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Numbers 14-15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Threats of Revolt. At this, the whole community broke out with loud cries, and the people wept into the night. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, the whole community saying to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt,” or “If only we would die here in the wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land only to have us fall by the sword? Our wives and little ones will be taken as spoil. Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”

But Moses and Aaron fell prostrate before the whole assembled community of the Israelites; while Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, who had been among those that reconnoitered the land, tore their garments and said to the whole community of the Israelites, “The land which we went through and reconnoitered is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us in to this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord! You need not be afraid of the people of the land, for they are but food for us![a] Their protection has left them, but the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

The Lord’s Sentence. 10 The whole community threatened to stone them. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 And the Lord said to Moses: How long will this people spurn me? How long will they not trust me, despite all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with pestilence and disown them. Then I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.

13 But Moses said to the Lord: “The Egyptians will hear of this, for by your power you brought out this people from among them. 14 They will tell the inhabitants of this land, who have heard that you, Lord, are in the midst of this people; you, Lord, who directly revealed yourself! Your cloud stands over them, and you go before them by day in a column of cloud and by night in a column of fire. 15 If now you slay this people all at once, the nations who have heard such reports of you will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them; that is why he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17 Now then, may my Lord’s forbearance be great, even as you have said, 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in kindness, forgiving iniquity and rebellion; yet certainly not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children to the third and fourth generation for their parents’ iniquity.’ 19 Pardon, then, the iniquity of this people in keeping with your great kindness, even as you have forgiven them from Egypt until now.”

20 The Lord answered: I pardon them as you have asked. 21 Yet, by my life and the Lord’s glory that fills the whole earth, 22 of all the people who have seen my glory and the signs I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and who nevertheless have put me to the test ten times already and have not obeyed me, 23 not one shall see the land which I promised on oath to their ancestors. None of those who have spurned me shall see it. 24 But as for my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and follows me unreservedly, I will bring him into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall possess it. 25 But now, since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys,[b] turn away tomorrow and set out into the wilderness by way of the Red Sea road.

26 The Lord also said to Moses and Aaron: 27 How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the Israelites against me. 28 Tell them:[c] “By my life”—oracle of the Lord—“I will do to you just what I have heard you say. 29 Here in the wilderness your dead bodies shall fall. Of all your men of twenty years or more, enrolled in your registration, who grumbled against me, 30 not one of you shall enter the land where I solemnly swore to settle you, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, son of Nun. 31 Your little ones, however, who you said would be taken as spoil, I will bring in, and they shall know the land you rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies shall fall here in the wilderness, 33 while your children will wander for forty years, suffering for your infidelity, till the last of you lies dead in the wilderness. 34 Corresponding to the number of days you spent reconnoitering the land—forty days—you shall bear your punishment one year for each day: forty years. Thus you will realize what it means to oppose me. 35 I, the Lord, have spoken; and I will surely do this to this entire wicked community that conspired against me: here in the wilderness they shall come to their end and there they will die.”

36 And the men whom Moses had sent to reconnoiter the land and who on returning had set the whole community grumbling against him by spreading discouraging reports about the land— 37 these men who had spread discouraging reports about the land were struck down by the Lord and died. 38 Only Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, survived of all the men who had gone to reconnoiter the land.

Unsuccessful Invasion. 39 When Moses repeated these words to all the Israelites, the people mourned greatly. 40 Early the next morning they started up high into the hill country, saying, “Here we are, ready to go up to the place that the Lord spoke of: for we did wrong.” 41 But Moses said, “Why are you now transgressing the Lord’s order? This cannot succeed. 42 Do not go up, because the Lord is not in your midst; do not allow yourself to be struck down by your enemies. 43 For there the Amalekites and Canaanites will face you, and you will fall by the sword. You have turned back from following the Lord; therefore the Lord will not be with you.”

44 Yet they dared to go up high into the hill country, even though neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses left the camp. 45 And the Amalekites and Canaanites who dwelt in that hill country came down and defeated them, beating them back as far as Hormah.[d]

Chapter 15

Secondary Offerings. The Lord spoke to Moses: [e]Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you for your settlements, if you make to the Lord an oblation from the herd or from the flock—either a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow, or as a voluntary offering, or for one of your festivals—to produce a pleasing aroma for the Lord, the one presenting the offering shall also present to the Lord a grain offering, a tenth of a measure[f] of bran flour mixed with a fourth of a hin of oil, as well as wine for a libation, a fourth of a hin. You will do this with the burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb. Alternatively for a ram you shall make a grain offering of two tenths of a measure of bran flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil, and for a libation, a third of a hin of wine, thereby presenting a pleasing aroma to the Lord. If you make an offering from the herd—either a burnt offering, or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow, or as a communion offering to the Lord, with it a grain offering of three tenths of a measure of bran flour mixed with half a hin of oil will be presented; 10 and you will present for a libation, half a hin of wine—a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. 11 The same is to be done for each ox, ram, lamb or goat. 12 Whatever the number you offer, do the same for each of them.

13 All the native-born shall make these offerings in this way, whenever they present a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. 14 Likewise, in any future generation, any alien residing with you or anyone else in your midst, who presents an oblation of pleasing aroma to the Lord, must do as you do. 15 There is but one statute for you and for the resident alien, a perpetual statute throughout your generations. You and the resident alien will be alike before the Lord; 16 you and the alien residing with you will have the same rule and the same application of it.

17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land into which I am bringing you 19 and eat of the bread of the land, you shall offer the Lord a contribution. 20 A round loaf from your first batch of dough[g] you shall offer as a contribution. Just like a contribution from the threshing floor you shall offer it. 21 Throughout your generations you shall give a contribution to the Lord from your first batch of dough.

Purification Offerings.[h] 22 If through inadvertence you fail to do any of these commandments which the Lord has given to Moses— 23 anything the Lord commanded you through Moses from the time the Lord first gave the command down through your generations— 24 if it was done inadvertently without the community’s knowledge, the whole community shall sacrifice one bull from the herd as a burnt offering of pleasing aroma to the Lord, along with its prescribed grain offering and libation, as well as one he-goat as a purification offering. 25 Then the priest shall make atonement for the whole Israelite community; and they will be forgiven, since it was inadvertence, and for their inadvertence they have brought their offering: an oblation to the Lord as well as their purification offering before the Lord. 26 Not only the whole Israelite community but also the aliens residing among you shall be forgiven, since the inadvertent fault affects all the people.

27 If it is an individual who sins inadvertently, this person shall bring a yearling she-goat as a purification offering. 28 And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred, since the sin was inadvertent, making atonement for the person to secure forgiveness. 29 You shall have but one rule for the person who sins inadvertently, whether a native-born Israelite or an alien residing among you.

30 But anyone who acts defiantly, whether a native or an alien, reviles the Lord, and shall be cut off from among the people. 31 For having despised the word of the Lord and broken his commandment, he must be cut off entirely and bear the punishment.

The Sabbath-breaker. 32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was discovered gathering wood on the sabbath day. 33 Those who caught him at it brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole community. 34 But they put him in custody, for there was no clear decision[i] as to what should be done with him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses: This man shall be put to death; let the whole community stone him outside the camp. 36 So the whole community led him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Tassels on the Cloak. 37 The Lord said to Moses: 38 Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels[j] for the corners of their garments, fastening a violet cord to each corner. 39 When you use these tassels, the sight of the cord will remind you of all the commandments of the Lord and you will do them, without prostituting yourself going after the desires of your hearts and your eyes. 40 Thus you will remember to do all my commandments and you will be holy to your God. 41 I, the Lord, am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I, the Lord your God.


  1. 14:9 They are but food for us: lit., “for they are our bread.” “Bread” (Heb. lechem) is here used in the sense of “prey, spoils” to be consumed by an invader. This is the answer to the pessimistic report that this land “consumes its inhabitants” (13:32).
  2. 14:25 The valleys: the low-lying plains in the Negeb and along the seacoast and in the Jordan depression, as well as the higher valleys in the mountains farther north: cf. v. 45.
  3. 14:28–29 God punished the grumblers by giving them their wish; cf. v. 2. Their lack of trust in God is cited in 1 Cor 10:10 and Hb 3:12–18 as a warning for Christians.
  4. 14:45 Hormah: one of the Canaanite royal cities in southern Judah, according to the tradition attested in Jos 12:14, although Nm 21:1–3 gives it as the new name for the city of Arad when it was destroyed by Israel. According to the list of conquered cities preserved in Jgs 1, the earlier name for the city of Hormah was Zephath. The precise location is unknown.
  5. 15:2–16 These laws on sacrifice are complementary to those of Lv 1–3. Since the food of the Israelites consisted not only of meat but also of bread, oil and wine, they offered flour, wine and oil in sacrifice to the Lord besides the animal oblations.
  6. 15:4 Measure: the word, supplied from the context, does not appear in the Hebrew (as also in vv. 6, 9; 28:9, 12, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14). Probably the ephah (which is named in 5:15; 28:5) is intended. Hin: see note on Ez 45:24.
  7. 15:20 Dough: the meaning of the Hebrew term is uncertain; some render, “baking utensils.” This word is used elsewhere only in Ez 44:30 and Neh 10:33; a related Hebrew word is used in Lv 2:14.
  8. 15:22–31 See note on Lv 4:2. Although Lv 4–5 and Nm 15:22–31 both concern inadvertent sins, the emphasis here, as opposed to Lv 4–5, is on the failure of the community to perform “positive commands” rather than on doing what is prohibited.
  9. 15:34 No clear decision: either it was not clear that gathering wood constituted “work” and as such a willful violation of the sabbath and a capital offense; or they did not yet know how the death penalty was to be inflicted.
  10. 15:38 Tassels: at the time of Jesus these tassels were worn by all pious Jews, including Jesus (Mt 9:20–21; Mk 6:56); some Pharisees wore very large ones in a display of their zeal for the law (Mt 23:5).
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 77 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 77[a]

Confidence in God During National Distress

For the leader; According to Jeduthun. A psalm of Asaph.


I cry aloud to God,
    I cry to God to hear me.
On the day of my distress I seek the Lord;
    by night my hands are stretched out unceasingly;
    I refuse to be consoled.
When I think of God, I groan;
    as I meditate, my spirit grows faint.
You have kept me from closing my eyes in sleep;
    I am troubled and cannot speak.
I consider the days of old;
the years long past     I remember.
At night I ponder in my heart;
    and as I meditate, my spirit probes:
“Will the Lord reject us forever,
    never again show favor?
Has God’s mercy ceased forever?
    The promise to go unfulfilled for future ages?
10 Has God forgotten how to show mercy,
    in anger withheld his compassion?”
11 [b]I conclude: “My sorrow is this,
    the right hand of the Most High has abandoned us.”


12 [c]I will recall the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, recall your wonders of old.
13 I will ponder all your works;
    on your exploits I will meditate.
14 Your way, God, is holy;
    what god is as great as our God?
15 You are the God who does wonders;
    among the peoples you have revealed your might.
16 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
    the children of Jacob and Joseph.
17 The waters saw you, God;
    the waters saw you and lashed about,
    even the deeps of the sea[d] trembled.
18 The clouds poured down their rains;
    the thunderheads rumbled;
    your arrows flashed back and forth.
19 The thunder of your chariot wheels resounded;
    your lightning lit up the world;
    the earth trembled and quaked.
20 Through the sea was your way;
    your path, through the mighty waters,
    though your footsteps were unseen.
21 You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


  1. Psalm 77 A community lament in which the speaker (“I”) describes the anguish of Israel at God’s silence when its very existence is at stake (Ps 77:2–11). In response the speaker recites the story of how God brought the people into existence (Ps 77:12–20). The question is thus posed to God: Will you allow the people you created to be destroyed?
  2. 77:11 I conclude: lit., “I said.” The psalmist, after pondering the present distress and God’s promises to Israel, has decided that God has forgotten the people.
  3. 77:12 I will recall: the verb sometimes means to make present the great deeds of Israel’s past by reciting them, cf. Ps 78:42; 105:5; 106:7.
  4. 77:17 The deeps of the sea: Heb. tehom; the same word is used in Gn 1:2, where it alludes to the primeval seas which in ancient Semitic cosmography are tamed by God in creation, cf. Ps 74:12–17; 89:12–13 and notes.
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 13:1-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

[a]Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.

First Mission Begins in Cyprus. [b]So they, sent forth by the holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They had John[c] also as their assistant. When they had traveled through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a magician named Bar-Jesus who was a Jewish false prophet.[d] He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who had summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is what his name means) opposed them in an attempt to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul,[e] filled with the holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all that is right, full of every sort of deceit and fraud. Will you not stop twisting the straight paths of [the] Lord? 11 Even now the hand of the Lord is upon you. You will be blind, and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he came to believe, for he was astonished by the teaching about the Lord.

Paul’s Arrival at Antioch in Pisidia. 13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. But John left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered [into] the synagogue and took their seats. 15 After the reading of the law and the prophets, the synagogue officials sent word to them, “My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

Paul’s Address in the Synagogue. 16 [f]So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, “Fellow Israelites and you others who are God-fearing,[g] listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. With uplifted arm he led them out of it 18 and for about forty years he put up with[h] them in the desert. 19 When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance 20 at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.[i] After these things he provided judges up to Samuel [the] prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king. God gave them Saul, son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 Then he removed him and raised up David as their king; of him he testified, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish.’ 23 From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. 24 John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; 25 and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’


  1. 13:1–3 The impulse for the first missionary effort in Asia Minor is ascribed to the prophets of the Antiochene community, under the inspiration of the holy Spirit. Just as the Jerusalem community had earlier been the center of missionary activity, so too Antioch becomes the center from which the missionaries Barnabas and Saul are sent out.
  2. 13:4–14:27 The key event in Luke’s account of the first missionary journey is the experience of Paul and Barnabas at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14–52). The Christian kerygma proclaimed by Paul in the synagogue was favorably received. Some Jews and “God-fearers” (see note on Acts 8:26–40) became interested and invited the missionaries to speak again on the following sabbath (Acts 13:42). By that time, however, the appearance of a large number of Gentiles from the city had so disconcerted the Jews that they became hostile toward the apostles (Acts 13:44–50). This hostility of theirs appears in all three accounts of Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts, the Jews of Iconium (Acts 14:1–2) and Beroea (Acts 17:11) being notable exceptions.
  3. 13:5 John: that is, John Mark (see Acts 12:12, 25).
  4. 13:6 A magician named Bar-Jesus who was a Jewish false prophet: that is, he posed as a prophet. Again Luke takes the opportunity to dissociate Christianity from the magical acts of the time (Acts 13:7–11); see also Acts 8:18–24.
  5. 13:9 Saul, also known as Paul: there is no reason to believe that his name was changed from Saul to Paul upon his conversion. The use of a double name, one Semitic (Saul), the other Greco-Roman (Paul), is well attested (cf. Acts 1:23, Joseph Justus; Acts 12:12, 25, John Mark).
  6. 13:16–41 This is the first of several speeches of Paul to Jews proclaiming that the Christian church is the logical development of Pharisaic Judaism (see also Acts 24:10–21; 26:2–23).
  7. 13:16 Who are God-fearing: see note on Acts 8:26–40.
  8. 13:18 Put up with: some manuscripts read “sustained.”
  9. 13:20 At the end of about four hundred and fifty years: the manuscript tradition makes it uncertain whether the mention of four hundred and fifty years refers to the sojourn in Egypt before the Exodus, the wilderness period and the time of the conquest (see Ex 12:40–41), as the translation here suggests, or to the time between the conquest and the time of Samuel, the period of the judges, if the text is read, “After these things, for about four hundred and fifty years, he provided judges.”
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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