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Numbers 5-6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

The Unclean Expelled. The Lord said to Moses: Order the Israelites to expel from camp everyone with a scaly infection, and everyone suffering from a discharge, and everyone who has become unclean by contact with a corpse.[a] Male and female alike, you shall expel them. You shall expel them from the camp so that they do not defile their camp, where I dwell in their midst. This the Israelites did, expelling them from the camp; just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the Israelites did.

Unjust Possession.[b] The Lord said to Moses: Tell the Israelites: If a man or a woman commits any offense against another person, thus breaking faith with the Lord, and thereby becomes guilty, that person shall confess the wrong that has been done, make restitution in full, and in addition give one fifth of its value to the one that has been wronged. However, if there is no next of kin,[c] one to whom restitution can be made, the restitution shall be made to the Lord and shall fall to the priest; this is apart from the ram of atonement with which the priest makes atonement for the guilty individual. Likewise, every contribution among the sacred offerings that the Israelites present to the priest will belong to him. 10 Each shall possess his own sacred offerings; what is given to a priest shall be his.

Ordeal for Suspected Adultery. 11 The Lord said to Moses: 12 Speak to the Israelites and tell them: If a man’s wife goes astray and becomes unfaithful to him 13 by virtue of a man having intercourse with her in secret from her husband and she is able to conceal the fact that she has defiled herself for lack of a witness who might have caught her in the act; 14 or if a man is overcome by a feeling of jealousy that makes him suspect his wife, and she has defiled herself; or if a man is overcome by a feeling of jealousy that makes him suspect his wife and she has not defiled herself— 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest as well as an offering on her behalf, a tenth of an ephah[d] of barley meal. However, he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense over it, since it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembrance which recalls wrongdoing.

16 The priest shall first have the woman come forward and stand before the Lord. 17 In an earthen vessel he shall take holy water,[e] as well as some dust from the floor of the tabernacle and put it in the water. 18 Making the woman stand before the Lord, the priest shall uncover her head and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance, that is, the grain offering of jealousy, while he himself shall hold the water of bitterness that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall adjure the woman, saying to her, “If no other man has had intercourse with you, and you have not gone astray by defiling yourself while under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under the authority of your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you”— 21 so shall the priest adjure the woman with this imprecation—“may the Lord make you a curse and malediction[f] among your people by causing your uterus to fall and your belly to swell! 22 May this water, then, that brings a curse, enter your bowels to make your belly swell and your uterus fall!” And the woman shall say, “Amen, amen!”[g] 23 The priest shall put these curses in writing and shall then wash them off into the water of bitterness, 24 and he will have the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings a curse, so that the water that brings a curse may enter into her to her bitter hurt. 25 But first the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, and having elevated the grain offering before the Lord, shall bring it to the altar, 26 where he shall take a handful of the grain offering as a token offering and burn it on the altar. Only then shall he have the woman drink the water. 27 Once he has had her drink the water, if she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings a curse will enter into her to her bitter hurt, and her belly will swell and her uterus will fall, so that she will become a curse among her people. 28 If, however, the woman has not defiled herself, but is still pure, she will be immune and will still be fertile.

29 This, then, is the ritual for jealousy when a woman goes astray while under the authority of her husband and defiles herself, 30 or when such a feeling of jealousy comes over a man that he becomes suspicious of his wife; he shall have her stand before the Lord, and the priest shall perform this entire ritual for her. 31 The man shall be free from punishment,[h] but the woman shall bear her punishment.

Chapter 6

Laws Concerning Nazirites. The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When men or women solemnly take the nazirite[i] vow to dedicate themselves to the Lord, they shall abstain from wine and strong drink; they may neither drink wine vinegar, other vinegar, or any kind of grape juice, nor eat either fresh or dried grapes. As long as they are nazirites they shall not eat anything of the produce of the grapevine; not even the seeds or the skins. While they are under the nazirite vow, no razor shall touch their hair. Until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over, they shall be holy, letting the hair of their heads grow freely. As long as they are dedicated to the Lord, they shall not come near a dead person. Not even for their father or mother, sister or brother, should they defile themselves, when these die, since their heads bear their dedication to God. As long as they are nazirites they are holy to the Lord.

If someone dies very suddenly in their presence, defiling their dedicated heads, they shall shave their heads on the day of their purification, that is, on the seventh day. 10 On the eighth day they shall bring two turtledoves or two pigeons to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 11 The priest shall offer up the one as a purification offering and the other as a burnt offering, thus making atonement for them for the sin they committed with respect to the corpse. On the same day they shall reconsecrate their heads 12 and rededicate themselves to the Lord for the period of their dedication, bringing a yearling lamb as a reparation offering. The previous period is not valid, because they defiled their dedicated heads.

13 This is the ritual for the nazirites: When the period of their dedication is complete they shall go to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 14 bringing their offerings to the Lord, one unblemished yearling lamb for a burnt offering, one unblemished yearling ewe lamb for a purification offering, one unblemished ram as a communion offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of bran flour mixed with oil and of unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offerings and libations. 16 The priest shall present them before the Lord, and shall offer up the purification offering and the burnt offering for them. 17 He shall then offer up the ram as a communion sacrifice to the Lord, along with the basket of unleavened cakes, and the priest will offer the grain offering and libation. 18 Then at the entrance of the tent of meeting the nazirite shall shave his or her dedicated head, take the hair of the dedicated head, and put it in the fire under the communion sacrifice. 19 After the nazirite has shaved off the dedicated hair, the priest shall take a boiled shoulder of the ram, as well as one unleavened cake from the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them in the hands of the nazirite. 20 The priest shall then elevate them as an elevated offering before the Lord. They are an offering belonging to the priest, along with the brisket of the elevated offering and the leg of the contribution. Only after this may the nazirite drink wine.

21 This, then, is the law for the nazirites, that is, what they vow as their offering to the Lord in accord with their dedication, apart from anything else which their means may allow. In keeping with the vow they take so shall they do, according to the law of their dedication.

The Priestly Blessing. 22 The Lord said to Moses: 23 Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 The Lord bless you and keep you!
25 The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
26 The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace![j]

27 So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:2 For the laws regarding victims of skin disease, see Lv 13–14; those suffering from a discharge, Lv 15; those unclean by contact with a corpse, Nm 19:11–22; Lv 21:1–4.
  2. 5:5–10 The basic law on unjust possession is given in Lv 5:14–26. The new item here concerns the case where the injured party has died and left no heirs, in which case the restitution must be made to the priest.
  3. 5:8 Next of kin: Hebrew go’el (“redeemer”), a technical term denoting the nearest relative, upon whom devolved the obligation of “redeeming” the family property, in order to keep it within the family. Cf. Lv 25:25; Ru 4:1–6.
  4. 5:15 Ephah: see note on Is 5:10.
  5. 5:17 Holy water: water from the basin that stood in the court of the tabernacle.
  6. 5:21 Curse and malediction: the woman’s name would be used in curses and oaths to invoke a similar misfortune on another person or on oneself. Cf. Is 65:15; Jer 29:22.
  7. 5:22 Amen: a Hebrew word meaning “certainly, truly,” used to give assent to a statement, a curse, a blessing, a prayer, or the like, in the sense of “so be it.”
  8. 5:31 Free from punishment: the point is that a husband will not suffer a harmful consequence if his accusation is not borne out by the ordeal; if he’s right, his wife’s punishment vindicates him. For her part, the woman (if guilty) must bear her punishment.
  9. 6:2–21 Nazirite: from the Hebrew word nazir, meaning “set apart as sacred, dedicated, vowed.” The nazirite vow could be either for a limited period or for life. Those bound by this vow had to abstain from all the products of the grapevine, from cutting or shaving their hair, and from contact with a corpse. They were regarded as men and women of God like the prophets; cf. Am 2:11–12. Examples of lifelong nazirites were Samson (Jgs 13:4–5, 7; 16:17), Samuel (1 Sm 1:11), and John the Baptist (Lk 1:15). At the time of Jesus the practice of taking the nazirite vow for a limited period seems to have been quite common, even among the early Christians; cf. Acts 18:18; 21:23–24, 26.
  10. 6:26 Peace: the Hebrew word Shalom includes the idea of happiness, good health, prosperity, friendship, and general well-being. To use this term as a greeting was to pray for all these things upon the one greeted.
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 72 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 72[a]

A Prayer for the King

Of Solomon.

I

O God, give your judgment to the king;
    your justice to the king’s son;[b]
That he may govern your people with justice,
    your oppressed with right judgment,
That the mountains may yield their bounty for the people,
    and the hills great abundance,
That he may defend the oppressed among the people,
    save the children of the poor and crush the oppressor.

II

May they fear you with the sun,
    and before the moon, through all generations.
May he be like rain coming down upon the fields,
    like showers watering the earth,
That abundance may flourish in his days,
    great bounty, till the moon be no more.

III

[c]May he rule from sea to sea,
    from the river to the ends of the earth.
May his foes kneel before him,
    his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and the islands[d] bring tribute,
    the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.
11 May all kings bow before him,
    all nations serve him.
12 For he rescues the poor when they cry out,
    the oppressed who have no one to help.
13 He shows pity to the needy and the poor
    and saves the lives of the poor.
14 From extortion and violence he redeems them,
    for precious is their blood[e] in his sight.

IV

15 Long may he live, receiving gold from Sheba,
    prayed for without cease, blessed day by day.
16 [f]May wheat abound in the land,
    flourish even on the mountain heights.
May his fruit be like that of Lebanon,
    and flourish in the city like the grasses of the land.
17 May his name be forever;
    as long as the sun, may his name endure.
May the tribes of the earth give blessings with his name;[g]
    may all the nations regard him as favored.
18 [h]Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wonderful deeds.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may he fill all the earth with his glory.
Amen and amen.

20 The end of the psalms of David, son of Jesse.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 72 A royal Psalm in which the Israelite king, as the representative of God, is the instrument of divine justice (Ps 72:1–4, 12–14) and blessing (Ps 72:5–7, 15–17) for the whole world. The king is human, giving only what he has received from God. Hence intercession must be made for him. The extravagant language is typical of oriental royal courts.
  2. 72:2 The king…the king’s son: the crown prince is the king’s son; the prayer envisages the dynasty.
  3. 72:8 From sea to sea…the ends of the earth: the boundaries of the civilized world known at the time: from the Mediterranean Sea (the western sea) to the Persian Gulf (the eastern sea), and from the Euphrates (the river) to the islands and lands of southwestern Europe, “the ends of the earth.” The words may also have a mythic nuance—the earth surrounded by cosmic waters, hence everywhere.
  4. 72:10 Tarshish and the islands: the far west (Ps 48:6); Arabia and Seba: the far south (1 Kgs 10:1).
  5. 72:14 Their blood: cf. Ps 116:15.
  6. 72:16 The translation of the difficult Hebrew is tentative.
  7. 72:17 May the tribes of the earth give blessings with his name: an echo of the promise to the ancestors (Gn 12:3; 26:4; 28:14), suggesting that the monarchy in Israel fulfilled the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  8. 72:18–19 A doxology marking the end of Book II of the Psalter.
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 9:23-43 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Saul Visits Jerusalem. 23 After a long time had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. Now they were keeping watch on the gates day and night so as to kill him, 25 but his disciples took him one night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

26 When he arrived in Jerusalem[a] he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles, and he reported to them how on the way he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem, and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists,[b] but they tried to kill him. 30 And when the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him on his way to Tarsus.

The Church at Peace. 31 [c]The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

Peter Heals Aeneas at Lydda. 32 As Peter was passing through every region, he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.” He got up at once. 35 And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

Peter Restores Tabitha to Life. 36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated means Dorcas).[d] She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving. 37 Now during those days she fell sick and died, so after washing her, they laid [her] out in a room upstairs. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs where all the widows came to him weeping and showing him the tunics and cloaks that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and raised her up, and when he had called the holy ones and the widows, he presented her alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord. 43 [e]And he stayed a long time in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:26 This visit of Paul to Jerusalem is mentioned by Paul in Gal 1:18.
  2. 9:29 Hellenists: see note on Acts 6:1–7.
  3. 9:31–43 In the context of the period of peace enjoyed by the community through the cessation of Paul’s activities against it, Luke introduces two traditions concerning the miraculous power exercised by Peter as he was making a tour of places where the Christian message had already been preached. The towns of Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa were populated by both Jews and Gentiles and their Christian communities may well have been mixed.
  4. 9:36 Tabitha (Dorcas), respectively the Aramaic and Greek words for “gazelle,” exemplifies the right attitude toward material possessions expressed by Jesus in the Lucan Gospel (Lk 6:30; 11:41; 12:33; 18:22; 19:8).
  5. 9:43 The fact that Peter lodged with a tanner would have been significant to both the Gentile and Jewish Christians, for Judaism considered the tanning occupation unclean.
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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