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Nehemiah 9-10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

Public Confession of Sin. [a]On the twenty-fourth day of this month, the Israelites gathered together while fasting and wearing sackcloth, their heads covered with dust. Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all who were of foreign extraction, then stood forward and confessed their sins and the guilty deeds of their ancestors. When they had taken their places, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God, for a fourth of the day, and during another fourth they made their confession and bowed down before the Lord their God. Standing on the platform of the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, who cried out to the Lord their God, with a loud voice. The Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said,

“Arise, bless the Lord, your God,
    from eternity to eternity!”
“And may they bless your glorious name,
    which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”
[b]“You are the Lord, you alone;
You made the heavens,
    the highest heavens and all their host,
The earth and all that is upon it,
    the seas and all that is in them.
To all of them you give life,
    the heavenly hosts bow down before you.
You are the Lord God
    who chose Abram,
Who brought him from Ur of the Chaldees,
    who named him Abraham.
You found his heart faithful in your sight,
    you made the covenant with him
To give the land of the Canaanites,
    Hittites, Amorites,
Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites
    to him and his descendants.
You fulfilled your promises,
    for you are just.
You saw the affliction of our ancestors in Egypt,
    you heard their cry by the Red Sea;
10 You worked signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
    against all his servants and the people of his land,
Because you knew of their insolence toward them;
    thus you made for yourself a name even to this day.
11 The sea you divided before them,
    on dry ground they passed through the midst of the sea;
Their pursuers you hurled into the depths,
    like a stone into the mighty waters.
12 With a column of cloud you led them by day,
    and by night with a column of fire,
To light the way of their journey,
    the way in which they must travel.
13 On Mount Sinai you came down,
    you spoke with them from heaven;
You gave them just ordinances, true laws,
    good statutes and commandments;
14 Your holy sabbath you made known to them,
    commandments, statutes, and law you prescribed for them,
    by the hand of Moses your servant.
15 Food from heaven you gave them in their hunger,
    water from a rock you sent them in their thirst.
You told them to enter and occupy the land
    which you had sworn to give them.
16 But they, our ancestors, proved to be insolent;
    they were obdurate[c] and did not obey your commandments.
17 They refused to obey and no longer remembered
    the wonders you had worked for them.
They were obdurate and appointed a leader
    in order to return to their slavery in Egypt.
But you are a forgiving God, gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and rich in mercy;
    you did not forsake them.
18 Though they made for themselves a molten calf,
    and proclaimed, ‘Here is your God who brought you up from Egypt,’
    and were guilty of great insults,
19 Yet in your great mercy
    you did not forsake them in the desert.
By day the column of cloud did not cease to lead them on their journey,
    by night the column of fire did not cease to light the way they were to travel.
20 Your good spirit you bestowed on them,
    to give them understanding;
Your manna you did not withhold from their mouths,
    and you gave them water in their thirst.
21 Forty years in the desert you sustained them:
    they did not want;
Their garments did not become worn,
    and their feet did not swell.
22 You gave them kingdoms and peoples,
    which you divided among them as border lands.
They possessed the land of Sihon, king of Heshbon,
    and the land of Og, king of Bashan.
23 You made their children as numerous as the stars of the heavens,
    and you brought them into the land
    which you had commanded their ancestors to enter and possess.
24 The children went in to possess the land;
    you humbled before them the Canaanite inhabitants
    and gave them into their power,
Their kings and the peoples of the land,
    to do with them as they wished.
25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land;
    they took possession of houses filled with all good things,
Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves,
    and fruit trees in abundance.
They ate and had their fill,
    fattened and feasted on your great goodness.
26 But they were contemptuous and rebelled against you:
    they cast your law behind their backs.
They murdered your prophets
    who bore witness against them to bring them back to you:
    they were guilty of great insults.
27 Therefore you gave them into the power of their enemies,
    who oppressed them.
But in the time of their oppression they would cry out to you,
    and you would hear them from heaven,
And according to your great mercy give them saviors
    to deliver them from the power of their enemies.
28 As soon as they had relief,
    they would go back to doing evil in your sight.
Again you abandoned them to the power of their enemies,
    who crushed them.
Once again they cried out to you, and you heard them from heaven
    and delivered them according to your mercy, many times over.
29 You bore witness against them,
    to bring them back to your law.
But they were insolent
    and would not obey your commandments;
They sinned against your ordinances,
    which give life to those who keep them.
They turned stubborn backs, stiffened their necks,
    and would not obey.
30 You were patient with them for many years,
    bearing witness against them through your spirit, by means of your prophets;
Still they would not listen.
    Therefore you delivered them into the power of the peoples of the lands.
31 Yet in your great mercy you did not completely destroy them
    and did not forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
32 Now, our God, great, mighty, and awesome God,
    who preserves the covenant of mercy,
    do not discount all the hardship that has befallen us,
Our kings, our princes, our priests,
    our prophets, our ancestors, and your entire people,
    from the time of the kings of Assyria until this day!
33 In all that has come upon us you have been just,
    for you kept faith while we have done evil.
34 Yes, our kings, our princes, our priests, and our ancestors
    have not kept your law;
They paid no attention to your commandments
    and the warnings which you gave them.
35 While they were still in their kingdom,
    in the midst of the many good things that you had given them
And in the wide, fertile land
    that you had spread out before them,
They did not serve you
    nor turn away from their evil deeds.
36 Today we are slaves!
    As for the land which you gave our ancestors
That they might eat its fruits and good things—
    see, we have become slaves upon it!
37 Its rich produce goes to the kings
    you set over us because of our sins,
Who rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please.
    We are in great distress!”

Chapter 10

Signatories to the Pact. [d]In view of all this, we are entering into a firm pact, which we are putting into writing. On the sealed document appear the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.

On the sealed document: the governor Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah.

Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these are the priests.

10 The Levites: Jeshua, son of Azaniah; Binnui, of the descendants of Henadad; Kadmiel; 11 and their kinsmen Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 12 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 13 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 14 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu.

15 The leaders of the people: Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 16 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 17 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 18 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 19 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 20 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 21 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 22 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 23 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 24 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 25 Hallhohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 26 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 27 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 28 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

Provisions of the Pact. 29 The rest of the people, priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants, and all others who have separated themselves from the local inhabitants in favor of the law of God, with their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who are of the age of discretion, 30 join their influential kindred, and with the sanction of a curse take this oath to follow the law of God given through Moses, the servant of God, and to observe carefully all the commandments of the Lord, our Lord, his ordinances and his statutes.

31 We will not marry our daughters to the local inhabitants, and we will not accept their daughters for our sons.

32 When the local inhabitants bring in merchandise or any kind of grain for sale on the sabbath day, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or on any other holy day. In the seventh year we will forgo the produce, and forgive every kind of debt.

33 We impose these commandments on ourselves: to give a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of our God, 34 for the showbread, the daily grain offering, the daily burnt offering, for the sabbaths, new moons, and festivals, for the holy offerings and sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, for every service of the house of our God. 35 We, priests, Levites, and people, have determined by lot concerning the procurement of wood: it is to be brought to the house of our God by each of our ancestral houses at stated times each year, to be burnt on the altar of the Lord, our God, as the law prescribes. 36 We have agreed to bring each year to the house of the Lord the first fruits of our fields and of our fruit trees, of every kind; 37 also, as is prescribed in the law, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who serve in the house of our God, the firstborn of our children and our animals, including the firstborn of our flocks and herds. 38 The first batch of our dough, and our offerings of the fruit of every tree, of wine and oil, we will bring to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God. The tithe of our fields we will bring to the Levites; they, the Levites, shall take the tithe in all the cities of our service. 39 An Aaronite priest shall be with the Levites when they take the tithe, and the Levites shall bring the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the treasury. 40 For to these chambers the Israelites and Levites bring the offerings of grain, wine, and oil; there also are housed the vessels of the sanctuary, and the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:1–5 The feast of Booths is followed by a penitential liturgy. Since it includes separation from foreigners, some read it as a sequel to Ezr 9–10.
  2. 9:6–37 The Septuagint attributes the prayer to Ezra; cf. Ezr 9:6–15.
  3. 9:16 They were obdurate: lit., “they stiffened their necks.”
  4. 10:1–39 This section belongs to the Nehemiah narrative rather than to that of Ezra. It is best read after Neh 13:31, since the stipulations of the pact seem to presuppose Nehemiah’s measures recorded in Neh 13. In view of all this: considering the situation described in Neh 13:4–31.
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.

Proverbs 27:15-27 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

15 For a persistent leak on a rainy day
    the match is a quarrelsome wife;
16 Whoever would hide her hides a stormwind
    and cannot tell north from south.
17 Iron is sharpened by iron;
    one person sharpens another.[a]
18 Those who tend a fig tree eat its fruit;
    so those attentive to their master will be honored.
19 As face mirrors face in water,
    so the heart reflects the person.
20 Sheol and Abaddon can never be satisfied;
    so the eyes of mortals can never be satisfied.[b]
21 The crucible for silver, the furnace for gold,
    so you must assay the praise you receive.
22 Though you pound fools with a pestle,
    their folly never leaves them.
23 [c]Take good care of your flocks,
    give careful attention to your herds;
24 For wealth does not last forever,
    nor even a crown from age to age.
25 When the grass comes up and the new growth appears,
    and the mountain greens are gathered in,
26 The lambs will provide you with clothing,
    and the goats, the price of a field,
27 And there will be ample goat’s milk for your food,
    food for your house, sustenance for your maidens.

Footnotes:

  1. 27:17 Iron sharpens the “face” (panim = surface, edge) of iron, and a human being sharpens the “face” (panim = face, words) of another. Human beings learn from each other and grow in wisdom by conversing.
  2. 27:20 Sheol, the underworld abode of the dead, is personified as a force that is never satisfied and always desires more. Cf. Is 5:14 and Hos 13:14. The saying is applicable to modern consumerism.
  3. 27:23–27 A little treatise on farming in the form of admonitions. It proposes the advantages of field and flock over other forms of wealth. Herds are the most productive wealth, for their value does not diminish; they are a source of money, clothing, and food. The thought is conservative and traditional but the development is vivid and concrete.
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.

Colossians 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, realizing that you too have a Master in heaven.

Prayer and Apostolic Spirit. Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; at the same time, pray for us, too, that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak of the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, that I may make it clear, as I must speak. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one.

V. Conclusion[a]

Tychicus and Onesimus. Tychicus,[b] my beloved brother, trustworthy minister, and fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news of me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us and that he may encourage your hearts, together with Onesimus, a trustworthy and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.

From Paul’s Co-Workers. 10 Aristarchus,[c] my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions; if he comes to you, receive him), 11 and Jesus,[d] who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision; these alone are my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras[e] sends you greetings; he is one of you, a slave of Christ [Jesus], always striving for you in his prayers so that you may be perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I can testify that he works very hard for you and for those in Laodicea[f] and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke[g] the beloved physician sends greetings, as does Demas.

A Message for the Laodiceans. 15 Give greetings to the brothers in Laodicea and to Nympha and to the church in her house.[h] 16 And when this letter is read before you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and you yourselves read the one from Laodicea.[i] 17 And tell Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry[j] that you received in the Lord.”

18 The greeting is in my own hand,[k] Paul’s. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:7–18 Paul concludes with greetings and information concerning various Christians known to the Colossians.
  2. 4:7 Tychicus: Acts 20:4 mentions his role in the collection for Jerusalem; Eph 6:21 repeats what is said here; see also 2 Tm 4:12; Ti 3:12.
  3. 4:10 Aristarchus: a Thessalonian who was with Paul at Ephesus and Caesarea and on the voyage to Rome (Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2). Mark: also referred to at Phlm 24 and 2 Tm 4:11 and, as “John Mark,” in Acts (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:13; 15:37–40). See also 1 Pt 5:13 and the note there. Traditionally the author of the second gospel.
  4. 4:11 Jesus: a then common Jewish name, the Greek form of Joshua.
  5. 4:12 Epaphras: see notes on Col 1:3–8 and Col 1:7.
  6. 4:13 Laodicea: see note on Col 2:1. Hierapolis: a city northeast of Laodicea and northwest of Colossae.
  7. 4:14 Luke: only here described as a medical doctor; cf. Phlm 24 and 2 Tm 4:11. Traditionally the author of the third gospel. Demas: cf. Phlm 24; he later deserted Paul (2 Tm 4:10).
  8. 4:15 Nympha and…her house: some manuscripts read a masculine for the house-church leader, “Nymphas and…his house.”
  9. 4:16 The one from Laodicea: either a letter by Paul that has been lost or the Letter to the Ephesians (cf. note on Eph 1:1 in Ephesus).
  10. 4:17 Fulfill the ministry: usually taken to mean that Archippus, the son of Philemon and Apphia (Phlm 1–2), is “pastor” at Colossae. An alternate interpretation is that Archippus, not Philemon, is the owner of the slave Onesimus and that Paul is asking Archippus to complete the service he has received in the Lord by sending Onesimus back to minister to Paul in his captivity (cf. Phlm 20).
  11. 4:18 My own hand: a postscript in Paul’s own hand was his custom; cf. Gal 6:11–18 and 2 Thes 3:17–18.
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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