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

Chapter 1

Oracle[a] concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

God’s Terrifying Appearance

[b]A jealous and avenging God[c] is the Lord,
    an avenger is the Lord, full of wrath;
The Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries,
    and rages against his enemies;
The Lord is slow to anger, yet great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
In stormwind[d] and tempest he comes,
    and clouds are the dust at his feet;
He roars at the sea and leaves it dry,
    and all the rivers he dries up.
Laid low are Bashan and Carmel,
    and the bloom of Lebanon withers;[e]
The mountains quake before him,
    and the hills dissolve;
The earth is laid waste before him,
    the world and all who dwell in it.
[f]Before his wrath, who can stand firm,
    and who can face his blazing anger?
His fury is poured out like fire,
    and boulders break apart before him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    a refuge on the day of distress,
Taking care of those who look to him for protection,
    when the flood rages;
He makes an end of his opponents,
    and pursues his enemies into darkness.

Nineveh’s Judgment and Judah’s Restoration

What do you plot against the Lord,
    the one about to bring total destruction?
    No opponent rises a second time!
10 [g]Like a thorny thicket, they are tangled,
    and like drunkards, they are drunk;
    like dry stubble, they are utterly consumed.
11 From you has come
    one plotting evil against the Lord,
    one giving sinister counsel.[h]
12 Thus says the Lord:
    though fully intact and so numerous,
    they[i] shall be mown down and disappear.
Though I have humbled you,
    I will humble you no more.
13 Now I will break his yoke off of you,
    and tear off your bonds.

14 The Lord has commanded regarding you:[j]
    no descendant will again bear your name;
From the house of your gods I will abolish
    the carved and the molten image;
    I will make your grave a dung heap.

Chapter 2

At this moment on the mountains
    the footsteps of one bearing good news,
    of one announcing peace!
Celebrate your feasts, Judah,
    fulfill your vows!
For never again will destroyers invade you;[k]
    they are completely cut off.

The Attack on Nineveh

One who scatters has come up against you;[l]
    guard the rampart,
Watch the road, brace yourselves,
    marshal all your strength!
[m]The Lord will restore the vine of Jacob,
    the honor of Israel,
Because ravagers have ravaged them
    and ruined their branches.
The shields of his warriors are crimsoned,
    the soldiers clad in scarlet;
Like fire are the trappings of the chariots
    on the day he prepares for war;
    the cavalry is agitated!
The chariots dash madly through the streets
    and wheel in the squares,
Looking like torches,
    bolting like lightning.
His picked troops are called,
    ranks break at their charge;
To the wall they rush,
    their screen[n] is set up.
The river gates[o] are opened,
    the palace is washed away.
The mistress is led forth captive,
    and her maidservants[p] led away,
Moaning like doves,
    beating their breasts.
Nineveh is like a pool
    whose waters escape;
“Stop! Stop!”
    but none turns back.
10 “Plunder the silver, plunder the gold!”
    There is no end to the treasure,
    to wealth in every precious thing!

11 Emptiness, desolation, waste;
    melting hearts and trembling knees,
Churning in every stomach,
    every face turning pale!
12 Where is the lionesses’ den,
    the young lions’ cave,
Where the lion[q] went in and out,
    and the cub, with no one to disturb them?
13 The lion tore apart enough for his cubs,
    and strangled for his lionesses;
He filled his lairs with prey,
    and his dens with torn flesh.
14 I now come against you—
    oracle of the Lord of hosts—
I will consume your chariots in smoke,
    and the sword will devour your young lions;
Your preying on the land I will bring to an end,
    the cry of your lionesses will be heard no more.

Chapter 3

Ah! The bloody city,
    all lies,
Full of plunder,
    whose looting never stops!
The crack of the whip,
    the rumbling of wheels;
Horses galloping,
    chariots bounding,
Cavalry charging,
    the flash of the sword,
    the gleam of the spear;
A multitude of slain,
    a mass of corpses,
Endless bodies
    to stumble upon!
For the many debaucheries of the prostitute,
    a charming mistress of witchcraft,
Who enslaved nations with her prostitution,
    and peoples by her witchcraft:
[r]I now come against you—
    oracle of the Lord of hosts—
    and I will lift your skirt above your face;
I will show your nakedness to the nations,
    to the kingdoms your shame!
I will cast filth upon you,
    disgrace you and make you a spectacle;
Until everyone who sees you
    runs from you saying,
“Nineveh is destroyed;
    who can pity her?
Where can I find
    any to console you?”

Nineveh’s Inescapable Fate

Are you better than No-amon[s]
    that was set among the Nile’s canals,
Surrounded by waters,
    with the river for her rampart
    and water for her wall?
Ethiopia was her strength,
    and Egypt without end;
Put[t] and the Libyans
    were her allies.
10 Yet even she became an exile,
    and went into captivity;
Even her little ones were dashed to pieces
    at the corner of every street;
For her nobles they cast lots,
    and all her great ones were put into chains.
11 You, too, will drink of this;
    you will be overcome;
You, too, will seek
    a refuge from the foe.
12 But all your fortresses are fig trees,
    bearing early figs;[u]
When shaken, they fall
    into the devourer’s mouth.
13 Indeed your troops
    are women in your midst;
To your foes are open wide
    the gates of your land,
    fire has consumed their bars.

14 Draw water for the siege,[v]
    strengthen your fortresses;
Go down into the mud
    and tread the clay,
    take hold of the brick mold!
15 There the fire will consume you,
    the sword will cut you down;
    it will consume you like the grasshoppers.

Multiply like the grasshoppers,
    multiply like the locusts!
16 You have made your traders[w] more numerous
    than the stars of the heavens;
    like grasshoppers that shed their skins and fly away.
17 Your sentries are like locusts,
    and your scribes like locust swarms
Gathered on the rubble fences
    on a cold day!
Yet when the sun rises, they vanish,
    and no one knows where they have gone.

18 Your shepherds slumber,
    O king of Assyria,
    your nobles have gone to rest;
Your people are scattered upon the mountains,
    with none to gather them.
19 There is no healing for your hurt,
    your wound is fatal.
All who hear this news of you
    clap their hands over you;
For who has not suffered
    under your endless malice?


  1. 1:1 Oracle: (Heb. Massa’) a word used frequently to describe a prophetic statement against a foreign nation or occasionally Israel; it is used favorably for Israel in Zec 12:1 and Mal 1:1. Nahum of Elkosh: Nahum means “comfort.” Elkosh is a clan or village of unknown location, perhaps in southern Judah.
  2. 1:2–8 A poem written in the style of the alphabetic psalms (cf. Ps 9; 25; 111; 119) in which each verse unit begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The second half of the alphabet is not represented here.
  3. 1:2 A jealous…God: see note on Ex 20:5.
  4. 1:3–6 In stormwind: the power of God is often pictured by natural forces and cosmic disruption (Ex 19:9–25; Ps 18:8–16; 104:1–9).
  5. 1:4 Bashan, Carmel, and Lebanon were famous for their mountainous terrain and lush forests.
  6. 1:6–7 When God comes in judgment those who oppose God will be destroyed, and those who trust in God will be saved.
  7. 1:10 Thorns (Is 34:13), drunkenness (Lam 4:21; Na 3:11), and burning stubble (Ob 18) are all images of the judgment of God’s enemies.
  8. 1:11 From you…giving sinister counsel: addressed to Nineveh, the capital city of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who besieged Jerusalem ca. 700 B.C.
  9. 1:12–13 They: the enemies of Judah. You: Judah. His yoke: the dominion of the Assyrian king over Judah.
  10. 1:14 You: the king of Assyria.
  11. 2:1 For never again will destroyers invade you: prophets are not always absolutely accurate in the things they foresee. Nineveh was destroyed, as Nahum expected, but Judah was later invaded by the Babylonians and (much later) by the Romans. The prophets were convinced that Israel held a key place in God’s plan and looked for the people to survive all catastrophes, always blessed by the Lord, though the manner was not always as they expected; the “fallen hut of David” was not rebuilt as Am 9:11 suggests, except in the coming of Jesus, and in a way far different than the prophet expected. Often the prophet speaks in hyperbole, as when Second Isaiah speaks of the restored Jerusalem being built with precious stones (Is 54:12) as a way of indicating a glorious future.
  12. 2:2 One who scatters has come up against you: the enemy is about to crush Nineveh, dispersing and deporting its people (v. 8; 3:18).
  13. 2:3 This verse does not fit its context well; it may have been the conclusion for the preceding section and have once followed v. 1, or it may be a later scribal addition.
  14. 2:6 Their screen: that is, a mantelet, a movable military shelter protecting the besiegers.
  15. 2:7 River gates: a network of canals brought water into Nineveh from the Tigris and Khosr Rivers on which the city was located.
  16. 2:8 Mistress…and her maidservants: either the queen of Nineveh with the ladies of her court, or the city of Nineveh itself, pictured as a noblewoman (3:4).
  17. 2:12 The lion: the king of Assyria.
  18. 3:5–6 The punishment for adulterous women.
  19. 3:8 No-amon: “No” was the Egyptian name of the capital of Upper Egypt, called Thebes by the Greeks; its patron deity was Amon. This great city was destroyed by the Assyrians in 663 B.C.
  20. 3:9 Put: a North African people often associated with Egypt and Ethiopia (Jer 46:8–9).
  21. 3:12 Early figs: the refugees from Nineveh who escape to presumably secure fortresses.
  22. 3:14 An ironic exhortation to prepare the city for a futile defense. Go down…brick mold: make bricks for the city walls.
  23. 3:16 Traders: agents of the economic exploitation that sustained and enriched the Assyrian empire.
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 47:12-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

12 Because of his merits he had as successor[a]
    a wise son, who lived in security:
13 Solomon reigned during an era of peace,
    for God brought rest to all his borders.
He built a house to the name of God,
    and established a lasting sanctuary.
14 How wise you were when you were young,
    overflowing with instruction, like the Nile in flood!
15 Your understanding covered the whole earth,
    and, like a sea, filled it with knowledge.
16 Your fame reached distant coasts,
    and you were beloved for your peaceful reign.
17 With song and proverb and riddle,
    and with your answers, you astounded the nations.
18 You were called by that glorious name
    which was conferred upon Israel.[b]
Gold you gathered like so much iron;
    you heaped up silver as though it were lead.
19 But you abandoned yourself to women
    and gave them dominion over your body.
20 You brought a stain upon your glory,
    shame upon your marriage bed,
Wrath upon your descendants,
    and groaning upon your deathbed.
21 Thus two governments came into being,
    when in Ephraim kingship was usurped.
22 But God does not withdraw his mercy,
    nor permit even one of his promises to fail.
He does not uproot the posterity of the chosen,
    nor destroy the offspring of his friends.
So he gave to Jacob a remnant,
    to David a root from his own family.

Rehoboam and Jeroboam

23 Solomon finally slept with his ancestors,
    and left behind him one of his sons,
Broad[c] in folly, narrow in sense,
    whose policy made the people rebel.
Then arose the one who should not be remembered,
    the sinner who led Israel into sin,
Who brought ruin to Ephraim
24     and caused them to be exiled from their land.

Elijah and Elisha

25 Their sinfulness grew more and more,
    and they gave themselves to every evil[d]


  1. 47:12–24 The standard view of Solomon is echoed by Ben Sira, but he affirms the divine promise (v. 22) to David’s line.
  2. 47:18 Cf. 2 Sm 12:25, where Solomon is called Jedidiah, “beloved of the Lord.” A similar term is used of Israel in Jer 11:15.
  3. 47:23 Broad: the name Rehoboam means “the people is broad, or expansive,” that is, widespread. The sinner: Jeroboam; cf. 1 Kgs 12:1, 20, 26–32.
  4. 47:25–48:11 The prophetic ministry of Elijah amid widespread idolatry is here described as a judgment by fire (48:1). Through his preaching, marvels, and acts of vengeance against God’s enemies, he succeeded for a time in restoring faith in and worship of the Lord (vv. 2–8). His mysterious departure from this life gave rise to the belief that he did not die but would return before the day of the Lord. Cf. Mal 3:23–24; Mt 17:9–13.
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.

Luke 1:26-56 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,[a] and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”[b] 35 And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived[c] a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37 for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth. 39 During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, 42 cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord[d] should come to me? 44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed are you who believed[e] that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Canticle of Mary. 46 And Mary said:[f]

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
47     my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
    behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
49 The Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is from age to age
    to those who fear him.
51 He has shown might with his arm,
    dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
    but lifted up the lowly.
53 The hungry he has filled with good things;
    the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped Israel his servant,
    remembering his mercy,
55 according to his promise to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

The Birth of John.[g]


  1. 1:32 Son of the Most High: cf. Lk 1:76 where John is described as “prophet of the Most High.” “Most High” is a title for God commonly used by Luke (Lk 1:35, 76; 6:35; 8:28; Acts 7:48; 16:17).
  2. 1:34 Mary’s questioning response is a denial of sexual relations and is used by Luke to lead to the angel’s declaration about the Spirit’s role in the conception of this child (Lk 1:35). According to Luke, the virginal conception of Jesus takes place through the holy Spirit, the power of God, and therefore Jesus has a unique relationship to Yahweh: he is Son of God.
  3. 1:36–37 The sign given to Mary in confirmation of the angel’s announcement to her is the pregnancy of her aged relative Elizabeth. If a woman past the childbearing age could become pregnant, why, the angel implies, should there be doubt about Mary’s pregnancy, for nothing will be impossible for God.
  4. 1:43 Even before his birth, Jesus is identified in Luke as the Lord.
  5. 1:45 Blessed are you who believed: Luke portrays Mary as a believer whose faith stands in contrast to the disbelief of Zechariah (Lk 1:20). Mary’s role as believer in the infancy narrative should be seen in connection with the explicit mention of her presence among “those who believed” after the resurrection at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:14).
  6. 1:46–55 Although Mary is praised for being the mother of the Lord and because of her belief, she reacts as the servant in a psalm of praise, the Magnificat. Because there is no specific connection of the canticle to the context of Mary’s pregnancy and her visit to Elizabeth, the Magnificat (with the possible exception of v 48) may have been a Jewish Christian hymn that Luke found appropriate at this point in his story. Even if not composed by Luke, it fits in well with themes found elsewhere in Luke: joy and exultation in the Lord; the lowly being singled out for God’s favor; the reversal of human fortunes; the fulfillment of Old Testament promises. The loose connection between the hymn and the context is further seen in the fact that a few Old Latin manuscripts identify the speaker of the hymn as Elizabeth, even though the overwhelming textual evidence makes Mary the speaker.
  7. 1:57–66 The birth and circumcision of John above all emphasize John’s incorporation into the people of Israel by the sign of the covenant (Gn 17:1–12). The narrative of John’s circumcision also prepares the way for the subsequent description of the circumcision of Jesus in Lk 2:21. At the beginning of his two-volume work Luke shows those who play crucial roles in the inauguration of Christianity to be wholly a part of the people of Israel. At the end of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 21:20; 22:3; 23:6–9; 24:14–16; 26:2–8, 22–23) he will argue that Christianity is the direct descendant of Pharisaic Judaism.
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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