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Numbers 24-25New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Balaam’s Third Oracle

24 Now Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, so he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, and he uttered his oracle, saying:

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
    the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,[a]
the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees the vision of the Almighty,[b]
    who falls down, but with eyes uncovered:
how fair are your tents, O Jacob,
    your encampments, O Israel!
Like palm groves that stretch far away,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the Lord has planted,
    like cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets,
    and his seed shall have abundant water,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
    and his kingdom shall be exalted.
God who brings him out of Egypt,
    is like the horns of a wild ox for him;
he shall devour the nations that are his foes
    and break their bones.
    He shall strike with his arrows.[c]
He crouched, he lay down like a lion,
    and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
    and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

10 Then Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but instead you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now be off with you! Go home! I said, ‘I will reward you richly,’ but the Lord has denied you any reward.” 12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will; what the Lord says, that is what I will say’? 14 So now, I am going to my people; let me advise you what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

Balaam’s Fourth Oracle

15 So he uttered his oracle, saying:

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
    the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,[d]
16 the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
    and knows the knowledge of the Most High,[e]
who sees the vision of the Almighty,[f]
    who falls down, but with his eyes uncovered:
17 I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near—
a star shall come out of Jacob,
    and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;
it shall crush the borderlands[g] of Moab,
    and the territory[h] of all the Shethites.
18 Edom will become a possession,
    Seir a possession of its enemies,[i]
    while Israel does valiantly.
19 One out of Jacob shall rule,
    and destroy the survivors of Ir.”

20 Then he looked on Amalek, and uttered his oracle, saying:

“First among the nations was Amalek,
but its end is to perish forever.”

21 Then he looked on the Kenite, and uttered his oracle, saying:

“Enduring is your dwelling place,
    and your nest is set in the rock;
22 yet Kain is destined for burning.
    How long shall Asshur take you away captive?”

23 Again he uttered his oracle, saying:

“Alas, who shall live when God does this?
24     But ships shall come from Kittim
and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;
    and he also shall perish forever.”

25 Then Balaam got up and went back to his place, and Balak also went his way.

Worship of Baal of Peor

25 While Israel was staying at Shittim, the people began to have sexual relations with the women of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. Thus Israel yoked itself to the Baal of Peor, and the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and impale them in the sun before the Lord, in order that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you shall kill any of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.”

Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman into his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stopped among the people of Israel. Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.

10 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the Israelites by manifesting such zeal among them on my behalf that in my jealousy I did not consume the Israelites. 12 Therefore say, ‘I hereby grant him my covenant of peace. 13 It shall be for him and for his descendants after him a covenant of perpetual priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the Israelites.’”

14 The name of the slain Israelite man, who was killed with the Midianite woman, was Zimri son of Salu, head of an ancestral house belonging to the Simeonites. 15 The name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi daughter of Zur, who was the head of a clan, an ancestral house in Midian.

16 The Lord said to Moses, 17 “Harass the Midianites, and defeat them; 18 for they have harassed you by the trickery with which they deceived you in the affair of Peor, and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister; she was killed on the day of the plague that resulted from Peor.”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 24:3 Or closed or open
  2. Numbers 24:4 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  3. Numbers 24:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Numbers 24:15 Or closed or open
  5. Numbers 24:16 Or of Elyon
  6. Numbers 24:16 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  7. Numbers 24:17 Or forehead
  8. Numbers 24:17 Some Mss read skull
  9. Numbers 24:18 Heb Seir, its enemies, a possession
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 81New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Psalm 81

God’s Appeal to Stubborn Israel

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
    when he went out over[a] the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your[b] shoulder of the burden;
    your[c] hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13 O that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
    and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their doom would last forever.
16 I would feed you[d] with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 81:5 Or against
  2. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  3. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  4. Psalm 81:16 Cn Compare verse 16b: Heb he would feed him
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Acts 16:1-16New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16 Paul[a] went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers[b] in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

The Conversion of Lydia

11 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district[c] of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13 On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14 A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15 When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 16:1 Gk He
  2. Acts 16:2 Gk brothers
  3. Acts 16:12 Other authorities read a city of the first district
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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