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Ruth 1-2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

Naomi in Moab. Once back in the time of the judges[a] there was a famine in the land; so a man from Bethlehem of Judah left home with his wife and two sons to reside on the plateau of Moab. The man was named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his sons Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. Some time after their arrival on the plateau of Moab, Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah, the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two boys[b] nor her husband.

She and her daughters-in-law then prepared to go back from the plateau of Moab because word had reached her there that the Lord had seen to his people’s needs[c] and given them food. She and her two daughters-in-law left the place where they had been living. On the road back to the land of Judah, Naomi said to her daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you to your mother’s house.[d] May the Lord show you the same kindness as you have shown to the deceased and to me. May the Lord guide each of you to find a husband and a home in which you will be at rest.” She kissed them good-bye, but they wept aloud, 10 crying, “No! We will go back with you, to your people.” 11 Naomi replied, “Go back, my daughters. Why come with me? Have I other sons in my womb who could become your husbands?[e] 12 Go, my daughters, for I am too old to marry again. Even if I had any such hope, or if tonight I had a husband and were to bear sons, 13 would you wait for them and deprive yourselves of husbands until those sons grew up? No, my daughters, my lot is too bitter for you, because the Lord has extended his hand against me.” 14 Again they wept aloud; then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth clung to her.

15 “See now,” she said, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!” 16 [f]But Ruth said, “Do not press me to go back and abandon you!

Wherever you go I will go,
    wherever you lodge I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people
    and your God, my God.
17 Where you die I will die,
    and there be buried.

May the Lord do thus to me, and more, if even death separates me from you!” 18 Naomi then ceased to urge her, for she saw she was determined to go with her.

The Return to Bethlehem. 19 So they went on together until they reached Bethlehem. On their arrival there, the whole town was excited about them, and the women asked: “Can this be Naomi?” 20 But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi [‘Sweet’]. Call me Mara [‘Bitter’], for the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 [g]I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why should you call me ‘Sweet,’ since the Lord has brought me to trial, and the Almighty has pronounced evil sentence on me.” 22 Thus it was that Naomi came back with her Moabite daughter-in-law Ruth, who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.[h]

Chapter 2

The Meeting. [i]Naomi had a powerful relative named Boaz, through the clan of her husband Elimelech. [j]Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “I would like to go and glean grain in the field of anyone who will allow me.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went. The field she entered to glean after the harvesters happened to be the section belonging to Boaz, of the clan of Elimelech. [k]Soon, along came Boaz from Bethlehem and said to the harvesters, “The Lord be with you,” and they replied, “The Lord bless you.” Boaz asked the young man overseeing his harvesters, “Whose young woman is this?” The young man overseeing the harvesters answered, “She is the young Moabite who came back with Naomi from the plateau of Moab. [l]She said, ‘I would like to gather the gleanings into sheaves after the harvesters.’ Ever since she came this morning she has remained here until now, with scarcely a moment’s rest.”

Boaz then spoke to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Do not go to glean in anyone else’s field; you are not to leave here. Stay here with my young women. Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow them. Have I not commanded the young men to do you no harm? When you are thirsty, go and drink from the vessels the young people have filled.” 10 Casting herself prostrate upon the ground, she said to him, “Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your attention?” 11 Boaz answered her: “I have had a complete account of what you have done for your mother-in-law after your husband’s death; you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom previously you did not know. 12 May the Lord reward what you have done! May you receive a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” 13 She said, “May I prove worthy of your favor, my lord. You have comforted me. You have spoken to the heart of your servant[m]—and I am not even one of your servants!” 14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and have something to eat; dip your bread in the sauce.” Then as she sat near the harvesters, he handed her some roasted grain and she ate her fill and had some left over. 15 As she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young people: “Let her glean among the sheaves themselves without scolding her, 16 and even drop some handfuls and leave them for her to glean; do not rebuke her.”

17 She gleaned in the field until evening, and when she beat out what she had gleaned it came to about an ephah[n] of barley, 18 which she took into the town and showed to her mother-in-law. Next she brought out what she had left over from the meal and gave it to her. 19 So her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you go to work? May the one who took notice of you be blessed!” Then she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked. “The man at whose place I worked today is named Boaz,” she said. 20 “May he be blessed by the Lord, who never fails to show kindness to the living and to the dead,” Naomi exclaimed to her daughter-in-law. She continued, “This man is a near relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”[o] 21 “He even told me,” added Ruth the Moabite, “Stay with my young people until they complete my entire harvest.” 22 “You would do well, my daughter,” Naomi rejoined, “to work with his young women; in someone else’s field you might be insulted.” 23 So she stayed gleaning with Boaz’s young women until the end of the barley and wheat harvests.


  1. 1:1–2 Back in the time of the judges: the story looks back three generations before King David (4:17) into the time of the tribal confederation described in the Book of Judges. David’s Moabite connections are implied in 1 Sm 22:3–4. Bethlehem of Judah: Bethlehem, a town in which part of the Judean clan-division called Ephrathah lived; cf. 1 Chr 2:50–51; 4:4; Mi 5:1. Jos 19:15 mentions a different Bethlehem in the north. The plateau of Moab: on the east side of the Jordan valley rift, where the hills facing west get more rain, and where agricultural conditions differ from those in Judah. Ephrathites: a reminder of David’s origins; cf. Mi 5:1.
  2. 1:5 Boys: the way the storyteller chooses certain words as guides is shown here; “boy” will not appear again until 4:16.
  3. 1:6 Had seen to his people’s needs: lit., “had visited his people.”
  4. 1:8 Mother’s house: the women’s part of the home, but also perhaps the proper location for arranging marriage; Sg 3:4; 8:2; Gn 24:28. Kindness: Hebrew hesed. The powerful relationship term used here will recur in 2:20 and 3:10; kindness operates on both the divine-human and human-human level in Ruth.
  5. 1:11 Other sons…husbands: a reference to a customary practice known from Dt 25:5–10, levirate marriage, which assigns responsibility to the brother-in-law to produce heirs in order to perpetuate the name and hold the patrimonial land of a man who died childless. How far the responsibility extended beyond blood brothers is unclear; cf. Gn 38:8 and the upcoming scene in Ru 4:5–6. Naomi imagines the impossible: were she to have more sons they could take Ruth and Orpah as their wives.
  6. 1:16–17 Ruth’s adherence to her mother-in-law in 1:14 is now expressed in a profound oath of loyalty, culminating in a formulary found frequently in Samuel and Kings; cf. especially 1 Sm 20:13. Even death: burial in Naomi’s family tomb means that not even death will separate them.
  7. 1:21 Naomi’s despair is made clear by her play on the meaning of her name in v. 20 and now by her accusation, like that in many psalms and in Job, that God has acted harshly toward her. The language belongs to the realm of judicial proceedings. By crying out in this way, the faithful Israelite opens the door to change, since the cry assumes that God hears and will do something about such seemingly unjust circumstances.
  8. 1:22 Barley and wheat harvests come in succession, from as early as April–May into June–July; Dt 16:9–12 suggests that the grain harvest lasts about seven weeks. The time reference leads effectively to the next episode.
  9. 2:1 Kinship ties and responsibilities now become very important. Boaz is introduced as one of a group surrounding Naomi through her husband’s kin who are expected to extend care. The particular term used here (moda‘, “relative”) is picked up in 3:2; otherwise, most of the terminology about this responsibility to care will use the vocabulary of redeeming (go’el, “redeemer”).
  10. 2:2 Israelite custom made provision for the poor, the widow, the stranger and the orphan to gather what was left behind by the harvesters, and instructed farmers not to cut to the edges of their fields, for the sake of these marginalized; Lv 19:9–10; 23:22; Dt 24:19–22.
  11. 2:4 The story brings Boaz upon the scene quickly, but he moves among his workers with the grace of a man of prominence, greeting them and being received with courtesy. The Hebrew blessing formulas used are frequent in Jewish and Christian liturgies.
  12. 2:7 The verse is somewhat garbled, but the points are clear that Ruth has been appropriately deferential in seeking permission to glean, and has worked steadily since arriving. Or perhaps she has waited patiently until Boaz arrives to gain permission.
  13. 2:13 Servant: only here is the language of servanthood used. Ruth has spoken with very deferential words to Boaz, but then seems to think that she has assumed too much.
  14. 2:17 Ephah: see note on Is 5:10.
  15. 2:20 For the first time, the story uses the Hebrew word go’el, “redeemer,” for the responsibilities of the circle of kinship surrounding Naomi and Ruth and their deceased relatives. Involved are the recovery or retention of family land (Lv 25:25; 27:9–33; Jer 32:6–25), release of a relative from voluntary servitude to pay debts (Lv 25:47–55), and “redeeming blood” or vengeance, attested in passages which regulate such vengeance. No explicit connection is made elsewhere in the Bible between marriage responsibilities and redeeming.
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 119:97-112 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)


97 How I love your law, Lord![a]
    I study it all day long.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my foes,
    as it is forever with me.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
    because I ponder your testimonies.
100 I have more understanding than my elders,
    because I keep your precepts.
101 I keep my steps from every evil path,
    that I may observe your word.
102 From your judgments I do not turn,
    for you have instructed me.
103 How sweet to my tongue is your promise,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I gain understanding;
    therefore I hate all false ways.


105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light for my path.
106 I make a solemn vow
    to observe your righteous judgments.
107 I am very much afflicted, Lord;
    give me life in accord with your word.
108 Accept my freely offered praise;
    Lord, teach me your judgments.
109 My life is always at risk,
    but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set snares for me,
    but from your precepts I do not stray.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever;
    they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on fulfilling your statutes;
    they are my reward forever.


  1. 119:97 Lord: the inclusion of “Lord” follows the tradition of the Septuagint and the Vulgate.
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.

Mark 3:7-35 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Mercy of Jesus. [a]Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people [followed] from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. 10 He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. 11 [b]And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” 12 He warned them sternly not to make him known.

The Mission of the Twelve. 13 He went up the mountain[c] and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him[d] and he might send them forth to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons: 16 [e][he appointed the twelve:] Simon, whom he named Peter; 17 James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, 19 and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Blasphemy of the Scribes. 20 [f]He came home.[g] Again [the] crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. 21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,”[h] and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Jesus and Beelzebul. 23 Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. 28 Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit[i] will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” 30 For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus and His Family. 31 His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. 32 A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers[j] [and your sisters] are outside asking for you.” 33 But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and [my] brothers?” 34 And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 35 [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”


  1. 3:7–19 This overview of the Galilean ministry manifests the power of Jesus to draw people to himself through his teaching and deeds of power. The crowds of Jews from many regions surround Jesus (Mk 3:7–12). This phenomenon prepares the way for creating a new people of Israel. The choice and mission of the Twelve is the prelude (Mk 3:13–19).
  2. 3:11–12 See note on Mk 1:24–25.
  3. 3:13 He went up the mountain: here and elsewhere the mountain is associated with solemn moments and acts in the mission and self-revelation of Jesus (Mk 6:46; 9:2–8; 13:3). Jesus acts with authority as he summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.
  4. 3:14–15 He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him: literally “he made,” i.e., instituted them as apostles to extend his messianic mission through them (Mk 6:7–13). See notes on Mt 10:1 and 10:2–4.
  5. 3:16 Simon, whom he named Peter: Mark indicates that Simon’s name was changed on this occasion. Peter is first in all lists of the apostles (Mt 10:2; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13; cf. 1 Cor 15:5–8).
  6. 3:20–35 Within the narrative of the coming of Jesus’ relatives (Mk 3:20–21) is inserted the account of the unbelieving scribes from Jerusalem who attributed Jesus’ power over demons to Beelzebul (Mk 3:22–30); see note on Mk 5:21–43. There were those even among the relatives of Jesus who disbelieved and regarded Jesus as out of his mind (Mk 3:21). Against this background, Jesus is informed of the arrival of his mother and brothers [and sisters] (Mk 3:32). He responds by showing that not family ties but doing God’s will (Mk 3:35) is decisive in the kingdom; cf. note on Mt 12:46–50.
  7. 3:20 He came home: cf. Mk 2:1–2 and see note on Mk 2:15.
  8. 3:22 By Beelzebul: see note on Mt 10:25. Two accusations are leveled against Jesus: (1) that he is possessed by an unclean spirit and (2) by the prince of demons he drives out demons. Jesus answers the second charge by a parable (Mk 3:24–27) and responds to the first charge in Mk 3:28–29.
  9. 3:29 Whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit: this sin is called an everlasting sin because it attributes to Satan, who is the power of evil, what is actually the work of the holy Spirit, namely, victory over the demons.
  10. 3:32 Your brothers: see note on Mk 6:3.
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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