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Numbers 3-4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

The Sons of Aaron. These are the offspring of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. These are the names of Aaron’s sons: Nadab, the firstborn, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests whom he ordained to serve as priests. But Nadab and Abihu died in the presence of the Lord when they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai; and they left no sons. So only Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.

Levites in Place of the Firstborn. Now the Lord said to Moses: Summon the tribe of Levi and station them before Aaron the priest to serve him. They shall discharge his obligations and those of the whole community before the tent of meeting by maintaining the tabernacle. They shall have responsibility for all the furnishings of the tent of meeting and discharge the obligations of the Israelites by maintaining the tabernacle. You shall assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they have been assigned unconditionally to him from among the Israelites. 10 But you will appoint only Aaron and his descendants to exercise the priesthood. Any unauthorized person who comes near shall be put to death.

11 The Lord said to Moses: 12 I hereby take the Levites from the Israelites in place of every firstborn that opens the womb among the Israelites. The Levites, therefore, are mine, 13 because every firstborn is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated to me every firstborn in Israel, human being and beast alike. They belong to me; I am the Lord.

Census of the Levites. 14 The Lord said to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai: 15 Enroll the Levites by their ancestral houses and clans, enrolling every male of a month or more. 16 Moses, therefore, enrolled them at the direction of the Lord, just as the Lord had charged.

17 These were the sons of Levi by name: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 18 These were the names of the sons of Gershon, by their clans: Libni and Shimei. 19 The sons of Kohath, by their clans, were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 20 The sons of Merari, by their clans, were Mahli and Mushi. These were the clans of the Levites by their ancestral houses.

Duties of the Levitical Clans. 21 To Gershon belonged the clan of the Libnites and the clan of the Shimeites; these were the clans of the Gershonites. 22 Their enrollment, registering every male of a month or more, was seven thousand five hundred. 23 The clans of the Gershonites camped behind the tabernacle, to the west. 24 The leader of the ancestral house of the Gershonites was Eliasaph, son of Lael. 25 At the tent of meeting their responsibility was the tabernacle:[a] the tent and its covering, the curtain at the entrance of the tent of meeting, 26 the hangings of the court, the curtain at the entrance of the court enclosing both the tabernacle and the altar, and the ropes—whatever pertained to their maintenance.

27 To Kohath belonged the clans of the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites; these were the clans of the Kohathites. 28 Their enrollment, registering every male of a month or more, was eight thousand three hundred. They were the ones who performed the duties of the sanctuary. 29 The clans of the Kohathites camped on the south side of the tabernacle. 30 And the leader of their ancestral house of the clan of the Kohathites was Elizaphan, son of Uzziel. 31 Their responsibility was the ark, the table, the menorah, the altars, the utensils of the sanctuary with which the priests minister, the veil, and everything pertaining to their maintenance.[b] 32 The chief of the leaders of the Levites, however, was Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest; he was in charge of those who performed the duties of the sanctuary.

33 To Merari belonged the clans of the Mahlites and the Mushites; these were the clans of Merari. 34 Their enrollment, registering every male of a month or more, was six thousand two hundred. 35 The leader of the ancestral house of the clans of Merari was Zuriel, son of Abihail. They camped at the north side of the tabernacle. 36 [c]The Merarites were assigned responsibility for the boards of the tabernacle, its bars, columns, pedestals, and all its fittings—and everything pertaining to their maintenance, 37 as well as the columns of the surrounding court with their pedestals, pegs and ropes.

38 East of the tabernacle, that is, in front of the tent of meeting, toward the sunrise, were camped Moses and Aaron and the latter’s sons, performing the duties of the sanctuary incumbent upon the Israelites. Any unauthorized person who came near was to be put to death.

39 The total enrollment of the Levites whom Moses and Aaron enrolled at the direction of the Lord, by clans, every male a month old or more, was twenty-two thousand.

Census and Ransom of Firstborn. 40 The Lord then said to Moses: Enroll every firstborn male of the Israelites a month old or more, and count the number of their names. 41 Then take the Levites for me—I am the Lord—in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, as well as the Levites’ cattle, in place of all the firstborn among the cattle of the Israelites. 42 So Moses enrolled all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the Lord had commanded him. 43 All the firstborn males, registered by name, of a month or more, numbered twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.

44 The Lord said to Moses: 45 Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the Levites’ cattle in place of their cattle, that the Levites may belong to me. I am the Lord. 46 As a redemption-price for the two hundred and seventy-three firstborn of the Israelites over and above the number of the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels for each individual, according to the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel. 48 Give this money to Aaron and his sons as a redemption-price for the extra number. 49 So Moses took the redemption money for those over and above the ones redeemed by the Levites. 50 From the firstborn of the Israelites he took the money, one thousand three hundred and sixty-five shekels according to the sanctuary shekel. 51 He then gave this redemption money to Aaron and his sons, at the direction of the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Chapter 4

Duties Further Defined. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: Take a census among the Levites of the Kohathites, by clans and ancestral houses, all between thirty[d] and fifty years of age, who will join the personnel for doing tasks in the tent of meeting.

This is the task of the Kohathites in the tent of meeting: the most sacred objects. In breaking camp, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the screening curtain[e] and cover the ark of the covenant with it. Over these they shall put a cover of yellow-orange skin, and on top of this spread an all-violet cloth and put the poles in place. On the table of the Presence they shall spread a violet cloth and put on it the plates and cups, as well as the bowls and pitchers for libations; the established bread offering shall remain on the table. Over these they shall spread a scarlet cloth and cover it with a covering of yellow-orange skin, and put the poles in place. They shall use a violet cloth to cover the menorah of the light with its lamps, tongs, and trays, as well as the various containers of oil from which it is supplied. 10 The menorah with all its utensils they shall then put in a covering of yellow-orange skin, and place on a litter. 11 Over the golden altar[f] they shall spread a violet cloth, and cover this also with a covering of yellow-orange skin, and put the poles in place. 12 Taking the utensils of the sanctuary service, they shall put them all in violet cloth and cover them with a covering of yellow-orange skin. They shall then place them on a litter. 13 After cleansing the altar[g] of its ashes, they shall spread a purple cloth over it. 14 On this they shall put all the utensils with which it is served: the fire pans, forks,[h] shovels, basins, and all the utensils of the altar. They shall then spread a covering of yellow-orange skin over this, and put the poles in place.

15 Only after Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sacred objects and all their utensils on breaking camp, can the Kohathites enter to carry them. But they shall not touch the sacred objects; if they do they will die. These, then, are the objects in the tent of meeting that the Kohathites shall carry.

16 Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, shall be in charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the established grain offering, and the anointing oil. He shall be in charge of the whole tabernacle with all the sacred objects and utensils that are in it.

17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 18 Do not let the group of Kohathite clans perish from among the Levites. 19 That they may live and not die when they approach the most sacred objects, this is what you shall do for them: Aaron and his sons shall go in and assign to each of them his task and what he must carry; 20 but the Kohathites shall not go in to look upon the sacred objects even for an instant, or they will die.

21 The Lord said to Moses: 22 Take a census of the Gershonites also, by ancestral houses and clans, 23 enrolling all between thirty and fifty years of age who will join the personnel to do the work in the tent of meeting. 24 This is the task of the clans of the Gershonites, what they must do and what they must carry: 25 they shall carry the curtains of the tabernacle, the tent of meeting with its covering and the outer wrapping of yellow-orange skin, the curtain at the entrance of the tent of meeting, 26 the hangings of the court, the curtain at the entrance to the gate of the court that encloses both the tabernacle and the altar, together with their ropes and all other objects necessary for their use. Whatever is to be done to maintain these things, they shall do. 27 The service of the Gershonites shall be entirely under the direction of Aaron and his sons, with regard to what they must carry and what they must do; you shall list for them by name what they are to carry. 28 This, then, is the task of the clans of the Gershonites in the tent of meeting; and they shall be under the supervision of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

29 The Merarites, too, you shall enroll by clans and ancestral houses, 30 enrolling all between thirty and fifty years of age who will join the personnel to maintain the tent of meeting. 31 This is what they shall be responsible for carrying, with respect to all their service in the tent of meeting: the boards of the tabernacle with its bars, columns and pedestals, 32 and the columns of the surrounding court with their pedestals, pegs and ropes, including all their accessories and everything for their maintenance. You shall list by name the objects they shall be responsible for carrying. 33 This, then, is the task of the clans of the Merarites with respect to all their service in the tent of meeting under the supervision of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

Number of Adult Levites. 34 So Moses and Aaron and the leaders of the community enrolled the Kohathites, by clans and ancestral houses, 35 all between thirty and fifty years of age who will join the personnel to work in the tent of meeting; 36 their enrollment by clans was two thousand seven hundred and fifty. 37 Such was the enrollment of the clans of the Kohathites, everyone who was to serve in the tent of meeting, whom Moses enrolled, together with Aaron, as the Lord directed through Moses.

38 As for the enrollment of the Gershonites, by clans and ancestral houses, 39 all between thirty and fifty years of age who will join the personnel to work in the tent of meeting— 40 their enrollment by clans and ancestral houses was two thousand six hundred and thirty. 41 Such was the enrollment of the clans of the Gershonites, everyone who was to serve in the tent of meeting, whom Moses enrolled, together with Aaron, as the Lord directed.

42 As for the enrollment of the clans of the Merarites, by clans and ancestral houses, 43 all from thirty up to fifty years of age who will join the personnel to work in the tent of meeting— 44 their enrollment by clans was three thousand two hundred. 45 Such was the enrollment of the clans of the Merarites, whom Moses enrolled, together with Aaron, as the Lord directed through Moses.

46 As for the total enrollment of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron and the Israelite leaders had made, by clans and ancestral houses, 47 all between thirty and fifty years of age who were to undertake tasks of service or transport for the tent of meeting— 48 their total enrollment was eight thousand five hundred and eighty. 49 As the Lord directed through Moses, they gave each of them their assignments for service and for transport; just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:25–26 The Gershonites had two wagons for transporting these things; cf. 7:7. For a description of the tabernacle, see Ex 26:1–6; the tent, Ex 26:7–13; its covering, Ex 26:14; the curtain at the entrance, Ex 26:36; the hangings of the court, Ex 27:9–15; the curtain at the entrance of the court, Ex 27:16; the ropes of the tabernacle, Ex 35:18.
  2. 3:31 The Kohathites had to carry these sacred objects on their shoulders; cf. 7:9. For a description of the ark, see Ex 25:10–22; the table, Ex 25:23–30; the menorah, Ex 25:31–40; the altars, Ex 27:1–8; 30:1–10.
  3. 3:36–37 The Merarites had four wagons for transporting this heavy material; cf. 7:8. For a description of the boards, bars, etc., of the tabernacle, see Ex 26:15–30; the columns, pedestals, etc., of the court, Ex 27:9–19.
  4. 4:3 Thirty: according to other passages the Levites began to serve when they were twenty-five (8:24) or even only twenty years old (1 Chr 23:24, 27; 2 Chr 31:17; Ezr 3:8; but cf. 1 Chr 23:3).
  5. 4:5 The screening curtain: the veil between the inner and the outer rooms of the sanctuary. Cf. Ex 26:31–33.
  6. 4:11 The golden altar: the altar of incense. Cf. Ex 30:1–6.
  7. 4:13 The altar: the bronze altar for animal sacrifices. Cf. Ex 27:1–8.
  8. 4:14 Forks: used in turning over the sacrificed animal on the fire of the altar. Basins: to receive the sacrificial blood; cf. Zec 9:15.
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 71 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 71[a]

Prayer in Time of Old Age

I

In you, Lord, I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue and deliver me;
    listen to me and save me!
Be my rock of refuge,
    my stronghold to give me safety;
    for you are my rock and fortress.
My God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked,
    from the clutches of the evil and violent.
You are my hope, Lord;
    my trust, God, from my youth.
On you I have depended since birth;
    from my mother’s womb you are my strength;
    my hope in you never wavers.
[b]I have become a portent to many,
    but you are my strong refuge!
My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
    shall sing your glory every day.

II

Do not cast me aside in my old age;
    as my strength fails, do not forsake me.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
    they watch and plot against me.
11 They say, “God has abandoned him.
    Pursue, and seize him!
    No one will come to the rescue!”
12 God, be not far from me;
    my God, hasten to help me.
13 Bring to a shameful end
    those who attack me;
Cover with contempt and scorn
    those who seek my ruin.
14 I will always hope in you
    and add to all your praise.
15 My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds,
    day after day your acts of deliverance,
    though I cannot number them all.
16 I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord;
    O God, I will tell of your singular justice.

III

17 God, you have taught me from my youth;
    to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 Now that I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, God,
That I may proclaim your might
    to all generations yet to come,
Your power 19 and justice, God,
    to the highest heaven.
You have done great things;
    O God, who is your equal?
20 Whatever bitter afflictions you sent me,
    you would turn and revive me.
From the watery depths of the earth
    once more raise me up.
21 Restore my honor;
    turn and comfort me,
22 That I may praise you with the lyre
    for your faithfulness, my God,
And sing to you with the harp,
    O Holy One of Israel!
23 My lips will shout for joy as I sing your praise;
    my soul, too, which you have redeemed.
24 Yes, my tongue shall recount
    your justice day by day.
For those who sought my ruin
    have been shamed and disgraced.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 71 A lament of an old person (Ps 71:9, 18) whose afflictions are interpreted by enemies as a divine judgment (Ps 71:11). The first part of the Psalm pleads for help (Ps 71:1–4) on the basis of a hope learned from a lifetime’s experience of God; the second part describes the menace (Ps 71:9–13) yet remains buoyant (Ps 71:14–16); the third develops the theme of hope and praise.
  2. 71:7 A portent to many: the afflictions of the sufferer are taken as a manifestation of God’s anger, cf. Dt 28:46; Ps 31:12.
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 9:1-22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

Saul’s Conversion. [a]Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,[b] he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;[c] so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

Saul’s Baptism. 10 There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is there praying, 12 and [in a vision] he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay [his] hands on him, that he may regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones[d] in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, 16 and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.” 17 So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, 19 and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.[e]

Saul Preaches in Damascus. He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.[f] 21 All who heard him were astounded and said, “Is not this the man who in Jerusalem ravaged those who call upon this name, and came here expressly to take them back in chains to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul grew all the stronger and confounded [the] Jews who lived in Damascus, proving that this is the Messiah.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:1–19 This is the first of three accounts of Paul’s conversion (with Acts 22:3–16 and Acts 26:2–18) with some differences of detail owing to Luke’s use of different sources. Paul’s experience was not visionary but was precipitated by the appearance of Jesus, as he insists in 1 Cor 15:8. The words of Jesus, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” related by Luke with no variation in all three accounts, exerted a profound and lasting influence on the thought of Paul. Under the influence of this experience he gradually developed his understanding of justification by faith (see the letters to the Galatians and Romans) and of the identification of the Christian community with Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor 12:27). That Luke would narrate this conversion three times is testimony to the importance he attaches to it. This first account occurs when the word is first spread to the Gentiles. At this point, the conversion of the hero of the Gentile mission is recounted. The emphasis in the account is on Paul as a divinely chosen instrument (Acts 9:15).
  2. 9:2 The Way: a name used by the early Christian community for itself (Acts 18:26; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). The Essene community at Qumran used the same designation to describe its mode of life.
  3. 9:8 He could see nothing: a temporary blindness (Acts 9:18) symbolizing the religious blindness of Saul as persecutor (cf. Acts 26:18).
  4. 9:13 Your holy ones: literally, “your saints.”
  5. 9:19–30 This is a brief resume of Paul’s initial experience as an apostolic preacher. At first he found himself in the position of being regarded as an apostate by the Jews and suspect by the Christian community of Jerusalem. His acceptance by the latter was finally brought about through his friendship with Barnabas (Acts 9:27).
  6. 9:20 Son of God: the title “Son of God” occurs in Acts only here, but cf. the citation of Ps 2:7 in Paul’s speech at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:33).
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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