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Zephaniah 1-3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah,[a] in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Day of the Lord: Judgment on Judah

I will completely sweep away all things
    from the face of the land—oracle of the Lord.
I will sweep away human being and beast alike,
    I will sweep away the birds of the sky,
    and the fish of the sea.
I will make the wicked stumble;
    I will eliminate the people
    from the face of the land—oracle of the Lord.
I will stretch out my hand against Judah,
    and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
I will eliminate from this place
    the last vestige of Baal,
    the name of the idolatrous priests.
And those who bow down on the roofs
    to the host of heaven,[b]
And those who bow down to the Lord
    but swear by Milcom;
And those who have turned away from the Lord,
    and those who have not sought the Lord,
    who have not inquired of him.

Silence in the presence of the Lord God!
    for near is the day of the Lord,
Yes, the Lord has prepared a sacrifice,
    he has consecrated his guests.[c]
    On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials and the king’s sons,
    and all who dress in foreign apparel.
I will punish, on that day,
    all who leap over the threshold,[d]
Who fill the house of their master
    with violence and deceit.
10     On that day—oracle of the Lord
A cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,
    a wail from the Second Quarter,[e]
    loud crashing from the hills.
11 Wail, O inhabitants of Maktesh!
    for all the merchants are destroyed,
    all who weigh out silver, done away with.

12     At that time,
I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
    I will punish the people
    who settle like dregs in wine,[f]
Who say in their hearts,
    “The Lord will not do good,
    nor will he do harm.”
13 Their wealth shall be given to plunder
    and their houses to devastation;
They will build houses,
    but not dwell in them;
They will plant vineyards,
    but not drink their wine.
14 Near is the great day of the Lord,
    near and very swiftly coming.
The sound of the day of the Lord! Piercing—
    there a warrior shrieks!
15 A day of wrath is that day,
    a day of distress and anguish,
    a day of ruin and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of thick black clouds,
16 A day of trumpet blasts and battle cries
    against fortified cities,
    against lofty battlements.
17 I will hem the people in
    till they walk like the blind,
    because they have sinned against the Lord;
And their blood shall be poured out like dust,
    and their bowels like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
    will be able to save them.
On the day of the Lord’s wrath,
    in the fire of his passion,
    all the earth will be consumed.
For he will make an end, yes, a sudden end,
    of all who live on the earth.

Chapter 2

[g]Gather, gather yourselves together,
    O nation without shame!
Before you are driven away,
    like chaff that disappears;
Before there comes upon you
    the blazing anger of the Lord;
Before there comes upon you
    the day of the Lord’s anger.
Seek the Lord,
    all you humble of the land,
    who have observed his law;
Seek justice,
    seek humility;
Perhaps you will be sheltered
    on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Judgment on the Nations

For Gaza shall be forsaken,
    and Ashkelon shall be a waste,
Ashdod they shall drive out at midday,
    and Ekron[h] shall be uprooted.
Ah! You who dwell by the seacoast,
    the nation of Cherethites,[i]
    the word of the Lord is against you!
O Canaan, land of the Philistines,
    I will leave you to perish without an inhabitant!
You shall become fields for shepherds,
    and folds for flocks.
The seacoast shall belong
    to the remnant of the house of Judah;
    by the sea they shall pasture.
In the houses of Ashkelon
    they shall lie down in the evening.
For the Lord their God will take care of them,
    and bring about their restoration.

I have heard the taunts uttered by Moab,
    and the insults of the Ammonites,[j]
When they taunted my people
    and made boasts against their territory.
Therefore, as I live—
    oracle of the Lord of hosts—
    the God of Israel,
Moab shall become like Sodom,
    the Ammonites like Gomorrah:
A field of weeds,
    a salt pit,
    a waste forever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
    the survivors of my nation dispossess them.
10 This will be the recompense for their pride,
    because they taunted and boasted against
    the people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord shall inspire them with terror
    when he makes all the gods of earth waste away;
Then the distant shores of the nations,
    each from its own place,
    shall bow down to him.

12 You too, O Cushites,[k]
    shall be slain by the sword of the Lord.
13 He will stretch out his hand against the north,
    to destroy Assyria;
He will make Nineveh a waste,
    dry as the desert.
14 In her midst flocks shall lie down,
    all the wild life of the hollows;
The screech owl and the desert owl
    shall roost in her columns;
The owl shall hoot from the window,
    the raven croak from the doorway.
15 Is this the exultant city[l]
    that dwelt secure,
That told itself,
    “I and there is no one else”?
How it has become a waste,
    a lair for wild animals!
Those who pass by it
    hiss, and shake their fists!

Chapter 3

Jerusalem Reproached

Ah! Rebellious and polluted,
    the tyrannical city![m]
It listens to no voice,
    accepts no correction;
In the Lord it has not trusted,
    nor drawn near to its God.
Its officials within it
    are roaring lions;
Its judges are desert wolves
    that have no bones to gnaw by morning.
Its prophets are reckless,
    treacherous people;
Its priests profane what is holy,
    and do violence to the law.
But the Lord in its midst is just,
    doing no wrong;
Morning after morning rendering judgment
    unfailingly, at dawn;
    the wicked, however, know no shame.

I have cut down nations,
    their battlements are laid waste;
I have made their streets deserted,
    with no one passing through;
Their cities are devastated,
    with no one dwelling in them.
I said, “Surely now you will fear me,
    you will accept correction;
They cannot fail to see
    all I have brought upon them.”
Yet the more eagerly they have done
    all their corrupt deeds.

The Nations Punished and Jerusalem Restored

Therefore, wait for me—oracle of the Lord
    until the day when I arise as accuser;
For it is my decision to gather nations,
    to assemble kingdoms,
In order to pour out upon them my wrath,
    all my blazing anger;
For in the fire of my passion
    all the earth will be consumed.

For then I will make pure
    the speech of the peoples,
That they all may call upon the name of the Lord,
    to serve him with one accord;
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
    and as far as the recesses of the North,
    they shall bring me offerings.

11     On that day
You will not be ashamed
    of all your deeds,
    when you rebelled against me;
For then I will remove from your midst
    the proud braggarts,
And you shall no longer exalt yourself
    on my holy mountain.
12 But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
    a people humble and lowly,
Who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord
13     the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
    and speak no lies;
Nor shall there be found in their mouths
    a deceitful tongue;
They shall pasture and lie down
    with none to disturb them.
14 Shout for joy, daughter Zion!
    sing joyfully, Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
    daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has removed the judgment against you,
    he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst,
    you have no further misfortune to fear.
16     On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, Zion,
    do not be discouraged!
17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
    a mighty savior,
Who will rejoice over you with gladness,
    and renew you in his love,
Who will sing joyfully because of you,
18     as on festival days.

I will remove disaster from among you,
    so that no one may recount your disgrace.
19 At that time I will deal
    with all who oppress you;
I will save the lame,
    and assemble the outcasts;
I will give them praise and renown
    in every land where they were shamed.
20 At that time I will bring you home,
    and at that time I will gather you;
For I will give you renown and praise,
    among all the peoples of the earth,
When I bring about your restoration
    before your very eyes, says the Lord.


  1. 1:1 Hezekiah: it is possible, but not certain, that Zephaniah’s ancestor was King Hezekiah who reigned in Judah from 715 to 687 B.C. (2 Kgs 18–20).
  2. 1:5 The host of heaven: the sun, moon, planets, and stars, the worship of which became widespread in Judah under Assyrian influence. Milcom: the god of the Ammonites; cf. 1 Kgs 11:5, 7, 33; 2 Kgs 23:13.
  3. 1:7 He has consecrated his guests: God has consecrated the troops, presumably foreign, who have been invited to share in the spoil on the day of slaughter.
  4. 1:9 Leap over the threshold: the reference may be to a religious ritual like that practiced by the priests of the Philistine deity Dagon (1 Sm 5:5).
  5. 1:10–11 The Second Quarter…Maktesh: sections of Jerusalem (cf. 2 Kgs 22:14).
  6. 1:12 Settle like dregs in wine: those who are overconfident because, like the sediment that settles to the bottom of a bottle of wine, they have remained at peace and undisturbed for a long time.
  7. 2:1–3 This oracle is a classic description of the day of the Lord as an overwhelming disaster, concluding with a call for repentance and reform. Nation without shame: Judah.
  8. 2:4 Gaza…Ashkelon…Ashdod…Ekron: cities of the Philistine confederation.
  9. 2:5 Cherethites: a synonym for, or subgroup of, the Philistines, which may be associated with Crete, a part of the larger Aegean area from which the Philistines came.
  10. 2:8 Moab…Ammonites: Judah’s neighbors to the East across the Jordan.
  11. 2:12 Cushites: the Ethiopians, who had ruled Egypt a generation before Zephaniah’s career.
  12. 2:15 The exultant city: Nineveh. Hiss, and shake their fists: gestures of derision.
  13. 3:1 The tyrannical city: Jerusalem.
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.

Ben Sira 48:12-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

12     When Elijah was enveloped in the whirlwind,
Elisha was filled with his spirit;[a]
He worked twice as many marvels,
    and every utterance of his mouth was wonderful.
During his lifetime he feared no one,
    nor was anyone able to intimidate his will.
13 Nothing was beyond his power;
    and from where he lay buried, his body prophesied.[b]
14 In life he performed wonders,
    and after death, marvelous deeds.
15 Despite all this the people did not repent,
    nor did they give up their sins,
Until they were uprooted from their land
    and scattered all over the earth.


But Judah remained, a tiny people,
    with its ruler from the house of David.
16 Some of them did what was right,
    but others were extremely sinful.

Hezekiah and Isaiah[c]

17 Hezekiah fortified his city
    and had water brought into it;
With bronze tools he cut through the rocks
    and dammed up a mountain site for water.[d]
18 During his reign Sennacherib led an invasion
    and sent his adjutant;
He shook his fist at Zion
    and blasphemed God in his pride.
19 The people’s hearts melted within them,
    and they were in anguish like that of childbirth.
20 But they called upon the Most High God
    and lifted up their hands to him;
He heard the prayer they uttered,
    and saved them through Isaiah.
21 God struck the camp of the Assyrians
    and routed them with a plague.
22 For Hezekiah did what was right
    and held fast to the paths of David,
As ordered by the illustrious prophet
    Isaiah, who saw truth in visions.
23 In his lifetime he turned back the sun
    and prolonged the life of the king.
24 By his powerful spirit he looked into the future
    and consoled the mourners of Zion;
25 He foretold what would happen till the end of time,
    hidden things yet to be fulfilled.


  1. 48:12–16 Elisha continued Elijah’s work (vv. 12–14), but the obstinacy of the people eventually brought on the destruction of the kingdom of Israel and the dispersion of its subjects. Judah, however, survived under the rule of Davidic kings, both good and bad (vv. 15–16).
  2. 48:13 The reference in v. 13b seems to be to 2 Kgs 13:21 where it is related that a dead man, thrown into Elisha’s grave, came back to life.
  3. 48:17–25 The fidelity of King Hezekiah (vv. 17, 22), the zeal of the prophet Isaiah, and the prayer of the people (v. 20) were effective. The Assyrian oppressors under Sennacherib withdrew (vv. 18–19, 21). The king’s life was prolonged. The people were consoled by Isaiah’s words about the future (vv. 23–25); the “consolations” refer to Is 40–66.
  4. 48:17 The reference is to the famous Siloam tunnel in present-day Jerusalem.
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.

Luke 2:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

The Birth of Jesus. [a]In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus[b] that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son.[c] She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

[d]Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 [e]For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 [f]“Glory to God in the highest
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The Visit of the Shepherds. 15 When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus. 21 When eight days were completed for his circumcision,[g] he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


  1. 2:1–2 Although universal registrations of Roman citizens are attested in 28 B.C., 8 B.C., and A.D. 14 and enrollments in individual provinces of those who are not Roman citizens are also attested, such a universal census of the Roman world under Caesar Augustus is unknown outside the New Testament. Moreover, there are notorious historical problems connected with Luke’s dating the census when Quirinius was governor of Syria, and the various attempts to resolve the difficulties have proved unsuccessful. P. Sulpicius Quirinius became legate of the province of Syria in A.D. 6–7 when Judea was annexed to the province of Syria. At that time, a provincial census of Judea was taken up. If Quirinius had been legate of Syria previously, it would have to have been before 10 B.C. because the various legates of Syria from 10 B.C. to 4 B.C. (the death of Herod) are known, and such a dating for an earlier census under Quirinius would create additional problems for dating the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (Lk 3:1, 23). A previous legateship after 4 B.C. (and before A.D. 6) would not fit with the dating of Jesus’ birth in the days of Herod (Lk 1:5; Mt 2:1). Luke may simply be combining Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem with his vague recollection of a census under Quirinius (see also Acts 5:37) to underline the significance of this birth for the whole Roman world: through this child born in Bethlehem peace and salvation come to the empire.
  2. 2:1 Caesar Augustus: the reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus is usually dated from 27 B.C. to his death in A.D. 14. According to Greek inscriptions, Augustus was regarded in the Roman Empire as “savior” and “god,” and he was credited with establishing a time of peace, the pax Augusta, throughout the Roman world during his long reign. It is not by chance that Luke relates the birth of Jesus to the time of Caesar Augustus: the real savior (Lk 2:11) and peace-bearer (Lk 2:14; see also Lk 19:38) is the child born in Bethlehem. The great emperor is simply God’s agent (like the Persian king Cyrus in Is 44:28–45:1) who provides the occasion for God’s purposes to be accomplished. The whole world: that is, the whole Roman world: Rome, Italy, and the Roman provinces.
  3. 2:7 Firstborn son: the description of Jesus as firstborn son does not necessarily mean that Mary had other sons. It is a legal description indicating that Jesus possessed the rights and privileges of the firstborn son (Gn 27; Ex 13:2; Nm 3:12–13; 18:15–16; Dt 21:15–17). See notes on Mt 1:25; Mk 6:3. Wrapped him in swaddling clothes: there may be an allusion here to the birth of another descendant of David, his son Solomon, who though a great king was wrapped in swaddling clothes like any other infant (Wis 7:4–6). Laid him in a manger: a feeding trough for animals. A possible allusion to Is 1:3 LXX.
  4. 2:8–20 The announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds is in keeping with Luke’s theme that the lowly are singled out as the recipients of God’s favors and blessings (see also Lk 1:48, 52).
  5. 2:11 The basic message of the infancy narrative is contained in the angel’s announcement: this child is savior, Messiah, and Lord. Luke is the only synoptic gospel writer to use the title savior for Jesus (Lk 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23; see also Lk 1:69; 19:9; Acts 4:12). As savior, Jesus is looked upon by Luke as the one who rescues humanity from sin and delivers humanity from the condition of alienation from God. The title christos, “Christ,” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew māšîaḥ, “Messiah,” “anointed one.” Among certain groups in first-century Palestinian Judaism, the title was applied to an expected royal leader from the line of David who would restore the kingdom to Israel (see Acts 1:6). The political overtones of the title are played down in Luke and instead the Messiah of the Lord (Lk 2:26) or the Lord’s anointed is the one who now brings salvation to all humanity, Jew and Gentile (Lk 2:29–32). Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus in Luke and Acts. In the New Testament it is also applied to Yahweh, as it is in the Old Testament. When used of Jesus it points to his transcendence and dominion over humanity.
  6. 2:14 On earth peace to those on whom his favor rests: the peace that results from the Christ event is for those whom God has favored with his grace. This reading is found in the oldest representatives of the Western and Alexandrian text traditions and is the preferred one; the Byzantine text tradition, on the other hand, reads: “on earth peace, good will toward men.” The peace of which Luke’s gospel speaks (Lk 2:14; 7:50; 8:48; 10:5–6; 19:38, 42; 24:36) is more than the absence of war of the pax Augusta; it also includes the security and well-being characteristic of peace in the Old Testament.
  7. 2:21 Just as John before him had been incorporated into the people of Israel through his circumcision, so too this child (see note on Lk 1:57–66).
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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