13 Heap: Heb. nēd, the same word found in Ex 15:8; the narrative echoes the ancient Song of Miriam (Ex 15:1–18), which celebrates the crossing of the Red Sea. Thus the language provides another parallel between Joshua and Moses, conquest and exodus.
  7. 3:15 Season of the harvest: toward the end of March and the beginning of April, when the barley and other crops that grew during the rainy season of winter were reaped. The crossing took place “on the tenth day of the first month” of the Hebrew year, which began with the first new moon after the spring equinox; cf. 4:19. At this time of the year the Jordan would be swollen as a result of the winter rains and the melting snow of Mount Hermon.
  8. 3:16 Some scholars have suggested that this account may reflect an annual ritual reenactment of the event near the sanctuary of Gilgal.
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.

Psalm 105 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 105[a]

God’s Fidelity to the Promise


Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name;
    make known among the peoples his deeds!
Sing praise to him, play music;
    proclaim all his wondrous deeds!
Glory in his holy name;
    let hearts that seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek out the Lord and his might;
    constantly seek his face.
Recall the wondrous deeds he has done,
    his wonders and words of judgment,
You descendants of Abraham his servant,
    offspring of Jacob the chosen one!


He the Lord, is our God
    whose judgments reach through all the earth.
He remembers forever his covenant,
    the word he commanded for a thousand generations,
Which he made with Abraham,
    and swore to Isaac,
10 And ratified in a statute for Jacob,
    an everlasting covenant for Israel:
11 “To you I give the land of Canaan,
    your own allotted inheritance.”


12 When they were few in number,
    a handful, and strangers there,
13 Wandering from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another people,
14 He let no one oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:[b]
15 [c]“Do not touch my anointed ones,
    to my prophets do no harm.”


16 Then he called down a famine on the land,
    destroyed the grain that sustained them.[d]
17 He had sent a man ahead of them,
    Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They shackled his feet with chains;
    collared his neck in iron,
19 Till his prediction came to pass,
    and the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him;
    the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him lord over his household,
    ruler over all his possessions,
22 To instruct his princes as he desired,
    to teach his elders wisdom.


23 Then Israel entered Egypt;
    Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.[e]
24 God greatly increased his people,
    made them more numerous than their foes.
25 He turned their hearts to hate his people,
    to treat his servants deceitfully.
26 He sent his servant Moses,
    and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27 [f]They worked his signs in Egypt
    and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness and it grew dark,
    but they rebelled against his word.
29 He turned their waters into blood
    and killed their fish.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs,
    even the chambers of their kings.
31 He spoke and there came swarms of flies,
    gnats through all their country.
32 For rain he gave them hail,
    flashes of lightning throughout their land.
33 He struck down their vines and fig trees,
    shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke and the locusts came,
    grasshoppers without number.
35 They devoured every plant in the land;
    they devoured the crops of their fields.
36 He struck down every firstborn in the land,
    the first fruits of all their vigor.
37 He brought his people out,
    laden with silver and gold;
    no one among the tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt rejoiced when they left,
    for fear had seized them.


39 He spread a cloud out as a cover,
    and made a fire to light up the night.
40 They asked and he brought them quail;
    with bread from heaven he filled them.
41 He split the rock and water gushed forth;
    it flowed through the desert like a river.
42 For he remembered his sacred promise
    to Abraham his servant.
43 He brought his people out with joy,
    his chosen ones with shouts of triumph.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations,
    they took possession of the wealth of the peoples,
45 That they might keep his statutes
    and observe his teachings.


  1. Psalm 105 A hymn to God who promised the land of Canaan to the holy people, cf. Ps 78; 106; 136. Israel is invited to praise and seek the presence of God (Ps 105:1–6), who is faithful to the promise of land to the ancestors (Ps 105:7–11). In every phase of the national story—the ancestors in the land of Canaan (Ps 105:12–15), Joseph in Egypt (Ps 105:16–22), Israel in Egypt (Ps 105:23–38), Israel in the desert on the way to Canaan (Ps 105:39–45)—God remained faithful, reiterating the promise of the land to successive servants.
  2. 105:14 Kings: Pharaoh and Abimelech of Gerar, cf. Gn 12:17; 20:6–7.
  3. 105:15 My anointed ones…my prophets: the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were “anointed” in the sense of being consecrated and recipients of God’s revelation.
  4. 105:16 The grain that sustained them: lit., every “staff of bread.”
  5. 105:23, 27 The land of Ham: a synonym for Egypt, cf. Gn 10:6.
  6. 105:27–38 This Psalm and Ps 78:43–51 have an account of the plagues differing in number or in order from Ex 7:14–12:30. Several versions of the exodus story were current.
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.

1 Thessalonians 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. Specific Exhortations

Chapter 4

General Exhortations. Finally, brothers, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God—and as you are conducting yourselves—you do so even more. For you know what instructions[a] we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Holiness in Sexual Conduct.[b] This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; not to take advantage of or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed. For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who [also] gives his holy Spirit to you.

Mutual Charity. On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. 10 Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Nevertheless we urge you, brothers, to progress even more, 11 and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your [own] hands, as we instructed you, 12 that you may conduct yourselves properly toward outsiders and not depend on anyone.

Hope for the Christian Dead. 13 We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,[c] will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together[d] with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, console one another with these words.


  1. 4:2 Instructions: these include specific guidelines on the basis of the Lord’s authority, not necessarily sayings Jesus actually uttered. More profoundly, as 1 Thes 4:8 implies, the instructions are practical principles that Paul worked out in accordance with his understanding of the role of the Spirit.
  2. 4:3–8 Many think that this passage deals with a variety of moral regulations (fornication, adultery, sharp business practices). It can be more specifically interpreted as bringing general norms to bear on a specific problem, namely, marriage within degrees of consanguinity (as between uncle and niece) forbidden in Jewish law but allowed according to a Greek heiress law, which would insure retention of an inheritance within the family and perhaps thereby occasion divorce. In that case, “immorality” (1 Thes 4:3) should be rendered as “unlawful marriage” and “this matter” (1 Thes 4:6) as “a lawsuit.” The phrase in 1 Thes 4:4, “acquire a wife for himself,” has often been interpreted to mean “control one’s body.”
  3. 4:15 Coming of the Lord: Paul here assumes that the second coming, or parousia, will occur within his own lifetime but insists that the time or season is unknown (1 Thes 5:1–2). Nevertheless, the most important aspect of the parousia for him was the fulfillment of union with Christ. His pastoral exhortation focuses first on hope for the departed faithful, then (1 Thes 5:1–3) on the need of preparedness for those who have to achieve their goal.
  4. 4:17 Will be caught up together: literally, snatched up, carried off; cf. 2 Cor 12:2; Rev 12:5. From the Latin verb here used, rapiemur, has come the idea of “the rapture,” when believers will be transported away from the woes of the world; this construction combines this verse with Mt 24:40–41 (see note there) // Lk 17:34–35 and passages from Revelation in a scheme of millennial dispensationalism.
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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