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

Chapter 1

[a]An oracle. The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

Israel Preferred to Edom

I love you, says the Lord;
    but you say, “How do you love us?”
[b]Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?—oracle of the Lord.
    I loved Jacob, but rejected Esau;
I made his mountains a waste,
    his heritage a desert for jackals.
If Edom says, “We have been crushed,
    but we will rebuild the ruins,”
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
    They indeed may build, but I will tear down,
And they shall be called “territory of wickedness,”
    the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.
Your own eyes will see it, and you will say,
    “Great is the Lord, even beyond the territory of Israel.”

Offense in Sacrifice and Priestly Duty

A son honors his father,
    and a servant fears his master;
If, then, I am a father,
    where is the honor due to me?
And if I am a master,
    where is the fear due to me?
So says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests,
    who disdain my name.
But you ask, “How have we disdained your name?”
    By offering defiled food on my altar!
You ask, “How have we defiled it?”
    By saying that the table of the Lord may be disdained!
[c]When you offer a blind animal for sacrifice,
    is there no wrong in that?
When you offer a lame or sick animal,
    is there no wrong in that?
Present it to your governor!
    Will he be pleased with you—or show you favor?
    says the Lord of hosts.
So now implore God’s favor, that he may have mercy on us!
    You are the ones who have done this;
Will he show favor to any of you?
    says the Lord of hosts.
10 [d]Oh, that one of you would just shut the temple gates
    to keep you from kindling fire on my altar in vain!
I take no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts;
    and I will not accept any offering from your hands!
11 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    my name is great among the nations;
Incense offerings are made to my name everywhere,
    and a pure offering;
For my name is great among the nations,
    says the Lord of hosts.
12 But you profane it by saying
    that the Lord’s table is defiled,
    and its food may be disdained.
13 You say, “See what a burden this is!”
    and you exasperate me, says the Lord of hosts;
You bring in what is mutilated, or lame, or sick;
    you bring it as an offering!
Will I accept it from your hands?
    says the Lord.
14 Cursed is the cheat who has in his flock an intact male,
    and vows it, but sacrifices to the Lord a defective one instead;
For a great king am I, says the Lord of hosts,
    and my name is feared among the nations.

Chapter 2

And now, priests, this commandment is for you:
    If you do not listen,
And if you do not take to heart
    giving honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you
    and your blessing I will curse.
In fact, I have already cursed it,
    because you do not take it to heart.
I will rebuke your offspring;
    I will spread dung on your faces,
Dung from your feasts,
    and will carry you to it.
You should know that I sent you this commandment
    so that my covenant with Levi might endure,
    says the Lord of hosts.
My covenant with him was the life and peace which I gave him,
    and the fear he had for me,
    standing in awe of my name.
Reliable instruction was in his mouth,
    no perversity was found upon his lips;
He walked with me in integrity and uprightness,
    and turned many away from evil.
For a priest’s lips preserve knowledge,
    and instruction is to be sought from his mouth,
    because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
But you have turned aside from the way,
    and have caused many to stumble by your instruction;
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,[e]
    says the Lord of hosts.
I, therefore, have made you contemptible
    and base before all the people,
For you do not keep my ways,
    but show partiality in your instruction.

Marriage and Divorce

10 [f]Have we not all one father?
    Has not one God created us?
Why, then, do we break faith with each other,
    profaning the covenant of our ancestors?
11 Judah has broken faith; an abominable thing
    has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem.
Judah has profaned the Lord’s holy place, which he loves,
    and has married a daughter of a foreign god.[g]
12 May the Lord cut off from the man who does this
    both witness and advocate from the tents of Jacob,
    and anyone to bring an offering to the Lord of hosts!
13 This also you do: the altar of the Lord you cover
    with tears, weeping, and groaning,
Because the Lord no longer takes note of your offering
    or accepts it favorably from your hand.
14 And you say, “Why?”—
    Because the Lord is witness
    between you and the wife of your youth
With whom you have broken faith,
    though she is your companion, your covenanted wife.[h]
15 Did he not make them one, with flesh and spirit?
    And what does the One require? Godly offspring!
You should be on guard, then, for your life,
    and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
16 For I hate divorce,
    says the Lord, the God of Israel,
And the one who covers his garment with violence,
    says the Lord of hosts.
You should be on guard, then, for your life,
    and you must not break faith.

Purification and Just Judgment

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words,
    yet you say, “How have we wearied him?”
By saying, “All evildoers
    are good in the sight of the Lord,
And he is pleased with them,”
    or “Where is the just God?”

Chapter 3

The Messenger of the Covenant

Now I am sending my messenger—
    he will prepare the way before me;[i]
And the lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple;
The messenger of the covenant whom you desire—
    see, he is coming! says the Lord of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming?
    Who can stand firm when he appears?
For he will be like a refiner’s fire,
    like fullers’ lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
    and he will purify the Levites,
Refining them like gold or silver,
    that they may bring offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
    will please the Lord,
    as in ancient days, as in years gone by.
I will draw near to you for judgment,
    and I will be swift to bear witness
Against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers,
    those who deprive a laborer of wages,
Oppress a widow or an orphan,
    or turn aside a resident alien,
    without fearing me, says the Lord of hosts.

Gifts for God, Blessings for the People

For I, the Lord, do not change,[j]
    and you, sons of Jacob, do not cease to be.
Since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside
    from my statutes and have not kept them.
Return to me, that I may return to you,
    says the Lord of hosts.
But you say, “Why should we return?”
    Can anyone rob God? But you are robbing me!
And you say, “How have we robbed you?”
    Of tithes and contributions!
You are indeed accursed,
    for you, the whole nation, rob me.
10 Bring the whole tithe
    into the storehouse,[k]
That there may be food in my house.
    Put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts,
And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you,
    and pour down upon you blessing without measure!
11 I will rebuke the locust for you
    so that it will not destroy your crops,
And the vine in the field will not be barren,
    says the Lord of hosts.
12 All the nations will call you blessed,
    for you will be a delightful land,
    says the Lord of hosts.

The Need to Serve God

13 Your words are too much for me, says the Lord.
    You ask, “What have we spoken against you?”
14 You have said, “It is useless to serve God;
    what do we gain by observing God’s requirements,
And by going about as mourners[l]
    before the Lord of hosts?
15 But we call the arrogant blessed;
    for evildoers not only prosper
    but even test God and escape.”
16 Then those who fear the Lord spoke with one another,
    and the Lord listened attentively;
A record book[m] was written before him
    of those who fear the Lord and esteem his name.
17 They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts,
    my own special possession, on the day when I take action.
And I will have compassion on them,
    as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
18 Then you will again distinguish
    between the just and the wicked,
Between the person who serves God,
    and the one who does not.
19 For the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
    when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
    leaving them neither root nor branch,
    says the Lord of hosts.
20 But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice
    will arise with healing in its wings;[n]
And you will go out leaping like calves from the stall
21     and tread down the wicked;
They will become dust under the soles of your feet,
    on the day when I take action, says the Lord of hosts.

Moses and Elijah

22 Remember the law of Moses my servant,
    whom I charged at Horeb
With statutes and ordinances
    for all Israel.
23 Now I am sending to you
    Elijah[o] the prophet,
Before the day of the Lord comes,
    the great and terrible day;
24 He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons,
    and the heart of sons to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
    the land with utter destruction.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 See note on Zec 9:1.
  2. 1:3–5 The thought passes from the person Esau to his descendants, Edom, and from the person Jacob to his descendants, Israel; cf. Gn 25:21–23. In the New Testament, Paul uses this passage as an example of God’s freedom of choice in calling the Gentiles to faith (Rom 9:13).
  3. 1:8 The sacrificial offering of a lame, sick, or blind animal was forbidden in the law (Lv 22:17–25; Dt 17:1).
  4. 1:10–11 The imperfect sacrifices offered by the people of Judah are displeasing to the Lord. Kindling fire on my altar: kindle the altar fire for sacrifice. In contrast, the Lord is pleased with the sacrifices offered by other peoples in other places (the rising of the sun: the far east; its setting: the far west). Since the people of other nations could not be expected to know the Lord’s name as did the people of Judah, the rhetorical purpose of this statement is to shame the latter. Incense offerings: in the ancient world, the hallmark of an offering made to a god was the smoke it produced on an altar. In the Old Testament, this was true not only of animals (Lv 8:20–21) but also of incense (Ex 30:7), suet (Lv 3:11), and grain offerings (Lv 6:8). In a Christian interpretation of Mal 1:10–11, the “pure offering” of Mal 1:11 is seen as a reference to sacrifice in the Messianic Age. The Council of Trent endorsed this interpretation (DS 1724).
  5. 2:8 The covenant of Levi: not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. The covenant with Phinehas the grandson of Aaron (Nm 25:11–13) and the Blessing of Levi (Dt 33:8–11) may lie in the background.
  6. 2:10–16 Intermarriage of Israelites with foreigners was forbidden according to Dt 7:1–4. After the exile, attempts were made to enforce this law (Ezr 9–10). Foreign marriages are here portrayed as a covenantal violation (v. 10). They were all the more reprehensible when they were accompanied by the divorce of Israelite wives (vv. 14–16), and God finds their sacrifices unacceptable (vv. 13–14). In Mk 10:2–12, Jesus forbids divorce; in Mt 19:3–12, this ideal is maintained with the provision that unlawful marriage may be grounds for divorce (see 1 Cor 7:10–16). You should be on guard, then, for your life: a warning of punishment for failure to obey God (cf. Dt 4:9; Jos 23:11; Jer 17:21).
  7. 2:11 Daughter of a foreign god: this unusual phrase connotes a woman who does not share the same father/creator (v. 10), since she does not share the same covenant.
  8. 2:14 Companion…covenanted wife: the Hebrew word haberet signifies an equal, a partner. This woman, in contrast to the daughter of a foreign god, shares with her husband the same covenant with the Lord.
  9. 3:1 My messenger…before me: Mt 11:10 applies these words to John the Baptist; Mt 11:14 further identifies John as Elijah (see Mal 3:23). Some take God’s messenger in v. 1a to be a person distinct from “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” in v. 1b; others hold that they are one and the same person. Some consider “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” to be divine, while others hold that in the text’s literal sense he is a messianic earthly ruler.
  10. 3:6–7 Not change: God remains faithful to the covenant even when the human partners break it.
  11. 3:10 Storehouse: the temple treasury.
  12. 3:14 As mourners: the adverb translated “as mourners” means something like “with a long face.”
  13. 3:16 Record book: see note on Ex 32:32.
  14. 3:20 Wings: a common symbol of the manifestation of a god in the ancient Near East is the winged sun disk found, for example, on premonarchic jar handles. Cf. Nm 6:25; Ps 4:7; 31:17; 34:6; 84:12.
  15. 3:23 Elijah: taken up in a whirlwind, according to 2 Kgs 2:11. Here his return seems to be foretold. A Jewish tradition interpreted this literally; the gospels saw Elijah in the person of John the Baptist (Mt 11:13–14; 17:10–13; Mk 9:9–13).
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 51:13-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Ben Sira’s Pursuit of Wisdom

13 [a]When I was young and innocent,
    I sought wisdom.
14 She came to me in her beauty,
    and until the end I will cultivate her.

15 As the blossoms yielded to ripening grapes,
    the heart’s joy,
My feet kept to the level path
    because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.

16 In the short time I paid heed,
    I met with great instruction.
17 Since in this way I have profited,
    I will give my Teacher grateful praise.

18 I resolved to tread her paths;
    I have been jealous for the good and will not turn back.
19 I burned with desire for her,
    never relenting.
I became preoccupied with her,
    never weary of extolling her.

I spread out my hands to the heavens
    and I came to know her secrets.
20 For her I purified my hands;
    in cleanness I attained to her.

At first acquaintance with her, I gained understanding
    such that I will never forsake her.
21 My whole being was stirred to seek her;
    therefore I have made her my prize possession.
22 The Lord has rewarded me with lips,
    with a tongue for praising him.

23 Come aside to me, you untutored,
    and take up lodging in the house of instruction;[b]
24 How long will you deprive yourself of wisdom’s food,
    how long endure such bitter thirst?
25 I open my mouth and speak of her:
    gain wisdom for yourselves at no cost.

26 Take her yoke upon your neck;
    that your mind may receive her teaching.
For she is close to those who seek her,
    and the one who is in earnest finds her.

27 See for yourselves! I have labored only a little,
    but have found much.
28 Acquire but a little instruction,
    and you will win silver and gold through her.

29 May your soul rejoice in God’s mercy;
    do not be ashamed to give him praise.
30 Work at your tasks in due season,
    and in his own time God will give you your reward.

Footnotes:

  1. 51:13–30 A Hebrew manuscript from Qumran demonstrates the acrostic style of vv. 13–20. This is an elegant twenty-three-line alphabetic acrostic hymn that describes Ben Sira’s relationship to wisdom: (a) his approach to wisdom through prayer, persistent study, and instruction (vv. 13–17); (b) his purification from sin, his enlightenment, and ardent desire to possess wisdom (vv. 18–22). Ben Sira concludes with an urgent invitation to his students to receive instruction in wisdom from him, and to live by it, because wisdom gives herself to those who seek her (vv. 23–26); and for their labor, God will reward them in his own time (vv. 27–30). Cf. Mt 11:28; Eccl 12:14.
  2. 51:23 House of instruction: this may be a metaphor for Ben Sira’s teaching.
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 3:16-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave[a] his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn[b] the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 [c]And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. 21 But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:16 Gave: as a gift in the incarnation, and also “over to death” in the crucifixion; cf. Rom 8:32.
  2. 3:17–19 Condemn: the Greek root means both judgment and condemnation. Jesus’ purpose is to save, but his coming provokes judgment; some condemn themselves by turning from the light.
  3. 3:19 Judgment is not only future but is partially realized here and now.
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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