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Joshua 21-22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 21

Levitical Cities. The heads of the Levite families[a] approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua, son of Nun, and the heads of families of the other tribes of the Israelites at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, and said to them, “The Lord commanded, through Moses, that cities be given us to dwell in, with pasture lands for our livestock.” Out of their own heritage, according to the command of the Lord, the Israelites gave the Levites the following cities with their pasture lands.

When the first lot among the Levites fell to the clans of the Kohathites, the descendants of Aaron the priest obtained by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, thirteen cities. From the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, from the tribe of Dan, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh, the rest of the Kohathites obtained by lot ten cities. From the clans of the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from the tribe of Naphtali, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh, the Gershonites obtained by lot thirteen cities. From the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun, the clans of the Merarites obtained twelve cities. These cities with their pasture lands the Israelites gave by lot to the Levites, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

Cities of the Priests. From the tribes of the Judahites and Simeonites they gave the following cities 10 and assigned them to the descendants of Aaron in the Kohathite clan of the Levites, since the first lot fell to them: 11 first, Kiriath-arba (Arba was the father of Anak), that is, Hebron, in the mountain region of Judah, with the adjacent pasture lands, 12 although the open country and villages belonging to the city had been given to Caleb, son of Jephunneh, as his holding. 13 Thus to the descendants of Aaron the priest were given the city of refuge for homicides at Hebron, with its pasture lands; also, Libnah with its pasture lands, 14 Jattir with its pasture lands, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, 15 Holon with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, 16 Ain with its pasture lands, Juttah with its pasture lands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands: nine cities from these two tribes. 17 From the tribe of Benjamin they obtained Gibeon with its pasture lands, Geba with its pasture lands, 18 Anathoth with its pasture lands, and Almon with its pasture lands: four cities. 19 These cities which with their pasture lands belonged to the priestly descendants of Aaron, were thirteen in all.

Cities of the Other Kohathites. 20 The rest of the Kohathite clans among the Levites obtained by lot, from the tribe of Ephraim, four cities. 21 They were assigned, with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for homicides at Shechem in the mountain region of Ephraim; also Gezer with its pasture lands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasture lands, and Beth-horon with its pasture lands. 23 From the tribe of Dan they obtained Elteke with its pasture lands, Gibbethon with its pasture lands, 24 Aijalon with its pasture lands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands: four cities. 25 From the half-tribe of Manasseh, Taanach with its pasture lands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands: two cities. 26 These cities which with their pasture lands belonged to the rest of the Kohathite clans were ten in all.

Cities of the Gershonites. 27 The Gershonite clan of the Levites received from the half-tribe of Manasseh the city of refuge for homicides at Golan in Bashan, with its pasture lands; and also Beth-Astharoth with its pasture lands: two cities. 28 From the tribe of Issachar they obtained Kishion with its pasture lands, Daberath with its pasture lands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasture lands, and En-gannim with its pasture lands: four cities. 30 From the tribe of Asher, Mishal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, 31 Helkath with its pasture lands, and Rehob with its pasture lands: four cities. 32 From the tribe of Naphtali, the city of refuge for homicides at Kedesh in Galilee, with its pasture lands; also Hammath with its pasture lands, and Kartan with its pasture lands: three cities. 33 The cities which belonged to the Gershonite clans, with their pasture lands, were thirteen in all.

Cities of the Merarites. 34 The Merarite clans, the last of the Levites, received, from the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with its pasture lands, Kartah with its pasture lands, 35 Dimnah with its pasture lands, and Nahalal with its pasture lands: four cities. 36 Also, across the Jordan, from the tribe of Reuben, the city of refuge for homicides at Bezer with its pasture lands, Jahaz with its pasture lands, 37 Kedemoth with its pasture lands, and Mephaath with its pasture lands: four cities. 38 From the tribe of Gad, the city of refuge for homicides at Ramoth in Gilead with its pasture lands, Mahanaim with its pasture lands, 39 Heshbon with its pasture lands, and Jazer with its pasture lands: four cities in all. 40 The cities allotted to the Merarite clans, the last of the Levites, were therefore twelve in all.

41 Thus the total number of cities within the territory of the Israelites which, with their pasture lands, belonged to the Levites, was forty-eight. 42 With each and every one of these cities went the pasture lands round about it.

43 And so the Lord gave Israel the entire land he had sworn to their ancestors he would give them. Once they had taken possession of it, and dwelt in it, 44 the Lord gave them peace on every side, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of their enemies could withstand them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their power. 45 Not a single word of the blessing that the Lord had promised to the house of Israel failed; it all came true.

III. Return of the Transjordan Tribes and Joshua’s Farewell

Chapter 22

The Eastern Tribes Dismissed. At that time Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them: “You have observed all that Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you, and have listened to my voice in everything I commanded you. For many years now, even until today, you have not abandoned your allies, but have taken care to observe the commands of the Lord, your God. Now that the Lord, your God, has settled your allies as he promised them, you may return to your tents, to your own land, which Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you, across the Jordan. But be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: love the Lord, your God, follow him in all his ways, keep his commandments, hold fast to him, and serve him with your whole heart and your whole self.” Joshua then blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

(For, to half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had assigned land in Bashan; and to the other half Joshua had given a portion along with their allies west of the Jordan.) When Joshua sent them away to their tents and blessed them, he said, “Now that you are returning to your own tents with great wealth, with abundant livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and with a very large supply of clothing, divide these spoils of your enemies with your allies there.” So the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the other Israelites at Shiloh in the land of Canaan and returned to the land of Gilead, their own land, which they had received according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

The Altar Beside the Jordan. 10 When the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh came to the region of the Jordan in the land of Canaan, they built an altar there at the Jordan, an impressively large altar. 11 The other Israelites heard the report: “The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar” in the region of the Jordan facing the land of Canaan,[b] across from the Israelites. 12 When the Israelites heard this, they assembled at Shiloh, as the entire Israelite community to take military action against them.[c]

Accusation of the Western Tribes. 13 The Israelites sent Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the land of Gilead, 14 and with him ten leaders, one from each tribe of Israel, each one the head of an ancestral house among the clans of Israel. 15 When these came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the land of Gilead, they said to them: 16 “Thus says the whole community of the Lord: What act of treachery is this you have committed against the God of Israel? This day you have turned from following the Lord; by building an altar of your own you have rebelled against the Lord this day. 17 Is the iniquity of Peor not enough, by which we made ourselves impure, even to this day, and a plague came upon the community of the Lord? 18 If today you turn away from following the Lord, and rebel against the Lord, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole community of Israel! 19 If you consider the land you now possess unclean,[d] cross over to the land the Lord possesses, where the tabernacle of the Lord stands, and share that with us. But do not rebel against the Lord, nor involve us in rebellion, by building an altar of your own in addition to the altar of the Lord, our God. 20 When Achan, son of Zerah, acted treacherously by violating the ban, was it not upon the entire community of Israel that wrath fell? Though he was but a single man, he did not perish alone[e] for his guilt!”

Reply of the Eastern Tribes. 21 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the Israelite clans: 22 “The Lord is the God of gods. The Lord, the God of gods,[f] knows and Israel shall know. If now we have acted out of rebellion or treachery against the Lord, our God, do not try to save us this day, 23 and if we have built an altar of our own to turn from following the Lord, or to sacrifice burnt offerings, grain offerings, or communion sacrifices upon it, the Lord himself will exact the penalty. 24 We did it rather out of our anxious concern lest in the future your children should say to our children: ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has placed the Jordan as a boundary between you and us, you Reubenites and Gadites. You have no share in the Lord.’ Thus your children would prevent ours from revering the Lord. 26 So we thought, ‘Let us act for ourselves by building this altar of our own’—not for burnt offerings or sacrifice, 27 but as witness between us and you and our descendants, that we have the right to provide for the service of the Lord in his presence with our burnt offerings, sacrifices, and communion sacrifices. Now in the future your children cannot say to our children, ‘You have no share in the Lord.’ 28 Our thought was that, if in the future they should speak thus to us or to our descendants, we could answer: ‘Look at the copy of the altar of the Lord which our ancestors made, not for burnt offerings or for sacrifices, but to witness[g] between you and us.’ 29 Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord or to turn now from following the Lord by building an altar for burnt offering, grain offering, or sacrifice in addition to the altar of the Lord, our God, which stands before his tabernacle.”

30 When Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the community, the heads of the Israelite clans, heard what the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the Manassites had to say, they were satisfied. 31 Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, said to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the Manassites, “Today we know that the Lord is in our midst. Since you have not rebelled against the Lord by this act of treachery, you have delivered the Israelites from the hand of the Lord.”

32 Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, and the leaders returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the Israelites in the land of Canaan, and reported the matter to them. 33 The report satisfied the Israelites, who blessed God and decided not to take military action against the Reubenites and Gadites nor to ravage the land where they lived.

34 The Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar its name[h] as a witness among them that the Lord is God.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1 The order to establish special cities for the Levites is given in Nm 35:1–8. The forty-eight cities listed here were hardly the exclusive possession of the Levites; at least the more important of them, such as Hebron, Shechem, and Ramoth in Gilead, were certainly peopled for the most part by the tribe in whose territory they were situated. But in all these cities the Levites had special property rights which they did not possess in other cities; cf. Lv 25:32–34.
  2. 22:11 In the region of the Jordan facing the land of Canaan: on the eastern side of the Jordan valley. The river itself formed the boundary between these eastern tribes and the rest of the tribes who lived in what was formerly Canaan—though the term “Canaan” could also be used of both sides of the Jordan valley (cf. v. 10). The Transjordan tribes naturally built their altar in their own territory.
  3. 22:12 To take military action against them: the western Israelites considered this altar, which seemed to violate the customary unity of the sanctuary (cf. Lv 17:1–9; Dt 12:4–14), as constituting rebellion against the Lord and compromising national unity.
  4. 22:19 Unclean: not sanctified by the tabernacle.
  5. 22:20 Achan…did not perish alone: his guilt caused the failure of the first attack on Ai (7:4–23); this fact is adduced as an argument for the solidarity and mutual responsibility of all the Israelites.
  6. 22:22 The Lord, the God of gods: the Hebrew, which cannot be adequately rendered in English here, adds to the divine name Yhwh (“the Lord”) two synonymous words for “God,” ’el and ’elohim. The repetition of these three sacred words adds force to the protestations of fidelity and innocence.
  7. 22:28 To witness: far from being destined to form a rival sanctuary, the copy of the altar is intended by the eastern tribes solely as a means of teaching their children to be faithful to the one true sanctuary beyond the Jordan.
  8. 22:34 The name of this altar was the Hebrew word for “witness,” ‘ed.
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 113 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 113[a]

Praise of God’s Care for the Poor

Hallelujah!

I

Praise, you servants of the Lord,
    praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
    both now and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
    let the name of the Lord be praised.

II

High above all nations is the Lord;
    above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    enthroned on high,
    looking down on heaven and earth?
He raises the needy from the dust,
    lifts the poor from the ash heap,
Seats them with princes,
    the princes of the people,
Gives the childless wife a home,
    the joyful mother of children.
Hallelujah!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 113 A hymn exhorting the congregation to praise God’s name, i.e., the way in which God is present in the world; the name is mentioned three times in Ps 113:1–3. The divine name is especially honored in the Temple (Ps 113:1) but its recognition is not limited by time (Ps 113:2) and space (Ps 113:3), for God is everywhere active (Ps 113:4–5) especially in rescuing the lowly faithful (Ps 113:7–9).
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.

Galatians 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

God’s Free Children in Christ.[a] I mean that as long as the heir is not of age,[b] he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything, but he is under the supervision of guardians and administrators until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were not of age, were enslaved to the elemental powers of the world.[c] But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children,[d] God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Do Not Throw This Freedom Away.[e] At a time when you did not know God, you became slaves to things that by nature are not gods;[f] but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and destitute elemental powers? Do you want to be slaves to them all over again? 10 You are observing days, months, seasons, and years.[g] 11 I am afraid on your account that perhaps I have labored for you in vain.[h]

Appeal to Former Loyalty.[i] 12 I implore you, brothers, be as I am, because I have also become as you are.[j] You did me no wrong; 13 you know that it was because of a physical illness[k] that I originally preached the gospel to you, 14 and you did not show disdain or contempt because of the trial caused you by my physical condition, but rather you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 Where now is that blessedness of yours?[l] Indeed, I can testify to you that, if it had been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So now have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They show interest in you, but not in a good way; they want to isolate you,[m] so that you may show interest in them. 18 Now it is good to be shown interest for good reason at all times, and not only when I am with you. 19 My children, for whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in you! 20 I would like to be with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed because of you.

An Allegory on Christian Freedom.[n] 21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. 23 The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. 24 Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 25 Hagar represents Sinai,[o] a mountain in Arabia; it corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

“Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children;
    break forth and shout, you who were not in labor;
for more numerous are the children of the deserted one
    than of her who has a husband.”[p]

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of the promise. 29 But just as then the child of the flesh persecuted the child of the spirit, it is the same now. 30 But what does the scripture say?

“Drive out the slave woman and her son!
    For the son of the slave woman shall not share the inheritance with the son”

of the freeborn. 31 Therefore, brothers, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–7 What Paul has argued in Gal 3:26–29 is now elaborated in terms of the Christian as the heir (Gal 4:1, 7; cf. Gal 3:18, 29) freed from control by others. Again, as in Gal 3:2–5, the proof that Christians are children of God is the gift of the Spirit of Christ relating them intimately to God.
  2. 4:1, 3 Not of age: an infant or minor.
  3. 4:3 The elemental powers of the world: while the term can refer to the “elements” like earth, air, fire, and water or to elementary forms of religion, the sense here is more likely that of celestial beings that were thought in pagan circles to control the world; cf. Gal 4:8; Col 2:8, 20.
  4. 4:6 Children: see note on Gal 3:26; here in contrast to the infant or young person not of age (Gal 3:1, 3). Abba: cf. Mk 14:36 and the note; Rom 8:15.
  5. 4:8–11 On the basis of the arguments advanced from Gal 3:1 through Gal 4:7, Paul now launches his appeal to the Galatians with the question, how can you turn back to the slavery of the law (Gal 4:9)? The question is posed with reference to bondage to the elemental powers (see note on Gal 4:3) because the Galatians had originally been converted to Christianity from paganism, not Judaism (Gal 4:8). The use of the direct question is like Gal 3:3–5.
  6. 4:8 Things that by nature are not gods: or “gods that by nature do not exist.”
  7. 4:10 This is likely a reference to ritual observances from the Old Testament, promoted by opponents: sabbaths or Yom Kippur, new moon, Passover or Pentecost, sabbatical years.
  8. 4:11 Cf. Gal 2:2. If the Galatians become slaves…all over again to the law (Gal 4:9), Paul will have worked in vain among them.
  9. 4:12–20 A strongly personal section. Paul appeals to past ties between the Galatians and himself. He speaks sharply of the opponents (Gal 4:17–18) and pastorally to the Galatians (Gal 4:19–20).
  10. 4:12 Because I have also become as you are: a terse phrase in Greek, meaning “Be as I, Paul, am,” i.e., living by faith, independent of the law, for, in spite of my background in Judaism (Gal 1:13), I have become as you Galatians are now, a brother in Christ.
  11. 4:13 Physical illness: because its nature is not described, some assume an eye disease (Gal 4:15); others, epilepsy; some relate it to 2 Cor 12:7–9. Originally: this may also be translated “formerly” or “on the first (of two) visit(s)”; cf. Acts 16:6; 18:23.
  12. 4:15 That blessedness of yours: possibly a reference to the Galatians’ initial happy reception of Paul (Gal 4:14) and of his gospel (Gal 1:6; 3:1–4) and their felicitation at such blessedness, but the phrase could also refer ironically to earlier praise by Paul of the Galatians, no longer possible when they turn from the gospel to the claims of the opponents (Gal 4:17–18; 1:7). If the word is a more literal reference to a beatitude, Gal 3:26–28 may be in view.
  13. 4:17 Isolate you: that is, from the blessings of the gospel and/or from Paul.
  14. 4:21–31 Paul supports his appeal for the gospel (Gal 4:9; 1:6–9; 2:16; 3:2) by a further argument from scripture (cf. Gal 3:6–18). It involves the relationship of Abraham (Gal 3:6–16) to his wife, Sarah, the freeborn woman, and to Hagar, the slave woman, and the contrast between the sons born to each, Isaac, child of promise, and Ishmael, son of Hagar (Gn 16; 21). Only through Isaac is the promise of God preserved. This allegory (Gal 4:24), with its equation of the Sinai covenant and Mosaic law with slavery and of the promise of God with freedom, Paul uses only in light of previous arguments. His quotation of Gn 21:10 at Gal 4:30 suggests on a scriptural basis that the Galatians should expel those who are troubling them (Gal 1:7).
  15. 4:25 Hagar represents Sinai…: some manuscripts have what seems a geographical note, “For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia.”
  16. 4:27 Is 54:1 in the Septuagint translation is applied to Sarah as the barren one (in Gn 15) who ultimately becomes the mother not only of Isaac but now of numerous children, i.e., of all those who believe, the children of the promise (Gal 4:28).
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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