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Nehemiah 11-13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. Dedication of the Wall; Other Reforms

Chapter 11

Resettlement of Jerusalem. [a]The administrators took up residence in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one man in ten to reside in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the other nine would remain in the other cities. The people blessed all those who willingly agreed to take up residence in Jerusalem.

These are the heads of the province who took up residence in Jerusalem. In the cities of Judah dwelt Israelites, priests, Levites, temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon’s servants, each on the property they owned in their own cities.

In Jerusalem dwelt both Judahites and Benjaminites. Of the Judahites: Athaiah, son of Uzziah, son of Zechariah, son of Amariah, son of Shephatiah, son of Mehallalel, of the sons of Perez; Maaseiah, son of Baruch, son of Colhozeh, son of Hazaiah, son of Adaiah, son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah, a son of the Shelanites. The total of the descendants of Perez who dwelt in Jerusalem was four hundred and sixty-eight people of substance.

These were the Benjaminites: Sallu, son of Meshullam, son of Joed, son of Pedaiah, son of Kolaiah, son of Maaseiah, son of Ithiel, son of Jeshaiah, and his kinsmen, warriors, nine hundred and twenty-eight in number. Joel, son of Zichri, was their commander, and Judah, son of Hassenuah, was second in command of the city.

10 Among the priests were: Jedaiah; Joiarib; Jachin; 11 Seraiah, son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God, 12 and their kinsmen who carried out the temple service, eight hundred and twenty-two; Adaiah, son of Jeroham, son of Pelaliah, son of Amzi, son of Zechariah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah, 13 and his kinsmen, heads of ancestral houses, two hundred and forty-two; and Amasai, son of Azarel, son of Ahzai, son of Meshillemoth, son of Immer, 14 and his kinsmen, warriors, one hundred and twenty-eight. Their commander was Zabdiel, son of Haggadol.

15 Among the Levites were Shemaiah, son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, son of Bunni; 16 Shabbethai and Jozabad, levitical chiefs who were placed over the external affairs of the house of God; 17 Mattaniah, son of Micah, son of Zabdi, son of Asaph, director of the psalms, who led the thanksgiving at prayer; Bakbukiah, second in rank among his kinsmen; and Abda, son of Shammua, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun. 18 The total of the Levites in the holy city was two hundred and eighty-four.

19 The gatekeepers were Akkub, Talmon, and their kinsmen, who kept watch over the gates; one hundred and seventy-two in number.

20 The rest of Israel, including priests and Levites, were in all the other cities of Judah in their own inheritances.

21 The temple servants lived on Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of the temple servants.

22 The prefect of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi, son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micah; he was one of the descendants of Asaph, the singers appointed to the service of the house of God— 23 for they had been appointed by royal decree, and there was a fixed schedule for the singers assigning them their daily duties.

24 Pethahiah, son of Meshezabel, a descendant of Zerah, son of Judah, was royal deputy in all affairs that concerned the people.

Other Settlements. 25 As concerns their villages with their fields: Judahites lived in Kiriath-arba and its dependencies, in Dibon and its dependencies, in Jekabzeel and its villages, 26 in Jeshua, Moladah, Beth-pelet, 27 in Hazarshual, in Beer-sheba and its dependencies, 28 in Ziklag, in Meconah and its dependencies, 29 in En-rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its dependencies. They were settled from Beer-sheba to Ge-hinnom.

31 Benjaminites were in Geba, Michmash, Aija, Bethel and its dependencies, 32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod, Ono, and the Valley of the Artisans.

36 Some divisions of the Levites from Judah were attached to Benjamin.

Chapter 12

Priests and Levites at the Time of Zerubbabel. The following are the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the priestly heads and their kinsmen in the days of Jeshua.

The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, Mattaniah, who, together with his kinsmen, was in charge of the thanksgiving hymns, while Bakbukiah and Unno and their kinsmen ministered opposite them by turns.

High Priests. 10 [b]Jeshua became the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib, and Eliashib the father of Joiada; 11 Joiada the father of Johanan, and Johanan the father of Jaddua.

Priests and Levites Under Joiakim. 12 In the days of Joiakim these were the priestly family heads: for Seraiah, Meraiah; for Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 for Ezra, Meshullam; for Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 for Malluchi, Jonathan; for Shebaniah, Joseph; 15 for Harim, Adna; for Meremoth, Helkai; 16 for Iddo, Zechariah; for Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17 for Abijah, Zichri; for Miamin,…; for Moadiah, Piltai; 18 for Bilgah, Shammua; for Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 and for Joiarib, Mattenai; for Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 for Sallu, Kallai; for Amok, Eber; 21 for Hilkiah, Hashabiah; for Jedaiah, Nethanel.

22 In the time of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the heads of ancestral houses of the priests were written down in the Book of Chronicles, up until the reign of Darius the Persian. 23 The sons of Levi: the family heads were written down in the Book of Chronicles, up until the time of Johanan, the son of Eliashib.

24 The heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel. Their kinsmen who stood opposite them to sing praises and thanksgiving in fulfillment of the command of David, the man of God, one section opposite the other, 25 were Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah.

Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers. They guarded the storerooms at the gates.

26 All these lived in the time of Joiakim, son of Jeshua, son of Jozadak (and in the time of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest-scribe).

Dedication of the Wall. 27 [c]At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out wherever they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate a joyful dedication with thanksgiving hymns and the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 The levitical singers gathered together from the region about Jerusalem, from the villages of the Netophathites, 29 from Beth-gilgal, and from the plains of Geba and Azmaveth (for the singers had built themselves settlements about Jerusalem). 30 The priests and Levites first purified themselves, then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

31 I had the administrators of Judah go up on the wall, and I arranged two great choirs. The first of these proceeded to the right, along the top of the wall, in the direction of the Dung Gate, 32 followed by Hoshaiah and half the administrators of Judah, 33 along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35 priests with the trumpets, and also Zechariah, son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph, 36 and his kinsmen Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David, the man of God. Ezra the scribe was at their head. 37 At the Fountain Gate they went straight up by the steps of the City of David and continued along the top of the wall above the house of David until they came to the Water Gate on the east.

38 The second choir proceeded to the left, followed by myself and the other half of the administrators, along the top of the wall past the Oven Tower as far as the Broad Wall, 39 then past the Ephraim Gate to the Mishneh Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Hundred Tower, as far as the Sheep Gate. They came to a halt at the Prison Gate.

40 Both choirs took up a position in the house of God; I, too, and half the magistrates with me, 41 together with the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, Hananiah, with the trumpets, 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers were heard under the leadership of Jezrahiah. 43 Great sacrifices were offered on that day, and they rejoiced, for God had given them cause for great rejoicing. The women and the children joined in, and the rejoicing at Jerusalem could be heard from far off.

44 [d]At that time men were appointed over the chambers set aside for stores, offerings, first fruits, and tithes; in them they were to collect from the fields of the various cities the portions legally assigned to the priests and Levites. For Judah rejoiced in its appointed priests and Levites 45 who carried out the ministry of their God and the ministry of purification (as did the singers and the gatekeepers) in accordance with the prescriptions of David and Solomon, his son. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph, long ago, there were leaders of singers for songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 All Israel, in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the singers and the gatekeepers their portions, according to their daily needs. They made their consecrated offering to the Levites, and the Levites made theirs to the descendants of Aaron.

Chapter 13

[e]At that time, when the book of Moses was being read in the hearing of the people, it was found written there: “No Ammonite or Moabite may ever be admitted into the assembly of God; for they did not meet the Israelites with food and water, but they hired Balaam to curse them, though our God turned the curse into a blessing.” When they had heard the law, they separated all those of mixed descent from Israel.

Reform in the Temple. [f]Before this, the priest Eliashib, who had been placed in charge of the chambers of the house of our God and who was an associate of Tobiah, had set aside for the latter’s use a large chamber in which had previously been stored the grain offerings, incense and vessels, the tithes in grain, wine, and oil allotted to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the offerings due the priests. During all this time I had not been in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes,[g] king of Babylon, I had gone back to the king. After a suitable period of time, however, I asked leave of the king and returned to Jerusalem, where I discovered the evil thing that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in setting aside for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. This displeased me very much, so I had all of Tobiah’s household goods thrown outside the chamber. Then I gave orders to purify the chambers, and I brought back the vessels of the house of God, the grain offerings, and the incense.

10 I learned, too, that the portions due the Levites were no longer being given, so that the Levites and the singers who should have been carrying out the services had deserted to their own fields. 11 I reprimanded the magistrates, demanding, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I brought the Levites together and had them resume their stations. 12 All Judah once more brought in the tithes of grain, wine, and oil to the storerooms. 13 In charge of the storerooms I appointed Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites, together with Hanan, son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, as their assistant; for they were considered trustworthy. It was their duty to make the distribution to their kinsmen. 14 Remember this to my credit, my God! Do not forget the good deeds I have done for the house of my God and its services!

Sabbath Observance. 15 In those days I perceived that people in Judah were treading the wine presses on the sabbath; that they were bringing in sheaves of grain, loading them on their donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs, and every other kind of load, and bringing them to Jerusalem on the sabbath day. I warned them to sell none of these provisions. 16 In Jerusalem itself the Tyrians residing there were importing fish and every other kind of merchandise and selling it to the Judahites on the sabbath. 17 I reprimanded the nobles of Judah, demanding: “What is this evil thing you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? 18 Did not your ancestors act in this same way, with the result that our God has brought all this evil upon us and upon this city? Would you add to the wrath against Israel by once more profaning the sabbath?”

19 When the shadows were falling on the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I ordered the doors to be closed and prohibited their reopening until after the sabbath. I posted some of my own people at the gates so that no load might enter on the sabbath day. 20 The merchants and sellers of various kinds of merchandise spent the night once or twice outside Jerusalem, 21 but then I warned them: “Why do you spend the night alongside the wall? If you keep this up, I will beat you!” From that time on, they did not return on the sabbath. 22 Then I ordered the Levites to purify themselves and to watch the gates, so that the sabbath day might be kept holy. This, too, remember in my favor, my God, and have mercy on me in accordance with your great mercy!

Mixed Marriages. 23 Also in those days I saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, or Moab. 24 Of their children, half spoke the language of Ashdod,[h] or of one of the other peoples, and none of them knew how to speak the language of Judah. 25 So I reprimanded and cursed them; I beat some of their men and pulled out their hair; and I adjured them by God: “You shall not marry your daughters to their sons nor accept any of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves! 26 Did not Solomon, the king of Israel, sin because of them? Though among the many nations there was no king like him, and though he was beloved of his God and God had made him king over all Israel, yet even he was led into sin by foreign women. 27 Must it also be heard of you that you have done this same terrible evil, betraying our God by marrying foreign women?”

28 One of the sons of Joiada, son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite! I drove him from my presence. 29 Remember against them, my God, how they defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites!

30 So I cleansed them of all foreign contamination. I established the various functions for the priests and Levites, so that each had an appointed task. 31 I also provided for the procurement of wood at stated times and for the first fruits. Remember this in my favor, my God!

Footnotes:

  1. 11:1–19 This list of the family heads who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah is best read after Neh 7:72. It parallels at many points the list of early settlers in 1 Chr 9:2–17.
  2. 12:10–11 Jeshua was the high priest when Zerubbabel was governor, in the last decades of the sixth century B.C. (Hg 1:1, 12, 14; 2:2, 4). He was the grandfather of Eliashib, the high priest early in Nehemiah’s governorship (445–433 B.C.; Neh 3:1, 20, 21) and perhaps later. Eliashib, the grandfather of Johanan, was a grown man, if not yet a high priest, at the time of Ezra, ca. 400 B.C. (Ezr 10:6; and note). According to Josephus (Ant. 11:120–183), whose testimony here is doubtful, Jaddua, son of Johanan, died as an old man about the time that Alexander the Great died, 323 B.C. If, as seems probable, this list of the postexilic high priests, at least as far as Johanan, comes from the author himself (cf. Neh 12:23) and not from a later scribe, it is of prime importance for dating the author’s work in the first decades of the fourth century B.C.
  3. 12:27–43 The dedication of the wall of Jerusalem took place, no doubt, soon after the restoration of the wall and its gates had been completed. This section, therefore, is best read after Neh 6:15.
  4. 12:44–47 This account of the provisions made for the Temple services is a composition either of the author or of a later scribe. The gloss mentioning Nehemiah is not in the Septuagint.
  5. 13:1–3 These verses serve as an introduction to the reforms Nehemiah instituted during his second mission in Jerusalem (vv. 4–31). The part of the Book of Moses read to the people is freely quoted here from Dt 23:3–6.
  6. 13:4–31 This is part of the “Memoirs of Nehemiah”; it is continued in 10:1–40.
  7. 13:6 In the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes: Artaxerxes I, therefore 433 B.C. After…time: it is not known when Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem or how long his second period of activity there lasted.
  8. 13:24 Language of Ashdod: more likely an Aramaic rather than a Philistine dialect. The language of Judah: probably Hebrew.
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 28:1-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 28

The wicked flee though none pursue;
    but the just, like a lion, are confident.
If a land is rebellious, its princes will be many;
    but with an intelligent and wise ruler there is stability.[a]
One who is poor and extorts from the lowly
    is a devastating rain that leaves no food.[b]
Those who abandon instruction[c] praise the wicked,
    but those who keep instruction oppose them.
The evil understand nothing of justice,[d]
    but those who seek the Lord understand everything.
Better to be poor and walk in integrity
    than rich and crooked in one’s ways.
Whoever heeds instruction is a wise son,
    but whoever joins with wastrels disgraces his father.
Whoever amasses wealth by interest and overcharge[e]
    gathers it for the one who is kind to the poor.
Those who turn their ears from hearing instruction,
    even their prayer is an abomination.
10 Those who mislead the upright into an evil way
    will themselves fall into their own pit,
    but the blameless will attain prosperity.
11 The rich are wise in their own eyes,
    but the poor who are intelligent see through them.
12 When the just triumph, there is great glory;
    but when the wicked prevail, people hide.[f]
13 Those who conceal their sins do not prosper,
    but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy.[g]
14 Happy those who always fear;[h]
    but those who harden their hearts fall into evil.

Footnotes:

  1. 28:2 The first line expresses the paradox that rebellion, far from doing away with rulers, actually multiplies them. The second line is corrupt.
  2. 28:3 The reference may be to tax farmers who collected taxes and took a commission. The collectors’ lack of wealth was the cause of their oppression of poor farmers. They are like a rain too violent to allow crops to grow.
  3. 28:4 Instruction: torah; the word is used both for the teaching of the wise and the law of Moses.
  4. 28:5 Understanding nothing of justice plays on the twofold sense of justice as righteousness and as punishment that comes on the wicked. On the other hand, those who seek the Lord understand everything, i.e., that the Lord punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous (themselves).
  5. 28:8 Interest and overcharge were strictly forbidden in the old law among Israelites because it was presumed that the borrower was in distress; cf. Ex 22:25; Lv 25:35–37; Dt 23:20; Ps 15:5; Ez 18:8. Divine providence will take the offender’s wealth; cf. Eccl 2:26.
  6. 28:12 People react in opposite ways to the triumph of good and evil. To the triumph of good, they react by public display, public celebration, and to the triumph of evil, by hiding.
  7. 28:13 Concealing the faults of another is a good thing in Proverbs (17:9), but concealing one’s own sins is not. Ps 32:1–5 expresses the anguish caused by concealing one’s sins rather than bringing them to light so they can be healed by God.
  8. 28:14 Fear is a different verb than in the phrase “to fear (or revere) the Lord.” In its only other biblical occurrence (Is 51:13), the verb means to dread an oppressor. The saying states a paradox: those who fear in the sense of being cautious are declared happy, whereas those who are fearless will fall into traps they did not “fear.” In short, there is good fear and bad fear.
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.

Philippians 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

Greeting.[a] Paul and Timothy, slaves[b] of Christ Jesus, to all the holy ones in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and ministers: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.[c]

Thanksgiving.[d] I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.[e] It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, 10 to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

II. Progress of the Gospel[f]

12 I want you to know, brothers, that my situation has turned out rather to advance the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment has become well known in Christ throughout the whole praetorium[g] and to all the rest, 14 [h]and so that the majority of the brothers, having taken encouragement in the Lord from my imprisonment, dare more than ever to proclaim the word fearlessly.

15 Of course, some preach Christ from envy and rivalry, others from good will. 16 The latter act out of love, aware that I am here for the defense of the gospel; 17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not from pure motives, thinking that they will cause me trouble in my imprisonment. 18 What difference does it make, as long as in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed? And in that I rejoice.[i]

Indeed I shall continue to rejoice, 19 [j]for I know that this will result in deliverance for me[k] through your prayers and support from the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20 My eager expectation and hope is that I shall not be put to shame in any way, but that with all boldness, now as always, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. 22 If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. 23 I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, [for] that is far better. 24 Yet that I remain [in] the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. 25 And this I know with confidence, that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound on account of me when I come to you again.

III. Instructions for the Community

Steadfastness in Faith.[l] 27 Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear news of you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind struggling together for the faith of the gospel, 28 not intimidated in any way by your opponents. This is proof to them of destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29 For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him. 30 Yours is the same struggle as you saw in me and now hear about me.[m]

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–2 See note on Rom 1:1–7, concerning the greeting.
  2. 1:1 Slaves: Paul usually refers to himself at the start of a letter as an apostle. Here he substitutes a term suggesting the unconditional obligation of himself and Timothy to the service of Christ, probably because, in view of the good relationship with the Philippians, he wishes to stress his status as a co-servant rather than emphasize his apostolic authority. Reference to Timothy is a courtesy: Paul alone writes the letter, as the singular verb throughout shows (Phil 1:3–26), and the reference (Phil 2:19–24) to Timothy in the third person. Overseers: the Greek term episkopos literally means “one who oversees” or “one who supervises,” but since the second century it has come to designate the “bishop,” the official who heads a local church. In New Testament times this office had not yet developed into the form that it later assumed, though it seems to be well on the way to such development in the Pastorals; see 1 Tm 3:2 and Ti 1:7, where it is translated bishop. At Philippi, however (and at Ephesus, according to Acts 20:28), there was more than one episkopos, and the precise function of these officials is uncertain. In order to distinguish this office from the later stages into which it developed, the term is here translated as overseers. Ministers: the Greek term diakonoi is used frequently in the New Testament to designate “servants,” “attendants,” or “ministers.” Paul refers to himself and to other apostles as “ministers of God” (2 Cor 6:4) or “ministers of Christ” (2 Cor 11:23). In the Pastorals (1 Tm 3:8, 12) the diakonos has become an established official in the local church; hence the term is there translated as deacon. The diakonoi at Philippi seem to represent an earlier stage of development of the office; we are uncertain about their precise functions. Hence the term is here translated as ministers. See Rom 16:1, where Phoebe is described as a diakonos (minister) of the church of Cenchreae.
  3. 1:2 The gifts come from Christ the Lord, not simply through him from the Father; compare the christology in Phil 2:6–11.
  4. 1:3–11 As in Rom 1:8–15 and all the Pauline letters except Galatians, a thanksgiving follows, including a direct prayer for the Philippians (Phil 1:9–11); see note on Rom 1:8. On their partnership for the gospel (Phil 1:5), cf. Phil 1:29–30; 4:10–20. Their devotion to the faith and to Paul made them his pride and joy (Phil 4:1). The characteristics thus manifested are evidence of the community’s continuing preparation for the Lord’s parousia (Phil 1:6, 10). Paul’s especially warm relationship with the Philippians is suggested here (Phil 1:7–8) as elsewhere in the letter. The eschatology serves to underscore a concern for ethical growth (Eph 1:9–11), which appears throughout the letter.
  5. 1:6 The day of Christ Jesus: the parousia or triumphant return of Christ, when those loyal to him will be with him and share in his eternal glory; cf. Phil 1:10; 2:16; 3:20–21; 1 Thes 4:17; 5:10; 2 Thes 1:10; 1 Cor 1:8.
  6. 1:12–26 The body of the letter begins with an account of Paul’s present situation, i.e., his imprisonment (Phil 1:12–13; see Introduction), and then goes on with advice for the Philippians (Phil 1:27–2:18). The advance of the gospel (Phil 1:12) and the progress of the Philippians in the faith (Phil 1:25) frame what is said.
  7. 1:13 Praetorium: either the praetorian guard in the city where Paul was imprisoned or the governor’s official residence in a Roman province (cf. Mk 15:16; Acts 23:35). See Introduction on possible sites.
  8. 1:14–18 Although Paul is imprisoned, Christians there nonetheless go on preaching Christ. But they do so with varied motives, some with personal hostility toward Paul, others out of personal ambition.
  9. 1:18 Rejoice: a major theme in the letter; see Introduction.
  10. 1:19–25 Paul earnestly debates his prospects of martyrdom or continued missionary labor. While he may long to depart this life and thus be with Christ (Phil 1:23), his overall and final expectation is that he will be delivered from this imprisonment and continue in the service of the Philippians and of others (Phil 1:19, 25; Phil 2:24). In either case, Christ is central (Phil 1:20–21); if to live means Christ for Paul, death means to be united with Christ in a deeper sense.
  11. 1:19 Result in deliverance for me: an echo of Jb 13:16, hoping that God will turn suffering to ultimate good and deliverance from evil.
  12. 1:27–30 Ethical admonition begins at this early point in the letter, emphasizing steadfastness and congregational unity in the face of possible suffering. The opponents (Phil 1:28) are those in Philippi, probably pagans, who oppose the gospel cause. This is proof . .. (Phil 1:28) may refer to the whole outlook and conduct of the Philippians, turning out for their salvation but to the judgment of the opponents (cf. 2 Cor 2:15–16), or possibly the sentence refers to the opinion of the opponents, who hold that the obstinacy of the Christians points to the destruction of such people as defy Roman authority (though in reality, Paul holds, such faithfulness leads to salvation).
  13. 1:30 A reference to Paul’s earlier imprisonment in Philippi (Acts 16:19–24; 1 Thes 2:2) and to his present confinement.
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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