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

Chapter 7

Defeat at Ai. But the Israelites acted treacherously with regard to the ban; Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took goods that were under the ban, and the anger of the Lord flared up against the Israelites.

Joshua next sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven and east of Bethel, with the order, “Go up and reconnoiter the land.” When they had explored Ai, they returned to Joshua and advised, “Do not send all the people up; if only about two or three thousand go up, they can attack and overcome Ai. You need not tire all the people: the enemy there are few.” About three thousand of the people made the attack, but they fled before the army at Ai, who killed some thirty-six of them. They pursued them from the city gate to the Shebarim, and defeated them on the descent, so that the confidence of the people melted away like water.

Joshua, together with the elders of Israel, tore their garments and fell face down before the ark of the Lord until evening; and they threw dust on their heads. “Alas, Lord God,” Joshua prayed, “why did you ever allow this people to cross over the Jordan, delivering us into the power of the Amorites, that they might destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell on the other side of the Jordan. Please, Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned its back to its enemies? When the Canaanites and the other inhabitants of the land hear of it, they will close in around us and efface our name from the earth. What will you do for your great name?”

10 The Lord replied to Joshua: Stand up. Why are you lying there? 11 Israel has sinned: they have transgressed the covenant[a] which I enjoined on them. They have taken goods subject to the ban. They have stolen and lied, placing the goods in their baggage. 12 If the Israelites cannot stand up to their enemies, but must turn their back to them, it is because they are under the ban. I will not continue to be with you unless you remove that which is banned from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify the people. Tell them, “Sanctify yourselves before tomorrow, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: That which is banned is in your midst, Israel. You cannot stand up to your enemies until you remove it from among you. 14 In the morning you must come forward by tribes. The tribe which the Lord designates shall come forward by clans; the clan which the Lord designates shall come forward by families; the family which the Lord designates shall come forward one by one. 15 Whoever is designated as having incurred the ban shall be destroyed by fire, with all that is his, because he has trangressed the covenant of the Lord and has committed a shameful crime in Israel.”

Achan’s Guilt and Punishment. 16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was designated.[b] 17 Then he had the clans of Judah come forward, and the clan of Zerah was designated. He had the clan of Zerah come forward by families, and Zabdi was designated. 18 Finally he had that family come forward one by one, and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, was designated. 19 Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and praise him by telling me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20 Achan answered Joshua, “I have indeed sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 Among the spoils, I saw a beautiful Babylonian mantle, two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight; I coveted them and I took them. They are now hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” 22 Joshua sent messengers and they ran to the tent and there they were, hidden in the tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took them from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out before the Lord.

24 Then Joshua and all Israel took Achan, son of Zerah, with the silver, the mantle, and the bar of gold, and with his sons and daughters, his ox, his donkey and his sheep, his tent, and all his possessions, and led them off to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “What misery have you caused us? May the Lord bring misery upon you today!” And all Israel stoned him to death. They burnt them with fire and they stoned them. 26 Over Achan they piled a great heap of stones, which remains to the present day. Then the Lord turned from his anger. That is why the place is called the Valley of Achor[c] to this day.

Chapter 8

Capture of Ai. The Lord then said to Joshua: Do not be afraid or dismayed. Take all the army with you and prepare to attack Ai. I have delivered the king of Ai into your power, with his people, city, and land. Do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king—except that you may take its spoil and livestock as plunder. Set an ambush behind the city. So Joshua and all the soldiers prepared to attack Ai. Picking out thirty thousand warriors,[d] Joshua sent them off by night with these orders: “See that you ambush the city from the rear. Do not be very far from the city. All of you must be ready. The rest of the people and I will come up to the city, and when they make a sortie against us as they did the last time, we will flee from them. They will keep coming out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will think, ‘They are fleeing from us as they did the last time.’ When we flee, then you rise from ambush and take possession of the city, which the Lord, your God, will deliver into your power. When you have taken the city, set it on fire in obedience to the Lord’s command. These are my orders to you.” Then Joshua sent them away. They went to the place of ambush, taking up their position to the west of Ai, toward Bethel. Joshua, however, spent that night with the army.

10 Early the next morning Joshua mustered the army and went up to Ai at its head, with the elders of Israel. 11 When all the troops he led were drawn up in position before the city, they pitched camp north of Ai, on the other side of the ravine. 12 He took about five thousand warriors and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, west of the city. 13 Thus the people took up their stations, with the main body north of the city and the ambush west of it, and Joshua waited overnight in the valley. 14 The king of Ai saw this, and he and all his army came out very early in the morning to engage Israel in battle at the place in front of the Arabah, not knowing that there was an ambush behind the city. 15 Joshua and the main body of the Israelites fled toward the wilderness, pretending defeat, 16 until the last of the soldiers in the city had been called out to pursue them. Since they were drawn away from the city, with everyone pursuing Joshua, 17 not a soldier remained in Ai or Bethel. They abandoned the city, leaving it open, as they pursued Israel.

18 Then the Lord directed Joshua: Stretch out the javelin in your hand toward Ai, for I will deliver it into your power. Joshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward the city, 19 and as soon as he did so, the men in ambush rose from their post, rushed in, captured the city, and immediately set it on fire. 20 By the time the army of Ai looked back, the smoke from the city was going up to the heavens. Escape in any direction was impossible, because the Israelites retreating toward the wilderness now turned on their pursuers; 21 for when Joshua and the main body of Israelites saw that the city had been taken by ambush and was going up in smoke, they struck back at the forces of Ai. 22 Since those in the city came out to intercept them, Ai’s army was hemmed in by Israelites on both sides, who cut them down without any fugitives or survivors 23 except the king, whom they took alive and brought to Joshua.

24 When Israel finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open, who had pursued them into the wilderness, and all of them to the last man fell by the sword, then all Israel returned and put to the sword those inside the city. 25 There fell that day a total of twelve thousand men and women, the entire population of Ai. 26 Joshua kept the javelin in his hand stretched out until he had carried out the ban on all the inhabitants of Ai. 27 However, the Israelites took for themselves as plunder the livestock and the spoil of that city, according to the command of the Lord issued to Joshua. 28 Then Joshua destroyed Ai by fire, reducing it to an everlasting mound of ruins, as it remains today. 29 He had the king of Ai hanged on a tree until evening; then at sunset Joshua ordered the body removed from the tree and cast at the entrance of the city gate, where a great heap of stones was piled up over it, which remains to the present day.

Altar on Mount Ebal. 30 [e]Later, on Mount Ebal, Joshua built to the Lord, the God of Israel, an altar 31 of unhewn stones on which no iron tool had been used, just as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded the Israelites, as recorded in the book of the law. On this altar they sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord and made communion sacrifices. 32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua inscribed upon the stones a copy of the law written by Moses. 33 And all Israel, resident alien and native alike, with their elders, officers, and judges, stood on either side of the ark facing the levitical priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Half of them were facing Mount Gerizim and half Mount Ebal, just as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had first commanded for the blessing of the people of Israel. 34 Then were read aloud all the words of the law, the blessings and the curses, exactly as written in the book of the law. 35 Every single word that Moses had commanded, Joshua read aloud to the entire assembly, including the women and children, and the resident aliens among them.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:11 Transgressed the covenant: the Hebrew word translated “transgressed” appears frequently in the first five chapters where it is used to describe how Israel “crossed” the Jordan River. There is a wordplay here to emphasize Israel’s responsibility to follow God to the promised land and so to obey and not transgress the divine command.
  2. 7:16–18 Was designated: probably by means of the Urim and Thummim; cf. 1 Sm 14:38–42. See note on Ex 28:30.
  3. 7:26 Achor: “misery,” or “disaster.” The reference is to the saying of Joshua in v. 25, with an allusion also to the similar-sounding name of Achan.
  4. 8:3 Thirty thousand warriors: this figure of the Hebrew text, which seems extremely high, may be due to a copyist’s error; some manuscripts of the Septuagint have “three thousand,” which is the number of the whole army in the first, unsuccessful attack (7:4); the variant reading in v. 12 mentions “five thousand.” More likely, the word for “thousand” here and in other military contexts may designate a squad or fighting unit, itself composed of significantly fewer warriors.
  5. 8:30–35 These ceremonies were prescribed in Dt 11:29 and 27:2–26.
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 107 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Fifth Book—Psalms 107–150

Psalm 107[a]

God the Savior of Those in Distress

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
    his mercy endures forever!”
Let that be the prayer of the Lord’s redeemed,
    those redeemed from the hand of the foe,
Those gathered from foreign lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.

I

Some had lost their way in a barren desert;
    found no path toward a city to live in.
They were hungry and thirsty;
    their life was ebbing away.
In their distress they cried to the Lord,
    who rescued them in their peril,
Guided them by a direct path
    so they reached a city to live in.
Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
    such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.
For he satisfied the thirsty,
    filled the hungry with good things.

II

10 Some lived in darkness and gloom,
    imprisoned in misery and chains.
11 Because they rebelled against God’s word,
    and scorned the counsel of the Most High,
12 He humbled their hearts through hardship;
    they stumbled with no one to help.
13 In their distress they cried to the Lord,
    who saved them in their peril;
14 He brought them forth from darkness and the shadow of death
    and broke their chains asunder.
15 Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
    such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.
16 For he broke down the gates of bronze
    and snapped the bars of iron.

III

17 Some fell sick from their wicked ways,
    afflicted because of their sins.
18 They loathed all manner of food;
    they were at the gates of death.
19 In their distress they cried to the Lord,
    who saved them in their peril,
20 Sent forth his word to heal them,
    and snatched them from the grave.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
    such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.
22 Let them offer a sacrifice in thanks,
    recount his works with shouts of joy.

IV

23 Some went off to sea in ships,
    plied their trade on the deep waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
    the wonders of God in the deep.
25 He commanded and roused a storm wind;
    it tossed the waves on high.
26 They rose up to the heavens, sank to the depths;
    their hearts trembled at the danger.
27 They reeled, staggered like drunkards;
    their skill was of no avail.
28 In their distress they cried to the Lord,
    who brought them out of their peril;
29 He hushed the storm to silence,
    the waves of the sea were stilled.
30 They rejoiced that the sea grew calm,
    that God brought them to the harbor they longed for.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
    such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.
32 Let them extol him in the assembly of the people,
    and praise him in the council of the elders.

V

33 [b]God changed rivers into desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 Fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the wickedness of its people.
35 He changed the desert into pools of water,
    arid land into springs of water,
36 And settled the hungry there;
    they built a city to live in.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards,
    brought in an abundant harvest.
38 God blessed them, and they increased greatly,
    and their livestock did not decrease.
39 But he poured out contempt on princes,
    made them wander trackless wastes,
40 Where they were diminished and brought low
    through misery and cruel oppression.
41 While he released the poor man from affliction,
    and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright saw this and rejoiced;
    all wickedness shut its mouth.
43 Whoever is wise will take note of these things,
    and ponder the merciful deeds of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 107 A hymn inviting those who have been rescued by God to give praise (Ps 107:1–3). Four archetypal divine rescues are described, each ending in thanksgiving: from the sterile desert (Ps 107:4–9), from imprisonment in gloom (Ps 107:10–16), from mortal illness (Ps 107:17–22), and from the angry sea (Ps 107:23–32). The number four connotes totality, all the possible varieties of rescue. The same saving activity of God is shown in Israel’s history (Ps 107:33–41); whenever the people were endangered God rescued them. The last verses invite people to ponder the persistent saving acts of God (Ps 107:42–43).
  2. 107:33–41 God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Gn 18–19, which the Psalm sees as the destruction of the wicked inhabitants of Canaan to prepare the way for Israel (Ps 107:33–34). God then led Israel through the desert to give them a fertile land (Ps 107:35–38) and protected them from every danger (Ps 107:39–41).
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 Thessalonians 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

Greeting.[a] Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace from God [our] Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving. [b]We ought to thank God always for you, brothers, as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more, and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater. Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure.

This is evidence of the just judgment of God, so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God for which you are suffering. For it is surely just on God’s part to repay with afflictions those who are afflicting you, and to grant rest along with us to you who are undergoing afflictions, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his mighty angels, in blazing fire, inflicting punishment on those who do not acknowledge God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, 10 when he comes to be glorified among his holy ones[c] and to be marveled at on that day among all who have believed, for our testimony to you was believed.

Prayer. 11 To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, 12 [d]that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–2 On the address, see note on Rom 1:1–7 and cf. 1 Thes 1:1.
  2. 1:3–12 On the thanksgiving, see note on Rom 1:8 and cf. 1 Thes 1:2–10. Paul’s gratitude to God for the faith and love of the Thessalonians (2 Thes 1:3) and his Christian pride in their faithful endurance (2 Thes 1:4–5) contrast with the condemnation announced for those who afflict them, a judgment to be carried out at the parousia (2 Thes 1:6–10), which is described in vivid language drawn from Old Testament apocalyptic. A prayer for the fulfillment of God’s purpose in the Thessalonians (2 Thes 1:11–12) completes the section, as is customary in a Pauline letter (cf. 1 Thes 1:2–3).
  3. 1:10 Among his holy ones: in the Old Testament, this term can refer to an angelic throng (cf. also Jude 14), but here, in parallel with among all who have believed, it can refer to the triumphant people of God.
  4. 1:12 The grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ: the Greek can also be translated, “the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
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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