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Zechariah 6-10New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Eighth Vision: Four Chariots

And again I looked up and saw four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, the second chariot black horses, the third chariot white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled gray[a] horses. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” The angel answered me, “These are the four winds[b] of heaven going out, after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth. The chariot with the black horses goes toward the north country, the white ones go toward the west country,[c] and the dappled ones go toward the south country.” When the steeds came out, they were impatient to get off and patrol the earth. And he said, “Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth. Then he cried out to me, “Lo, those who go toward the north country have set my spirit at rest in the north country.”

The Coronation of the Branch

The word of the Lord came to me: 10 Collect silver and gold[d] from the exiles—from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah—who have arrived from Babylon; and go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown,[e] and set it on the head of the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak; 12 say to him: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Here is a man whose name is Branch: for he shall branch out in his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord. 13 It is he that shall build the temple of the Lord; he shall bear royal honor, and shall sit upon his throne and rule. There shall be a priest by his throne, with peaceful understanding between the two of them. 14 And the crown[f] shall be in the care of Heldai,[g] Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah[h] son of Zephaniah, as a memorial in the temple of the Lord.

15 Those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the Lord; and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.

Hypocritical Fasting Condemned

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men, to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to ask the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I mourn and practice abstinence in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: Say to all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink only for yourselves? Were not these the words that the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, along with the towns around it, and when the Negeb and the Shephelah were inhabited?

Punishment for Rejecting God’s Demands

The word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; 10 do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. 11 But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to hear. 12 They made their hearts adamant in order not to hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. 13 Just as, when I[i] called, they would not hear, so, when they called, I would not hear, says the Lord of hosts, 14 and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and a pleasant land was made desolate.

God’s Promises to Zion

The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts? Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Let your hands be strong—you that have recently been hearing these words from the mouths of the prophets who were present when the foundation was laid for the rebuilding of the temple, the house of the Lord of hosts. 10 For before those days there were no wages for people or for animals, nor was there any safety from the foe for those who went out or came in, and I set them all against one another. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, says the Lord of hosts. 12 For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, the ground shall give its produce, and the skies shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 Just as you have been a cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.

14 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Just as I purposed to bring disaster upon you, when your ancestors provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the Lord of hosts, 15 so again I have purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; do not be afraid. 16 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, 17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath; for all these are things that I hate, says the Lord.

Joyful Fasting

18 The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: 19 Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be seasons of joy and gladness, and cheerful festivals for the house of Judah: therefore love truth and peace.

Many Peoples Drawn to Jerusalem

20 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; 21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Come, let us go to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.” 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his garment and saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

An Oracle.

The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach
    and will rest upon Damascus.
For to the Lord belongs the capital[j] of Aram,[k]
    as do all the tribes of Israel;
Hamath also, which borders on it,
    Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
Tyre has built itself a rampart,
    and heaped up silver like dust,
    and gold like the dirt of the streets.
But now, the Lord will strip it of its possessions
    and hurl its wealth into the sea,
    and it shall be devoured by fire.

Ashkelon shall see it and be afraid;
    Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;
    Ekron also, because its hopes are withered.
The king shall perish from Gaza;
    Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;
a mongrel people shall settle in Ashdod,
    and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia.
I will take away its blood from its mouth,
    and its abominations from between its teeth;
it too shall be a remnant for our God;
    it shall be like a clan in Judah,
    and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.
Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,
    so that no one shall march to and fro;
no oppressor shall again overrun them,
    for now I have seen with my own eyes.

The Coming Ruler of God’s People

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
    triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 He[l] will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
    and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
    and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.

11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you double.
13 For I have bent Judah as my bow;
    I have made Ephraim its arrow.
I will arouse your sons, O Zion,
    against your sons, O Greece,
    and wield you like a warrior’s sword.

14 Then the Lord will appear over them,
    and his arrow go forth like lightning;
the Lord God will sound the trumpet
    and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.
15 The Lord of hosts will protect them,
    and they shall devour and tread down the slingers;[m]
they shall drink their blood[n] like wine,
    and be full like a bowl,
    drenched like the corners of the altar.

16 On that day the Lord their God will save them
    for they are the flock of his people;
for like the jewels of a crown
    they shall shine on his land.
17 For what goodness and beauty are his!
    Grain shall make the young men flourish,
    and new wine the young women.

Restoration of Judah and Israel

10 Ask rain from the Lord
    in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
    who gives showers of rain to you,[o]
    the vegetation in the field to everyone.
For the teraphim[p] utter nonsense,
    and the diviners see lies;
the dreamers tell false dreams,
    and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
    they suffer for lack of a shepherd.

My anger is hot against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;[q]
for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
    and will make them like his proud war-horse.
Out of them shall come the cornerstone,
    out of them the tent peg,
out of them the battle bow,
    out of them every commander.
Together they shall be like warriors in battle,
    trampling the foe in the mud of the streets;
they shall fight, for the Lord is with them,
    and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.

I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
    and they shall be as though I had not rejected them;
    for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
Then the people of Ephraim shall become like warriors,
    and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and rejoice,
    their hearts shall exult in the Lord.

I will signal for them and gather them in,
    for I have redeemed them,
    and they shall be as numerous as they were before.
Though I scattered them among the nations,
    yet in far countries they shall remember me,
    and they shall rear their children and return.
10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria;
I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
    until there is no room for them.
11 They[r] shall pass through the sea of distress,
    and the waves of the sea shall be struck down,
    and all the depths of the Nile dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
    and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12 I will make them strong in the Lord,
    and they shall walk in his name,
says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 6:3 Compare Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Zechariah 6:5 Or spirits
  3. Zechariah 6:6 Cn: Heb go after them
  4. Zechariah 6:10 Cn Compare verse 11: Heb lacks silver and gold
  5. Zechariah 6:11 Gk Mss Syr Tg: Heb crowns
  6. Zechariah 6:14 Gk Syr: Heb crowns
  7. Zechariah 6:14 Syr Compare verse 10: Heb Helem
  8. Zechariah 6:14 Syr Compare verse 10: Heb Hen
  9. Zechariah 7:13 Heb he
  10. Zechariah 9:1 Heb eye
  11. Zechariah 9:1 Cn: Heb of Adam (or of humankind)
  12. Zechariah 9:10 Gk: Heb I
  13. Zechariah 9:15 Cn: Heb the slingstones
  14. Zechariah 9:15 Gk: Heb shall drink
  15. Zechariah 10:1 Heb them
  16. Zechariah 10:2 Or household gods
  17. Zechariah 10:3 Or male goats
  18. Zechariah 10:11 Gk: Heb He
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.

Sirach 50:14-29New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

14 Finishing the service at the altars,[a]
    and arranging the offering to the Most High, the Almighty,
15 he held out his hand for the cup
    and poured a drink offering of the blood of the grape;
he poured it out at the foot of the altar,
    a pleasing odor to the Most High, the king of all.
16 Then the sons of Aaron shouted;
    they blew their trumpets of hammered metal;
they sounded a mighty fanfare
    as a reminder before the Most High.
17 Then all the people together quickly
    fell to the ground on their faces
to worship their Lord,
    the Almighty, God Most High.

18 Then the singers praised him with their voices
    in sweet and full-toned melody.[b]
19 And the people of the Lord Most High offered
    their prayers before the Merciful One,
until the order of worship of the Lord was ended,
    and they completed his ritual.
20 Then Simon[c] came down and raised his hands
    over the whole congregation of Israelites,
to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips,
    and to glory in his name;
21 and they bowed down in worship a second time,
    to receive the blessing from the Most High.

A Benediction

22 And now bless the God of all,
    who everywhere works great wonders,
who fosters our growth from birth,
    and deals with us according to his mercy.
23 May he give us[d] gladness of heart,
    and may there be peace in our[e] days
    in Israel, as in the days of old.
24 May he entrust to us his mercy,
    and may he deliver us in our[f] days!

Epilogue

25 Two nations my soul detests,
    and the third is not even a people:
26 Those who live in Seir,[g] and the Philistines,
    and the foolish people that live in Shechem.

27 Instruction in understanding and knowledge
    I have written in this book,
Jesus son of Eleazar son of Sirach[h] of Jerusalem,
    whose mind poured forth wisdom.
28 Happy are those who concern themselves with these things,
    and those who lay them to heart will become wise.
29 For if they put them into practice, they will be equal to anything,
    for the fear[i] of the Lord is their path.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 50:14 Other ancient authorities read altar
  2. Sirach 50:18 Other ancient authorities read in sweet melody throughout the house
  3. Sirach 50:20 Gk he
  4. Sirach 50:23 Other ancient authorities read you
  5. Sirach 50:23 Other ancient authorities read your
  6. Sirach 50:24 Other ancient authorities read his
  7. Sirach 50:26 Heb Compare Lat: Gk on the mountain of Samaria
  8. Sirach 50:27 Heb: Meaning of Gk uncertain
  9. Sirach 50:29 Heb: Other ancient authorities read light
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.

Colossians 1:15-23New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Supremacy of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in[a] him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[b] him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled[c] in his fleshly body[d] through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

Footnotes:

  1. Colossians 1:16 Or by
  2. Colossians 1:17 Or by
  3. Colossians 1:22 Other ancient authorities read you have now been reconciled
  4. Colossians 1:22 Gk in the body of his flesh
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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