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Lamentations 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

The Lord’s Wrath and Zion’s Ruin[a]

How the Lord in his wrath
    has abhorred daughter Zion,
Casting down from heaven to earth
    the glory of Israel,[b]
Not remembering his footstool
    on the day of his wrath!

The Lord has devoured without pity
    all of Jacob’s dwellings;
In his fury he has razed
    daughter Judah’s defenses,
Has brought to the ground in dishonor
    a kingdom and its princes.

In blazing wrath, he cut down entirely
    the horn[c] of Israel;
He withdrew the support of his right hand
    when the enemy approached;
He burned against Jacob like a blazing fire
    that consumes everything in its path.

He bent his bow like an enemy;
    the arrow in his right hand
Like a foe, he killed
    all those held precious;
On the tent of daughter Zion
    he poured out his wrath like fire.

The Lord has become the enemy,
    he has devoured Israel:
Devoured all its strongholds,
    destroyed its defenses,
Multiplied moaning and groaning
    throughout daughter Judah.

He laid waste his booth like a garden,
    destroyed his shrine;[d]
The Lord has blotted out in Zion
    feast day and sabbath,
Has scorned in fierce wrath
    king and priest.

The Lord has rejected his altar,
    spurned his sanctuary;
He has handed over to the enemy
    the walls of its strongholds.
They shout in the house of the Lord
    as on a feast day.

The Lord was bent on destroying
    the wall of daughter Zion:
He stretched out the measuring line;[e]
    did not hesitate to devour,
Brought grief on rampart and wall
    till both succumbed.

Her gates sank into the ground;
    he smashed her bars to bits.
Her king and her princes are among the nations;
    instruction is wanting,
Even her prophets do not obtain
    any vision from the Lord.

10 The elders of daughter Zion
    sit silently on the ground;
They cast dust[f] on their heads
    and dress in sackcloth;
The young women of Jerusalem
    bow their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes are spent with tears,
    my stomach churns;[g]
My bile is poured out on the ground
    at the brokenness of the daughter of my people,
As children and infants collapse
    in the streets of the town.

12 They cry out to their mothers,
    “Where is bread and wine?”
As they faint away like the wounded
    in the streets of the city,
As their life is poured out
    in their mothers’ arms.

13 To what can I compare you[h]—to what can I liken you—
    O daughter Jerusalem?
What example can I give in order to comfort you,
    virgin daughter Zion?
For your breach is vast as the sea;
    who could heal you?

14 Your prophets provided you visions
    of whitewashed illusion;
They did not lay bare your guilt,
    in order to restore your fortunes;
They saw for you only oracles
    of empty deceit.

15 All who pass by on the road,
    clap their hands at you;
They hiss and wag their heads
    over daughter Jerusalem:
“Is this the city they used to call
    perfect in beauty and joy of all the earth?”

16 They open their mouths against you,
    all your enemies;
They hiss and gnash their teeth,
    saying, “We have devoured her!
How we have waited for this day—
    we have lived to see it!”

17 The Lord has done what he planned.
    He has fulfilled the threat
Decreed from days of old,
    destroying without pity!
He let the enemy gloat over you
    and exalted the horn of your foes.

18 Cry out to the Lord from your heart,
    wall of daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent
    day and night;
Give yourself no rest,
    no relief for your eyes.

19 Rise up! Wail in the night,
    at the start of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water
    before the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him
    for the lives of your children,
Who collapse from hunger
    at the corner of every street.[i]

20 “Look, O Lord, and pay attention:
    to whom have you been so ruthless?
Must women eat their own offspring,[j]
    the very children they have borne?
Are priest and prophet to be slain
    in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 They lie on the ground in the streets,
    young and old alike;
Both my young women and young men
    are cut down by the sword;
You killed them on the day of your wrath,
    slaughtered without pity.

22 You summoned as to a feast day
    terrors on every side;
On the day of the Lord’s wrath,
    none survived or escaped.
Those I have borne and nurtured,
    my enemy has utterly destroyed.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1–22 This chapter continues to move between the voice of the poet (vv. 1–20) and that of personified Zion (vv. 20–22). The persona of the poet, first portrayed in chap. 1 as a detached observer recounting both the desolation as well as the sins of the city, becomes in this chapter an advocate for Zion in her appeal to the Lord and never once mentions her sins.
  2. 2:1 The glory of Israel: the Temple. His footstool: the ark of the covenant (1 Chr 28:2; Ps 99:5; 132:7); or again, the Temple (Ez 43:7).
  3. 2:3 Horn: a symbol of power and strength; cf. v. 17; 1 Sm 2:1, 10; Ps 89:18, 25; 92:11; 112:9.
  4. 2:6 Booth…shrine: synonyms for the Temple; cf. Ps 27:5; 74:4, 8. The term for “shrine” in Hebrew (mo‘ed) figures prominently in the pentateuchal expression “tent of meeting” (’ohel mo‘ed).
  5. 2:8 The measuring line: normally used for building, here employed ironically as an instrument of destruction; cf. Is 34:11; 2 Kgs 21:13.
  6. 2:10 They cast dust: as a sign of mourning; cf. Jos 7:6; Jb 2:12; Ez 27:30.
  7. 2:11 My eyes are spent with tears, my stomach churns: the poet appropriates the emotional language used by Zion in 1:16 and 1:20 to express a progressively stronger commitment to her cause. After describing the systematic dismantling of the city in vv. 5–9, the poet turns to the plight of the inhabitants in vv. 10–12. It is the description of children dying in the streets that finally brings about the poet’s emotional breakdown, even as it did for Zion in 1:16.
  8. 2:13 To what can I compare you…?: the author calls attention to the poetic task: to find language that speaks adequately of the atrocities and incomparable suffering experienced by Zion, and thus to attempt to offer comfort.
  9. 2:19 The poet urges Zion to appeal to the Lord once more on behalf of her dying children. The image of Zion’s children effectively condenses the metaphorical sense of all residents of the city (young and old alike) into the more poignant picture of actual children at the point of death. It was precisely this image, no doubt well known to survivors of besieged cities, that led to the emotional breakdown of both Zion (1:16) and the poet (2:11). The hope is that the Lord will be similarly affected by such a poignant image and respond with mercy.
  10. 2:20 Must women eat their own offspring: extreme famine in a besieged city sometimes led to cannibalism; this becomes a stereotypical way of expressing the nearly unthinkable horrors of war; cf. Lam 4:10; Dt 28:53; 2 Kgs 6:28–29; Bar 2:3; Ez 5:10.
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 24:1-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 24

Praise of Wisdom

Wisdom sings her own praises,[a]
    among her own people she proclaims her glory.
In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth,
    in the presence of his host she tells of her glory:

“From the mouth of the Most High I came forth,
    and covered the earth like a mist.
In the heights of heaven I dwelt,
    and my throne was in a pillar of cloud.
The vault of heaven I compassed alone,
    and walked through the deep abyss.
Over waves of the sea, over all the land,
    over every people and nation I held sway.
Among all these I sought a resting place.
    In whose inheritance should I abide?

“Then the Creator of all gave me his command,
    and my Creator chose the spot for my tent.
He said, ‘In Jacob make your dwelling,
    in Israel your inheritance.’
Before all ages, from the beginning, he created me,
    and through all ages I shall not cease to be.
10 In the holy tent I ministered before him,
    and so I was established in Zion.
11 In the city he loves as he loves me, he gave me rest;
    in Jerusalem, my domain.
12 I struck root among the glorious people,
    in the portion of the Lord, his heritage.

13 “Like a cedar in Lebanon I grew tall,
    like a cypress on Mount Hermon;
14 I grew tall like a palm tree in Engedi,
    like rosebushes in Jericho;
Like a fair olive tree in the field,
    like a plane tree beside water I grew tall.
15 Like cinnamon and fragrant cane,
    like precious myrrh I gave forth perfume;
Like galbanum and onycha and mastic,
    like the odor of incense in the holy tent.[b]

16 “I spread out my branches like a terebinth,
    my branches so glorious and so graceful.
17 I bud forth delights like a vine;
    my blossoms are glorious and rich fruit.[c]

Footnotes:

  1. 24:1–29 Wisdom speaks in the first person, describing her origin, her dwelling place in Israel, and the reward she gives her followers. As in Proverbs 8, Wisdom is personified as coming from God, yet distinct from him. This description is reflected in the Johannine logos, or Word (Jn 1:1–14). It is used extensively in the Roman liturgy.
  2. 24:15 These substances, associated with worship, are mentioned in Ex 30:23–28, 34–35 as the ingredients of the anointing oil and the sacred incense. Israel was a priestly nation (Ex 19:6; Is 61:6).
  3. 24:17

    Other ancient texts read as v. 18:

    I am the mother of fair love, of reverence,

    of knowledge, and of holy hope;

    To all my children I give

    to be everlasting: to those named by Him.

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 12:27-50 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

27 “I am troubled[a] now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. 31 Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world[b] will be driven out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this indicating the kind of death he would die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever.[c] Then how can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.”

Unbelief and Belief Among the Jews. After he had said this, Jesus left and hid from them. 37 [d]Although he had performed so many signs in their presence they did not believe in him, 38 [e]in order that the word which Isaiah the prophet spoke might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed our preaching,
    to whom has the might of the Lord been revealed?”

39 For this reason they could not believe, because again Isaiah said:

40 “He blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
so that they might not see with their eyes
    and understand with their heart and be converted,
and I would heal them.”

41 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory[f] and spoke about him. 42 Nevertheless, many, even among the authorities, believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they did not acknowledge it openly in order not to be expelled from the synagogue. 43 For they preferred human praise to the glory of God.

Recapitulation. 44 Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, 45 and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. 46 I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. 48 Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, 49 because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

Footnotes:

  1. 12:27 I am troubled: perhaps an allusion to the Gethsemane agony scene of the synoptics.
  2. 12:31 Ruler of this world: Satan.
  3. 12:34 There is no passage in the Old Testament that states precisely that the Messiah remains forever. Perhaps the closest is Ps 89:37.
  4. 12:37–50 These verses, on unbelief of the Jews, provide an epilogue to the Book of Signs.
  5. 12:38–41 John gives a historical explanation of the disbelief of the Jewish people, not a psychological one. The Old Testament had to be fulfilled; the disbelief that met Isaiah’s message was a foreshadowing of the disbelief that Jesus encountered. In Jn 12:42 and also in Jn 3:20 we see that there is no negation of freedom.
  6. 12:41 His glory: Isaiah saw the glory of Yahweh enthroned in the heavenly temple, but in John the antecedent of his is Jesus.
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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