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

I. Ritual of Sacrifices

A. Instructions for the Israelites

Chapter 1

Burnt Offerings. The Lord called Moses, and spoke to him from the tent of meeting: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any one of you[a] brings an offering of livestock to the Lord, you shall bring your offering from the herd or from the flock.

[b]If a person’s offering is a burnt offering[c] from the herd, the offering must be a male without blemish. The individual shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to find favor with the Lord, and shall lay a hand[d] on the head of the burnt offering, so that it may be acceptable to make atonement for the one who offers it. The bull shall then be slaughtered[e] before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall offer its blood by splashing it on all the sides of the altar which is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Then the burnt offering shall be flayed and cut into pieces. After Aaron’s sons, the priests, have put burning embers on the altar and laid wood on them, they shall lay the pieces of meat, together with the head and the suet, on top of the wood and the embers on the altar; but the inner organs and the shanks shall be washed with water. The priest shall then burn all of it on the altar as a burnt offering, a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord.

10 If a person’s burnt offering is from the flock, that is, a sheep or a goat, the offering must be a male without blemish. 11 It shall be slaughtered on the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall splash its blood on all the sides of the altar. 12 When it has been cut into pieces, the priest shall lay these, together with the head and suet, on top of the wood and the embers on the altar; 13 but the inner organs and the shanks shall be washed with water. The priest shall then offer all of it, burning it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord.

14 If a person offers a bird as a burnt offering to the Lord, the offering brought must be a turtledove or a pigeon. 15 Having brought it to the altar, the priest shall wring its head off and burn it on the altar. The blood shall be drained out against the side of the altar. 16 He shall remove its crissum[f] by means of its feathers and throw it on the ash heap at the east side of the altar. 17 Then, having torn the bird open by its wings without separating the halves, the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood and the embers. It is a burnt offering, a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord.

Chapter 2

Grain Offerings. [g]When anyone brings a grain offering to the Lord, the offering must consist of bran flour. The offerer shall pour oil on it and put frankincense over it, and bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. A priest shall take a handful of the bran flour and oil, together with all the frankincense, and shall burn it on the altar as a token of the offering,[h] a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons, a most holy portion from the oblations to the Lord.

When you offer a grain offering baked in an oven, it must be in the form of unleavened cakes made of bran flour mixed with oil, or of unleavened wafers spread with oil. If your offering is a grain offering that is fried on a griddle, it must be of bran flour mixed with oil and unleavened. Break it into pieces, and pour oil over it. It is a grain offering. If your offering is a grain offering that is prepared in a pan, it must be made of bran flour, fried in oil. A grain offering that is made in any of these ways you shall bring to the Lord. It shall be presented to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. The priest shall then remove from the grain offering a token and burn it on the altar as a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. 10 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons, a most holy portion from the oblations to the Lord.

11 [i]Every grain offering that you present to the Lord shall be unleavened, for you shall not burn any leaven or honey as an oblation to the Lord. 12 Such you may present to the Lord in the offering of the first produce that is processed, but they are not to be placed on the altar for a pleasing odor. 13 You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not let the salt of the covenant with your God[j] be lacking from your grain offering. On every offering you shall offer salt.

14 If you offer a grain offering of first ripe fruits to the Lord, you shall offer it in the form of fresh early grain, roasted by fire and crushed as a grain offering of your first ripe fruits. 15 You shall put oil on it and set frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. 16 The priest shall then burn some of the groats and oil, together with all the frankincense, as a token of the offering, an oblation to the Lord.

Chapter 3

Communion Sacrifices. [k]If a person’s offering is a communion sacrifice, if it is brought from the herd, be it a male or a female animal, it must be presented without blemish before the Lord. The one offering it shall lay a hand on the head of the offering. It shall then be slaughtered at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall splash its blood on all the sides of the altar. From the communion sacrifice the individual shall offer as an oblation to the Lord the fat[l] that covers the inner organs, and all the fat that adheres to them, as well as the two kidneys, with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is removed with the kidneys. Aaron’s sons shall burn this on the altar with the burnt offering that is on the wood and the embers, as a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord.

If the communion sacrifice one offers to the Lord is from the flock, be it a male or a female animal, it must be presented without blemish. If one presents a lamb as an offering, that person shall bring it before the Lord, and after laying a hand on the head of the offering, it shall then be slaughtered before the tent of meeting. Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood on all the sides of the altar. From the communion sacrifice the individual shall present as an oblation to the Lord its fat: the whole fatty tail, which is removed close to the spine, the fat that covers the inner organs, and all the fat that adheres to them, 10 as well as the two kidneys, with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is removed with the kidneys. 11 The priest shall burn this on the altar as food, an oblation to the Lord.

12 If a person’s offering is a goat, the individual shall bring it before the Lord, 13 and after laying a hand on its head, it shall then be slaughtered before the tent of meeting. Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood on all the sides of the altar. 14 From this the one sacrificing shall present an offering as an oblation to the Lord: the fat that covers the inner organs, and all the fat that adheres to them, 15 as well as the two kidneys, with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is removed with the kidneys. 16 The priest shall burn these on the altar as food, a sweet-smelling oblation.

All the fat belongs to the Lord. 17 This shall be a perpetual ordinance for your descendants wherever they may dwell. You shall not eat any fat or any blood.[m]

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2 Any one of you: women as well as men bring sacrifices (see 12:6–8; 15:28–30) and are explicitly obligated in other ritual matters (e.g., 13:29, 38; Nm 5:6; 6:2; Lk 2:24). Thus, though the Hebrew formulates sacrificial and other law with male reference, the translation reflects the inclusion of women in ritual requirements. From the herd or from the flock: the only animals which could be used as sacrificial victims were domestic animals either of the bovine class (bulls, cows and calves) or the ovine class (sheep and lambs, goats and kids). Excluded, therefore, were not only all wild animals, but also such “unclean” domestic animals as the camel and the donkey (cf. 11:1–47; 27:26–27).
  2. 1:3–5 Entrance of the tent of meeting…before the Lord: probably the forecourt from the entrance of the court to the entrance of the tent (cf. Ex 27). Thus the altar in front of the tent was entirely accessible to the laity.
  3. 1:3 The burnt offering is used for regular daily (6:1–6) offerings, public festivals (Nm 28–29), purification rituals (Lv 12:6–8; 14:19–20; 15:15, 30), and individuals’ vows and voluntary offerings (22:18–20).
  4. 1:4 Lay a hand: the imposition of a single hand for the sacrifices in chaps. 1–5 may be a means of designating the animal as belonging to the offerer. See note on 16:21. Atonement: see note on 16:6.
  5. 1:5 Shall then be slaughtered: lit., “he shall slaughter the bull.” Slaughtering is not something the offerer must do (as opposed to, for example, hand placement [v. 4] or the presentation of sacrificial portions as an elevated offering [7:29–34]). Thus the verb is construed impersonally here.
  6. 1:16 Crissum: the area around the anus of the bird, lying beneath the bird’s tail.
  7. 2:1 Grain offerings are used as independent offerings (those in this chapter and cf. 6:12–16; 8:26–27; 23:10–11), as substitutes for other offerings in a case of poverty (5:11–13), and as accompaniments to animal offerings (cf. Nm 15:1–12; 28:1–29:39; Lv 14:20; 23:12, 18, 37). Chapter 2 describes two basic types of grain offering: uncooked (vv. 1–3) and cooked (vv. 4–10). The flour (sōlet) used was made of wheat (Ex 29:2) and Jewish tradition and Semitic cognates indicate that it is a coarse rather than a fine flour.
  8. 2:2 Token of the offering: lit., “reminder.” Instead of burning the whole grain offering, only this part is burned on the altar.
  9. 2:11–12 No grain offering that is leavened can be offered on the altar. Those in 7:13 and 23:17 are leavened but not offered on the altar. The Hebrew word for “honey” may refer to fruit syrup as well as to bee honey.
  10. 2:13 The salt of the covenant with your God: partaking of salt in common was an ancient symbol of friendship and alliance. Cf. Mark 9:49–50 and Col 4:6.
  11. 3:1 The exact meaning of Hebrew shelamim, “communion sacrifice,” is not clear. It has also been rendered “gift,” “(re)payment,” “peace,” “well-being,” or “covenant” offering. This offering may be brought for a vow or voluntary offering (cf. 22:21). A distinct version of the communion sacrifice is the thanksgiving offering (7:11–15 vis-à-vis vv. 16–18).
  12. 3:3–5 Fat: only part of the offering is devoted to God, as opposed to the burnt offering (chap. 1), which is wholly burnt (except for the skin). The meat is distributed among the offerer (and the offerer’s party) and the priests (cf. 7:11–36).
  13. 3:17 Any fat or any blood: this prohibition is mentioned here because portions of this offering could be eaten by lay Israelites, who may not be entirely familiar with the prohibition (cf. 7:22–27; 19:26). The fat prohibited is only the visceral fat mentioned in 3:9–10, 14–15, not muscular fat.
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 56 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 56[a]

Trust in God

For the director. According to Yonath elem rehoqim.[b] A miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him at Gath.

I

Have mercy on me, God,
    for I am treated harshly;
    attackers press me all the day.
My foes treat me harshly all the day;
    yes, many are my attackers.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
    in you I place my trust.
I praise the word of God;
    I trust in God, I do not fear.
    What can mere flesh do to me?

II

All the day they foil my plans;
    their every thought is of evil against me.
They hide together in ambush;
    they watch my every step;
    they lie in wait for my life.
They are evil; watch them, God!
    Cast the nations down in your anger!
My wanderings you have noted;
    are my tears not stored in your flask,[c]
    recorded in your book?
10 My foes turn back when I call on you.
    This I know: God is on my side.
11 I praise the word of God,
    I praise the word of the Lord.
12 In God I trust, I do not fear.
    What can man do to me?

III

13 I have made vows to you, God;
    with offerings I will fulfill them,
14 For you have snatched me from death,
    kept my feet from stumbling,
That I may walk before God
    in the light of the living.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 56 Beset physically (Ps 56:2–3) and psychologically (Ps 56:6–7), the psalmist maintains a firm confidence in God (Ps 56:5, 9–10). Nothing will prevent the psalmist from keeping the vow to give thanks for God’s gift of life (Ps 56:13). A refrain (Ps 56:5, 11–12) divides the Psalm in two equal parts.
  2. 56:1 Yonath elem rehoqim: Hebrew words probably designating the melody to which the Psalm was to be sung.
  3. 56:9 Are my tears not stored in your flask: a unique saying in the Old Testament. The context suggests that the tears are saved because they are precious; God puts a high value on each of the psalmist’s troubles.
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.

Matthew 27:51-66 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.[a] The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 [b]The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” 55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance,[c] who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

The Burial of Jesus.[d] 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. 61 But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb.[e] 62 The next day, the one following the day of preparation,[f] the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 64 Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ This last imposture would be worse than the first.”[g] 65 Pilate said to them, “The guard is yours;[h] go secure it as best you can.” 66 So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

Footnotes:

  1. 27:51–53 Veil of the sanctuary…bottom: cf. Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45. Luke puts this event immediately before the death of Jesus. There were two veils in the Mosaic tabernacle on the model of which the temple was constructed, the outer one before the entrance of the Holy Place and the inner one before the Holy of Holies (see Ex 26:31–36). Only the high priest could pass through the latter and that only on the Day of Atonement (see Lv 16:1–18). Probably the torn veil of the gospels is the inner one. The meaning of the scene may be that now, because of Jesus’ death, all people have access to the presence of God, or that the temple, its holiest part standing exposed, is now profaned and will soon be destroyed. The earth quaked…appeared to many: peculiar to Matthew. The earthquake, the splitting of the rocks, and especially the resurrection of the dead saints indicate the coming of the final age. In the Old Testament the coming of God is frequently portrayed with the imagery of an earthquake (see Ps 68:9; 77:19), and Jesus speaks of the earthquakes that will accompany the “labor pains” that signify the beginning of the dissolution of the old world (Mt 24:7–8). For the expectation of the resurrection of the dead at the coming of the new and final age, see Dn 12:1–3. Matthew knows that the end of the old age has not yet come (Mt 28:20), but the new age has broken in with the death (and resurrection; cf. the earthquake in Mt 28:2) of Jesus; see note on Mt 16:28. After his resurrection: this qualification seems to be due to Matthew’s wish to assert the primacy of Jesus’ resurrection even though he has placed the resurrection of the dead saints immediately after Jesus’ death.
  2. 27:54 Cf. Mk 15:39. The Christian confession of faith is made by Gentiles, not only the centurion, as in Mark, but the other soldiers who were keeping watch over Jesus (cf. Mt 27:36).
  3. 27:55–56 Looking on from a distance: cf. Ps 38:12. Mary Magdalene…Joseph: these two women are mentioned again in Mt 27:61 and Mt 28:1 and are important as witnesses of the reality of the empty tomb. A James and Joseph are referred to in Mt 13:55 as brothers of Jesus.
  4. 27:57–61 Cf. Mk 15:42–47. Matthew drops Mark’s designation of Joseph of Arimathea as “a distinguished member of the council” (the Sanhedrin), and makes him a rich man and a disciple of Jesus. The former may be an allusion to Is 53:9 (the Hebrew reading of that text is disputed and the one followed in the NAB OT has nothing about the rich, but they are mentioned in the LXX version). That the tomb was the new tomb of a rich man and that it was seen by the women are indications of an apologetic intent of Matthew; there could be no question about the identity of Jesus’ burial place. The other Mary: the mother of James and Joseph (Mt 27:56).
  5. 27:62–66 Peculiar to Matthew. The story prepares for Mt 28:11–15 and the Jewish charge that the tomb was empty because the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus (Mt 28:13, 15).
  6. 27:62 The next day…preparation: the sabbath. According to the synoptic chronology, in that year the day of preparation (for the sabbath) was the Passover; cf. Mk 15:42. The Pharisees: the principal opponents of Jesus during his ministry and, in Matthew’s time, of the Christian church, join with the chief priests to guarantee against a possible attempt of Jesus’ disciples to steal his body.
  7. 27:64 This last imposture…the first: the claim that Jesus has been raised from the dead is clearly the last imposture; the first may be either his claim that he would be raised up (Mt 27:63) or his claim that he was the one with whose ministry the kingdom of God had come (see Mt 12:28).
  8. 27:65 The guard is yours: literally, “have a guard” or “you have a guard.” Either the imperative or the indicative could mean that Pilate granted the petitioners some Roman soldiers as guards, which is the sense of the present translation. However, if the verb is taken as an indicative it could also mean that Pilate told them to use their own Jewish guards.
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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