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Leviticus 17-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

IV. Holiness Laws

Chapter 17

Sacredness of Blood. The Lord said to Moses: Speak to Aaron and his sons, as well as to all the Israelites, and tell them: This is what the Lord has commanded: [a]Any Israelite who slaughters an ox or a sheep or a goat, whether in the camp or outside of it, without first bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord in front of the Lord’s tabernacle, shall be judged guilty of bloodshed[b]—that individual has shed blood, and shall be cut off from the people. This is so that such sacrifices as they used to offer in the open field the Israelites shall henceforth bring to the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them there as communion sacrifices to the Lord. The priest will splash the blood on the altar of the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting and burn the fat for an odor pleasing to the Lord. No longer shall they offer their sacrifices to the demons[c] with whom they prostituted themselves. This shall be an everlasting statute for them and their descendants.

Tell them, therefore: Anyone, whether of the house of Israel or of the aliens residing among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it to the Lord, shall be cut off from the people. 10 As for anyone, whether of the house of Israel or of the aliens residing among them, who consumes any blood, I will set myself against that individual and will cut that person off from among the people, 11 since the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement[d] on the altar for yourselves, because it is the blood as life that makes atonement. 12 That is why I have told the Israelites: No one among you, not even a resident alien, may consume blood.

13 Anyone hunting,[e] whether of the Israelites or of the aliens residing among them, who catches an animal or a bird that may be eaten, shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth, 14 since the life of all flesh is its blood. I have told the Israelites: You shall not consume the blood of any flesh. Since the life of all flesh is its blood, anyone who consumes it shall be cut off.

15 Everyone, whether a native or an alien, who eats of an animal that died of itself or was killed by a wild beast, shall wash his garments, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening, and then become clean. 16 If one does not wash his garments and bathe, that person shall bear the penalty.

Chapter 18

Laws Concerning Sexual Behavior. The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: I, the Lord, am your God.[f] You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you once lived, nor shall you do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; do not conform to their customs. My decrees you shall carry out, and my statutes you shall take care to follow. I, the Lord, am your God. Keep, then, my statutes and decrees, for the person who carries them out will find life[g] through them. I am the Lord.

[h]None of you shall approach a close relative[i] to have sexual intercourse. I am the Lord. [j]You shall not disgrace your father by having intercourse with your mother. She is your own mother; you shall not have intercourse with her. You shall not have intercourse with your father’s wife, for that would be a disgrace to your father. You shall not have intercourse with your sister,[k] your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in your own household or born elsewhere. 10 You shall not have intercourse with your son’s daughter or with your daughter’s daughter,[l] for that would be a disgrace to you. 11 You shall not have intercourse with the daughter whom your father’s wife bore to him in his household, since she, too, is your sister. 12 You shall not have intercourse with your father’s sister, since she is your father’s relative. 13 You shall not have intercourse with your mother’s sister, since she is your mother’s relative. 14 You shall not disgrace your father’s brother by having sexual relations with his wife, since she, too, is your aunt. 15 You shall not have intercourse with your daughter-in-law;[m] she is your son’s wife; you shall not have intercourse with her. 16 You shall not have intercourse with your brother’s wife;[n] that would be a disgrace to your brother. 17 You shall not have intercourse with a woman and also with her daughter, nor shall you marry and have intercourse with her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are related to her. This would be shameful. 18 While your wife is still living you shall not marry her sister as her rival and have intercourse with her.

19 You shall not approach a woman to have intercourse with her while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. 20 You shall not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife,[o] defiling yourself with her. 21 You shall not offer any of your offspring for immolation to Molech,[p] thus profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination. 23 You shall not have sexual relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; that is perverse.

24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, because by them the nations whom I am driving out of your way have defiled themselves. 25 And so the land has become defiled, and I have punished it for its wickedness, and the land has vomited out its inhabitants. 26 You, however, must keep my statutes and decrees, avoiding all these abominations, both the natives and the aliens resident among you— 27 because the previous inhabitants did all these abominations and the land became defiled; 28 otherwise the land will vomit you out also for having defiled it, just as it vomited out the nations before you. 29 For whoever does any of these abominations shall be cut off from the people. 30 Heed my charge, then, not to observe the abominable customs that have been observed before your time, and thus become impure by them. I, the Lord, am your God.

Footnotes:

  1. 17:3–4 Any animal slaughtered must be brought to the tent of meeting as an offering. This differs from Dt 12:15–28, which allows those living too far from the temple to slaughter an animal for food at home without offering it as a sacrifice.
  2. 17:4 Guilty of bloodshed: human beings and animals can incur blood guilt for killing human beings (cf. Gn 9:5–6); human beings can incur blood guilt for killing animals (see note on Lv 24:17–22).
  3. 17:7 Demons: for Hebrew śe‘îrîm, lit., “goats.” Like the demon Azazel (cf. 16:8, 10, 21–22), they dwell in the open country (17:5). Cf. Is 13:21; 34:14.
  4. 17:11 To make atonement: this is probably to be understood in the context of liability for shedding animal blood (cf. v. 4). Placing the blood on the altar exonerates the slaughterer from guilt for the killing. See note on 16:6.
  5. 17:13 Hunting: game animals are not permitted as offerings. One nonetheless has to treat the blood of these animals carefully by covering it with earth. Cf. Dt 12:16, 24.
  6. 18:2 I, the Lord, am your God: this declaration appears frequently elsewhere throughout chaps. 17–26, sometimes with a statement of God’s holiness or his sanctifying activity. It emphasizes the importance of the laws and the relationship of the divine lawgiver to the people.
  7. 18:5 Find life: in Dt 30:15–20 Moses sets before the people life and death. The alternatives are set out in detail in Lv 26 and Dt 28. Cf. Ez 20:11, 13, 21.
  8. 18:6–23 These laws deal with illicit sexual behavior. Lv 20:10–21 reiterates most of these cases, with penalties. Cf. also Dt 27:15–26; Ez 22:7–12. The ordering of the cases in Lv 18 seems to be: blood relatives (vv. 6–13), those related by marriage (vv. 14–18), then other cases (vv. 19–23).
  9. 18:6 Close relative: this refers to a blood relative and includes those not specifically mentioned in the list, such as one’s own daughter and a full sister. Have sexual intercourse: lit., “to uncover nakedness.”
  10. 18:7–8 Cf. the story of Reuben lying with Bilhah, his father’s concubine and Rachel’s maid (Gn 35:22; 49:4).
  11. 18:9, 11 Cf. actual or possible marriage to a half sister in Gn 20:12 and 2 Sm 13:13.
  12. 18:10 Daughter incest is found in the story of Lot (Gn 19:30–38).
  13. 18:15 Judah had intercourse with his daughter-in-law Tamar (Gn 38), but did not know her true identity until her pregnancy was discovered.
  14. 18:16 This refers to cohabiting with one’s sister-in-law not only while the brother is alive, but also after he is dead. Dt 25:5–10 allows for the marriage to the wife of a brother when that brother died without a male heir. Cf. Gn 38:6–14. It was the violation of this law of Leviticus which aroused the wrath of John the Baptist against Herod Antipas (Mt 14:4; Mk 6:18).
  15. 18:20 Adultery in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East is intercourse between a married or betrothed woman and any male. In the Bible it is generally punishable by the death of both individuals (20:10; cf. Dt 22:22–27). Intercourse with an unmarried or unbetrothed woman is not prohibited but carries responsibilities and fines (cf. Ex 22:15–16; Dt 22:28–29). Cf. Lv 19:20–22.
  16. 18:21 Immolation to Molech: the reference is to the custom of sacrificing children to the god Molech. Cf. Ez 16:20–21; 20:26, 31; 23:37. See note on Lv 20:1–5.
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 64 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 64[a]

Treacherous Conspirators Punished by God

For the leader. A psalm of David.

I

O God, hear my anguished voice;
    from a dreadful foe protect my life.
Hide me from the malicious crowd,
    the mob of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords,
    bend their bows of poison words.
They shoot at the innocent from ambush,
    they shoot him in a moment and do not fear.
They resolve on their wicked plan;
    they conspire to set snares;
    they say: “Who will see us?”
They devise wicked schemes,
    conceal the schemes they devise;
    the designs of their hearts are hidden.

II

God shoots an arrow at them;
    in a moment they are struck down.
They are brought down by their own tongues;
    all who see them flee.
10 Every person fears and proclaims God’s actions,
    they ponder his deeds.
11 The righteous rejoices and takes refuge in the Lord;
    all the upright give praise.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 64 A lament of a person overwhelmed by the malice of the wicked who are depicted in the Psalms as the enemies of the righteous (Ps 64:2–7). When people see God bringing upon the wicked the evil they intended against others, they will know who is the true ruler of the world (Ps 64:8–10). The final verse is a vow of praise (Ps 64:11).
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.

Acts 5:1-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Ananias and Sapphira.[a] A man named Ananias, however, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. He retained for himself, with his wife’s knowledge, some of the purchase price, took the remainder, and put it at the feet of the apostles. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? And when it was sold, was it not still under your control? Why did you contrive this deed? You have lied not to human beings, but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last, and great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount?” She answered, “Yes, for that amount.” Then Peter said to her, “Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen, the footsteps of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 At once, she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men entered they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Signs and Wonders of the Apostles.[b] 12 Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s portico. 13 None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them. 14 Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them. 15 Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. 16 A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

Trial Before the Sanhedrin.[c]

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1–11 The sin of Ananias and Sapphira did not consist in the withholding of part of the money but in their deception of the community. Their deaths are ascribed to a lie to the holy Spirit (Acts 5:3, 9), i.e., they accepted the honor accorded them by the community for their generosity, but in reality they were not deserving of it.
  2. 5:12–16 This, the third summary portraying the Jerusalem community, underscores the Twelve as its bulwark, especially because of their charismatic power to heal the sick; cf. Acts 2:42–47; 4:32–37.
  3. 5:17–42 A second action against the community is taken by the Sanhedrin in the arrest and trial of the Twelve; cf. Acts 4:1–3. The motive is the jealousy of the religious authorities over the popularity of the apostles (Acts 5:17) who are now charged with the defiance of the Sanhedrin’s previous order to them to abandon their prophetic role (Acts 5:28; cf. Acts 4:18). In this crisis the apostles are favored by a miraculous release from prison (Acts 5:18–24). (For similar incidents involving Peter and Paul, see Acts 12:6–11; 16:25–29.) The real significance of such an event, however, would be manifest only to people of faith, not to unbelievers; since the Sanhedrin already judged the Twelve to be inauthentic prophets, it could disregard reports of their miracles. When the Twelve immediately resumed public teaching, the Sanhedrin determined to invoke upon them the penalty of death (Acts 5:33) prescribed in Dt 13:6–10. Gamaliel’s advice against this course finally prevailed, but it did not save the Twelve from the punishment of scourging (Acts 5:40) in a last endeavor to shake their conviction of their prophetic mission.
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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