Gospel According to Luke1 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 572)

Luke 1New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. The Prologue[a]

Chapter 1

Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received.

II. The Infancy Narrative[b]

Announcement of the Birth of John. In the days of Herod, King of Judea,[c] there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child,[d] because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years. Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. 10 Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, 11 the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid,[e] Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of [the] Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink.[f] He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, 16 and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah[g]to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”18 Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel,[h] who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. 20 But now you will be speechless and unable to talk[i] until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. 22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.23 Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.24 After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”

Announcement of the Birth of Jesus.[j] 26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,[k] and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”[l] 35 And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived[m] a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37 for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth. 39 During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, 42 cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord[n] should come to me? 44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed are you who believed[o]that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Canticle of Mary. 46 And Mary said:[p]

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
47     my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
    behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
49 The Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is from age to age
    to those who fear him.
51 He has shown might with his arm,
    dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
    but lifted up the lowly.
53 The hungry he has filled with good things;
    the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped Israel his servant,
    remembering his mercy,
55 according to his promise to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

The Birth of John.[q] 57 When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 [r]When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” 61 But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” 62 So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. 63 He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed.64 Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. 65 Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

The Canticle of Zechariah. 67 Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

68 [s]“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.
69 [t]He has raised up a horn for our salvation
    within the house of David his servant,
70 even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old:
71     salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72 to show mercy to our fathers
    and to be mindful of his holy covenant
73 and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
and to grant us that, 74     rescued from the hand of enemies,
without fear we might worship him 75 in holiness and righteousness
    before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
    for you will go before the Lord[u] to prepare his ways,
77 to give his people knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God
    by which the daybreak from on high[v] will visit us
79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow,
    to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–4 The Gospel according to Luke is the only one of the synoptic gospels to begin with a literary prologue. Making use of a formal, literary construction and vocabulary, the author writes the prologue in imitation of Hellenistic Greek writers and, in so doing, relates his story about Jesus to contemporaneous Greek and Roman literature. Luke is not only interested in the words and deeds of Jesus, but also in the larger context of the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of God in the Old Testament. As a second- or third-generation Christian, Luke acknowledges his debt to earlier eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, but claims that his contribution to this developing tradition is a complete and accurate account, told in an orderly manner, and intended to provide Theophilus (“friend of God,” literally) and other readers with certainty about earlier teachings they have received.
  2. 1:5–2:52 Like the Gospel according to Matthew, this gospel opens with an infancy narrative, a collection of stories about the birth and childhood of Jesus. The narrative uses early Christian traditions about the birth of Jesus, traditions about the birth and circumcision of John the Baptist, and canticles such as the Magnificat (Lk 1:46–55) and Benedictus (Lk 1:67–79), composed of phrases drawn from the Greek Old Testament. It is largely, however, the composition of Luke who writes in imitation of Old Testament birth stories, combining historical and legendary details, literary ornamentation and interpretation of scripture, to answer in advance the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” The focus of the narrative, therefore, is primarily christological. In this section Luke announces many of the themes that will become prominent in the rest of the gospel: the centrality of Jerusalem and the temple, the journey motif, the universality of salvation, joy and peace, concern for the lowly, the importance of women, the presentation of Jesus as savior, Spirit-guided revelation and prophecy, and the fulfillment of Old Testament promises. The account presents parallel scenes (diptychs) of angelic announcements of the birth of John the Baptist and of Jesus, and of the birth, circumcision, and presentation of John and Jesus. In this parallelism, the ascendency of Jesus over John is stressed: John is prophet of the Most High (Lk 1:76); Jesus is Son of the Most High (Lk 1:32). John is great in the sight of the Lord (Lk 1:15); Jesus will be Great (a LXX attribute, used absolutely, of God) (Lk 1:32). John will go before the Lord (Lk 1:16–17); Jesus will be Lord (Lk 1:43; 2:11).
  3. 1:5 In the days of Herod, King of Judea: Luke relates the story of salvation history to events in contemporary world history. Here and in Lk 3:1–2 he connects his narrative with events in Palestinian history; in Lk 2:1–2 and Lk 3:1 he casts the Jesus story in the light of events of Roman history. Herod the Great, the son of the Idumean Antipater, was declared “King of Judea” by the Roman Senate in 40 B.C., but became the undisputed ruler of Palestine only in 37 B.C. He continued as king until his death in 4 B.C. Priestly division of Abijah: a reference to the eighth of the twenty-four divisions of priests who, for a week at a time, twice a year, served in the Jerusalem temple.
  4. 1:7 They had no child: though childlessness was looked upon in contemporaneous Judaism as a curse or punishment for sin, it is intended here to present Elizabeth in a situation similar to that of some of the great mothers of important Old Testament figures: Sarah (Gn 15:3; 16:1); Rebekah (Gn 25:21); Rachel (Gn 29:31; 30:1); the mother of Samson and wife of Manoah (Jgs 13:2–3); Hannah (1 Sm 1:2).
  5. 1:13 Do not be afraid: a stereotyped Old Testament phrase spoken to reassure the recipient of a heavenly vision (Gn 15:1; Jos 1:9; Dn 10:12, 19 and elsewhere in Lk 1:30;2:10). You shall name him John: the name means “Yahweh has shown favor,” an indication of John’s role in salvation history.
  6. 1:15 He will drink neither wine nor strong drink: like Samson (Jgs 13:4–5) and Samuel (1 Sm 1:11 LXX and 4QSama), John is to be consecrated by Nazirite vow and set apart for the Lord’s service.
  7. 1:17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah: John is to be the messenger sent before Yahweh, as described in Mal 3:1–2. He is cast, moreover, in the role of the Old Testament fiery reformer, the prophet Elijah, who according to Mal 3:23(Mal 4:5) is sent before “the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.”
  8. 1:19 I am Gabriel: “the angel of the Lord” is identified as Gabriel, the angel who in Dn 9:20–25 announces the seventy weeks of years and the coming of an anointed one, a prince. By alluding to Old Testament themes in Lk 1:17, 19 such as the coming of the day of the Lord and the dawning of the messianic era, Luke is presenting his interpretation of the significance of the births of John and Jesus.
  9. 1:20 You will be speechless and unable to talk: Zechariah’s becoming mute is the sign given in response to his question in v 18. When Mary asks a similar question in Lk 1:34, unlike Zechariah who was punished for his doubt, she, in spite of her doubt, is praised and reassured (Lk 1:35–37).
  10. 1:26–38 The announcement to Mary of the birth of Jesus is parallel to the announcement to Zechariah of the birth of John. In both the angel Gabriel appears to the parent who is troubled by the vision (Lk 1:11–12, 26–29) and then told by the angel not to fear (Lk 1:13,30). After the announcement is made (Lk 1:14–17, 31–33) the parent objects (Lk 1:18,34) and a sign is given to confirm the announcement (Lk 1:20, 36). The particular focus of the announcement of the birth of Jesus is on his identity as Son of David (Lk 1:32–33) and Son of God (Lk 1:32, 35).
  11. 1:32 Son of the Most High: cf. Lk 1:76 where John is described as “prophet of the Most High.” “Most High” is a title for God commonly used by Luke (Lk 1:35, 76; 6:35; 8:28; Acts 7:48; 16:17).
  12. 1:34 Mary’s questioning response is a denial of sexual relations and is used by Luke to lead to the angel’s declaration about the Spirit’s role in the conception of this child (Lk 1:35). According to Luke, the virginal conception of Jesus takes place through the holy Spirit, the power of God, and therefore Jesus has a unique relationship to Yahweh: he is Son of God.
  13. 1:36–37 The sign given to Mary in confirmation of the angel’s announcement to her is the pregnancy of her aged relative Elizabeth. If a woman past the childbearing age could become pregnant, why, the angel implies, should there be doubt about Mary’s pregnancy, for nothing will be impossible for God.
  14. 1:43 Even before his birth, Jesus is identified in Luke as the Lord.
  15. 1:45 Blessed are you who believed: Luke portrays Mary as a believer whose faith stands in contrast to the disbelief of Zechariah (Lk 1:20). Mary’s role as believer in the infancy narrative should be seen in connection with the explicit mention of her presence among “those who believed” after the resurrection at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:14).
  16. 1:46–55 Although Mary is praised for being the mother of the Lord and because of her belief, she reacts as the servant in a psalm of praise, the Magnificat. Because there is no specific connection of the canticle to the context of Mary’s pregnancy and her visit to Elizabeth, the Magnificat (with the possible exception of v 48) may have been a Jewish Christian hymn that Luke found appropriate at this point in his story. Even if not composed by Luke, it fits in well with themes found elsewhere in Luke: joy and exultation in the Lord; the lowly being singled out for God’s favor; the reversal of human fortunes; the fulfillment of Old Testament promises. The loose connection between the hymn and the context is further seen in the fact that a few Old Latin manuscripts identify the speaker of the hymn as Elizabeth, even though the overwhelming textual evidence makes Mary the speaker.
  17. 1:57–66 The birth and circumcision of John above all emphasize John’s incorporation into the people of Israel by the sign of the covenant (Gn 17:1–12). The narrative of John’s circumcision also prepares the way for the subsequent description of the circumcision of Jesus in Lk 2:21. At the beginning of his two-volume work Luke shows those who play crucial roles in the inauguration of Christianity to be wholly a part of the people of Israel. At the end of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 21:20; 22:3; 23:6–9; 24:14–16; 26:2–8, 22–23) he will argue that Christianity is the direct descendant of Pharisaic Judaism.
  18. 1:59 The practice of Palestinian Judaism at this time was to name the child at birth; moreover, though naming a male child after the father is not completely unknown, the usual practice was to name the child after the grandfather (see Lk 1:61). The naming of the child John and Zechariah’s recovery from his loss of speech should be understood as fulfilling the angel’s announcement to Zechariah in Lk 1:13, 20.
  19. 1:68–79 Like the canticle of Mary (Lk 1:46–55) the canticle of Zechariah is only loosely connected with its context. Apart from Lk 1:76–77, the hymn in speaking of a horn for our salvation (Lk 1:69) and the daybreak from on high (Lk 1:78) applies more closely to Jesus and his work than to John. Again like Mary’s canticle, it is largely composed of phrases taken from the Greek Old Testament and may have been a Jewish Christian hymn of praise that Luke adapted to fit the present context by inserting Lk 1:76–77 to give Zechariah’s reply to the question asked in Lk 1:66.
  20. 1:69 A horn for our salvation: the horn is a common Old Testament figure for strength (Ps 18:3; 75:5–6; 89:18; 112:9; 148:14). This description is applied to God in Ps 18:3 and is here transferred to Jesus. The connection of the phrase with the house of David gives the title messianic overtones and may indicate an allusion to a phrase in Hannah’s song of praise (1 Sm 2:10), “the horn of his anointed.”
  21. 1:76 You will go before the Lord: here the Lord is most likely a reference to Jesus (contrast Lk 1:15–17 where Yahweh is meant) and John is presented as the precursor of Jesus.
  22. 1:78 The daybreak from on high: three times in the LXX (Jer 23:5; Zec 3:8; 6:12), the Greek word used here for daybreak translates the Hebrew word for “scion, branch,” an Old Testament messianic title.
Advertisements

Malachi 3 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 524)

Malachi 3New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

The Messenger of the Covenant

Now I am sending my messenger—
    he will prepare the way before me;[a]
And the lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple;
The messenger of the covenant whom you desire—
    see, he is coming! says the Lord of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming?
    Who can stand firm when he appears?
For he will be like a refiner’s fire,
    like fullers’ lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
    and he will purify the Levites,
Refining them like gold or silver,
    that they may bring offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
    will please the Lord,
    as in ancient days, as in years gone by.
I will draw near to you for judgment,
    and I will be swift to bear witness
Against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers,
    those who deprive a laborer of wages,
Oppress a widow or an orphan,
    or turn aside a resident alien,
    without fearing me, says the Lord of hosts.

Gifts for God, Blessings for the People

For I, the Lord, do not change,[b]
    and you, sons of Jacob, do not cease to be.
Since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside
    from my statutes and have not kept them.
Return to me, that I may return to you,
    says the Lord of hosts.
But you say, “Why should we return?”
    Can anyone rob God? But you are robbing me!
And you say, “How have we robbed you?”
    Of tithes and contributions!
You are indeed accursed,
    for you, the whole nation, rob me.
10 Bring the whole tithe
    into the storehouse,[c]
That there may be food in my house.
    Put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts,
And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you,
    and pour down upon you blessing without measure!
11 I will rebuke the locust for you
    so that it will not destroy your crops,
And the vine in the field will not be barren,
    says the Lord of hosts.
12 All the nations will call you blessed,
    for you will be a delightful land,
    says the Lord of hosts.

The Need to Serve God

13 Your words are too much for me, says the Lord.
    You ask, “What have we spoken against you?”
14 You have said, “It is useless to serve God;
    what do we gain by observing God’s requirements,
And by going about as mourners[d]
    before the Lord of hosts?
15 But we call the arrogant blessed;
    for evildoers not only prosper
    but even test God and escape.”
16 Then those who fear the Lord spoke with one another,
    and the Lord listened attentively;
A record book[e] was written before him
    of those who fear the Lord and esteem his name.
17 They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts,
    my own special possession, on the day when I take action.
And I will have compassion on them,
    as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
18 Then you will again distinguish
    between the just and the wicked,
Between the person who serves God,
    and the one who does not.
19 For the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
    when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
    leaving them neither root nor branch,
    says the Lord of hosts.
20 But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice
    will arise with healing in its wings;[f]
And you will go out leaping like calves from the stall
21     and tread down the wicked;
They will become dust under the soles of your feet,
    on the day when I take action, says the Lord of hosts.

Moses and Elijah

22 Remember the law of Moses my servant,
    whom I charged at Horeb
With statutes and ordinances
    for all Israel.
23 Now I am sending to you
    Elijah[g] the prophet,
Before the day of the Lord comes,
    the great and terrible day;
24 He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons,
    and the heart of sons to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
    the land with utter destruction.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1 My messenger…before me: Mt 11:10 applies these words to John the Baptist; Mt 11:14 further identifies John as Elijah (see Mal 3:23). Some take God’s messenger in v. 1ato be a person distinct from “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” in v. 1b; others hold that they are one and the same person. Some consider “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” to be divine, while others hold that in the text’s literal sense he is a messianic earthly ruler.
  2. 3:6–7 Not change: God remains faithful to the covenant even when the human partners break it.
  3. 3:10 Storehouse: the temple treasury.
  4. 3:14 As mourners: the adverb translated “as mourners” means something like “with a long face.”
  5. 3:16 Record book: see note on Ex 32:32.
  6. 3:20 Wings: a common symbol of the manifestation of a god in the ancient Near East is the winged sun disk found, for example, on premonarchic jar handles. Cf. Nm 6:25; Ps 4:7; 31:17; 34:6; 84:12.
  7. 3:23 Elijah: taken up in a whirlwind, according to 2 Kgs 2:11. Here his return seems to be foretold. A Jewish tradition interpreted this literally; the gospels saw Elijah in the person of John the Baptist (Mt 11:13–14; 17:10–13; Mk 9:9–13).

Malachi 2 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 524)

Malachi 2New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

And now, priests, this commandment is for you:
    If you do not listen,
And if you do not take to heart
    giving honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you
    and your blessing I will curse.
In fact, I have already cursed it,
    because you do not take it to heart.
I will rebuke your offspring;
    I will spread dung on your faces,
Dung from your feasts,
    and will carry you to it.
You should know that I sent you this commandment
    so that my covenant with Levi might endure,
    says the Lord of hosts.
My covenant with him was the life and peace which I gave him,
    and the fear he had for me,
    standing in awe of my name.
Reliable instruction was in his mouth,
    no perversity was found upon his lips;
He walked with me in integrity and uprightness,
    and turned many away from evil.
For a priest’s lips preserve knowledge,
    and instruction is to be sought from his mouth,
    because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
But you have turned aside from the way,
    and have caused many to stumble by your instruction;
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,[a]
    says the Lord of hosts.
I, therefore, have made you contemptible
    and base before all the people,
For you do not keep my ways,
    but show partiality in your instruction.

Marriage and Divorce

10 [b]Have we not all one father?
    Has not one God created us?
Why, then, do we break faith with each other,
    profaning the covenant of our ancestors?
11 Judah has broken faith; an abominable thing
    has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem.
Judah has profaned the Lord’s holy place, which he loves,
    and has married a daughter of a foreign god.[c]
12 May the Lord cut off from the man who does this
    both witness and advocate from the tents of Jacob,
    and anyone to bring an offering to the Lord of hosts!
13 This also you do: the altar of the Lord you cover
    with tears, weeping, and groaning,
Because the Lord no longer takes note of your offering
    or accepts it favorably from your hand.
14 And you say, “Why?”—
    Because the Lord is witness
    between you and the wife of your youth
With whom you have broken faith,
    though she is your companion, your covenanted wife.[d]
15 Did he not make them one, with flesh and spirit?
    And what does the One require? Godly offspring!
You should be on guard, then, for your life,
    and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
16 For I hate divorce,
    says the Lord, the God of Israel,
And the one who covers his garment with violence,
    says the Lord of hosts.
You should be on guard, then, for your life,
    and you must not break faith.

Purification and Just Judgment

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words,
    yet you say, “How have we wearied him?”
By saying, “All evildoers
    are good in the sight of the Lord,
And he is pleased with them,”
    or “Where is the just God?”

Footnotes:

  1. 2:8 The covenant of Levi: not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. The covenant with Phinehas the grandson of Aaron (Nm 25:11–13) and the Blessing of Levi (Dt 33:8–11) may lie in the background.
  2. 2:10–16 Intermarriage of Israelites with foreigners was forbidden according to Dt 7:1–4. After the exile, attempts were made to enforce this law (Ezr 9–10). Foreign marriages are here portrayed as a covenantal violation (v. 10). They were all the more reprehensible when they were accompanied by the divorce of Israelite wives (vv. 14–16), and God finds their sacrifices unacceptable (vv. 13–14). In Mk 10:2–12, Jesus forbids divorce; in Mt 19:3–12, this ideal is maintained with the provision that unlawful marriage may be grounds for divorce (see 1 Cor 7:10–16). You should be on guard, then, for your life: a warning of punishment for failure to obey God (cf. Dt 4:9; Jos 23:11; Jer 17:21).
  3. 2:11 Daughter of a foreign god: this unusual phrase connotes a woman who does not share the same father/creator (v. 10), since she does not share the same covenant.
  4. 2:14 Companion…covenanted wife: the Hebrew word haberet signifies an equal, a partner. This woman, in contrast to the daughter of a foreign god, shares with her husband the same covenant with the Lord.

Malachi 1 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 523)

Malachi 1New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

[a]An oracle. The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

Israel Preferred to Edom

I love you, says the Lord;
    but you say, “How do you love us?”
[b]Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?—oracle of the Lord.
    I loved Jacob, but rejected Esau;
I made his mountains a waste,
    his heritage a desert for jackals.
If Edom says, “We have been crushed,
    but we will rebuild the ruins,”
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
    They indeed may build, but I will tear down,
And they shall be called “territory of wickedness,”
    the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.
Your own eyes will see it, and you will say,
    “Great is the Lord, even beyond the territory of Israel.”

Offense in Sacrifice and Priestly Duty

A son honors his father,
    and a servant fears his master;
If, then, I am a father,
    where is the honor due to me?
And if I am a master,
    where is the fear due to me?
So says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests,
    who disdain my name.
But you ask, “How have we disdained your name?”
    By offering defiled food on my altar!
You ask, “How have we defiled it?”
    By saying that the table of the Lord may be disdained!
[c]When you offer a blind animal for sacrifice,
    is there no wrong in that?
When you offer a lame or sick animal,
    is there no wrong in that?
Present it to your governor!
    Will he be pleased with you—or show you favor?
    says the Lord of hosts.
So now implore God’s favor, that he may have mercy on us!
    You are the ones who have done this;
Will he show favor to any of you?
    says the Lord of hosts.
10 [d]Oh, that one of you would just shut the temple gates
    to keep you from kindling fire on my altar in vain!
I take no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts;
    and I will not accept any offering from your hands!
11 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    my name is great among the nations;
Incense offerings are made to my name everywhere,
    and a pure offering;
For my name is great among the nations,
    says the Lord of hosts.
12 But you profane it by saying
    that the Lord’s table is defiled,
    and its food may be disdained.
13 You say, “See what a burden this is!”
    and you exasperate me, says the Lord of hosts;
You bring in what is mutilated, or lame, or sick;
    you bring it as an offering!
Will I accept it from your hands?
    says the Lord.
14 Cursed is the cheat who has in his flock an intact male,
    and vows it, but sacrifices to the Lord a defective one instead;
For a great king am I, says the Lord of hosts,
    and my name is feared among the nations.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 See note on Zec 9:1.
  2. 1:3–5 The thought passes from the person Esau to his descendants, Edom, and from the person Jacob to his descendants, Israel; cf. Gn 25:21–23. In the New Testament, Paul uses this passage as an example of God’s freedom of choice in calling the Gentiles to faith (Rom 9:13).
  3. 1:8 The sacrificial offering of a lame, sick, or blind animal was forbidden in the law (Lv 22:17–25; Dt 17:1).
  4. 1:10–11 The imperfect sacrifices offered by the people of Judah are displeasing to the Lord. Kindling fire on my altar: kindle the altar fire for sacrifice. In contrast, the Lord is pleased with the sacrifices offered by other peoples in other places (the rising of the sun: the far east; its setting: the far west). Since the people of other nations could not be expected to know the Lord’s name as did the people of Judah, the rhetorical purpose of this statement is to shame the latter. Incense offerings: in the ancient world, the hallmark of an offering made to a god was the smoke it produced on an altar. In the Old Testament, this was true not only of animals (Lv 8:20–21) but also of incense (Ex 30:7), suet (Lv 3:11), and grain offerings (Lv 6:8). In a Christian interpretation of Mal 1:10–11, the “pure offering” of Mal 1:11 is seen as a reference to sacrifice in the Messianic Age. The Council of Trent endorsed this interpretation (DS 1724).

Book of the Prophet Malachi (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 523)

Book of the Prophet Malachi (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 523)

MALACHI

Malachi, whose name means “my messenger”.

DATE

This short book may have been written before Nehemiah’s first return to Jerusalem in 445 B.C.; it is also possible that it was written while Nehemiah was there, or even later. What seems to be the author’s name, mal’ākî, is found in 1:1 (“the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi”), but many believe that this is a pseudonym based on mal’ākî, “my messenger,” in 3:1 and that the author’s real name is unknown.

BIBLE CATEGORY

The Last Book of the 12 Minor Prophets (Old Testament)
THE AUTHOR

Malachi 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Malachi as the Prophet Malachi.

The Book

The theological message of the book can be summed up in one sentence: The Great King (1:14) will come not only to judge his people (3:1–5; 4:1) but also to bless and restore them (3:6–12; 4:2).
In conclusion, Malachi once more reassures and warns his readers that “the day [‘that great and dreadful day of the Lord,’ 4:5] is coming” and that “it will burn like a furnace” (4:1). In that day the righteous will rejoice, and “you will trample down the wicked” (4:2–3). So “remember the law of my servant Moses” (4:4). To prepare his people for that day the Lord will send “the prophet Elijah” to call them back to the godly ways of their forefathers (4:5–6).
(biblicadotcom)

God loves Israel (1:2–5), but the people return that love poorly. Taking advantage of the negligent attitude of the priests, they withhold tithes and sacrificial contributions (3:6–11) and cheat God by providing defective goods for sacrifice (1:6–14). People divorce their spouses and marry worshipers of other gods (2:10–16). Sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, and people who take advantage of workers and the needy abound (3:5). Priests, who could strengthen discipline by their instruction, connive with the people, telling them what they want to hear (2:1–9). Underlying all this is a weary attitude, a cynical notion that nothing is to be gained by doing what God wants and that wrongdoers prosper (2:17; 3:14–15). God condemns the wrongdoing and the underlying attitude, issuing a challenge to immediate reform (3:10–12), but also announcing a general reckoning at a future moment (3:16–21).

The Book of Malachi may be divided as follows:

I. Israel Preferred to Edom (1:2–5)

II. Offense in Sacrifice and Priestly Duty (1:6–2:9)

III. Marriage and Divorce (2:10–16)

IV. Purification and Just Judgment (2:17)

V. The Messenger of the Covenant (3:1–5)

VI. Gifts for God, Blessings for the People (3:6–12)

VII. The Need to Serve God (3:13–21)

VIII. Moses and Elijah (3:22–24)
http://www.biblegatewaydotcom/passage/intro/?search=Malachi&version=NABRE

Zechariah 14 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 522)

Zechariah 14New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Devastation and Rescue of Jerusalem. [a]A day is coming for theLord when the spoils taken from you will be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: The city will be taken, houses will be plundered, women raped; half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, fighting as on a day of battle. On that day God’s feet will stand[b] on the Mount of Olives, which is opposite Jerusalem to the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west by a very deep valley, and half of the mountain will move to the north and half of it to the south. You will flee by the valley between the mountains, for the valley between the mountains will reach to Azal. Thus you will flee as you fled because of the earthquake[c] in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all his holy ones with him.

Jerusalem Restored. On that day there will no longer be cold or frost.There will be one continuous day—it is known to the Lord—not day and night, for in the evening there will be light. On that day, fresh water will flow from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea, and half to the western sea. This will be so in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth; on that day the Lord will be the only one, and theLord’s name the only one. 10 All the land will turn into a plain, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, which will stand exalted in its place—from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, to the Corner Gate and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 The city will be inhabited; never again will it be doomed. Jerusalem will dwell securely.

The Fate of Jerusalem’s Foes. 12 And this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that have fought against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.13 On that day a great panic from the Lord will be upon them. They will seize each other’s hands, and their hands will be raised against each other. 14 Even Judah will fight against Jerusalem. The riches of all the surrounding nations will be gathered together—gold, silver, and garments—in great abundance. 15 Like the plague on human beings will be the plague upon the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and upon all the beasts that are in those camps.

The Future: Jerusalem, Judah, and the Nations. 16 Everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to bow down to the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of Booths.[d] 17 Should any of the families of the earth not go up to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, the Lord of hosts, then there will be no rain for them. 18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, upon them will fall the plague, with which the Lord strikes the nations that do not go up to celebrate the feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the feast of Booths.

20 On that day, “Holy to the Lord” will be written on the horses’ bells.[e]The pots in the house of the Lord will be as the basins before the altar.21 Every pot[f] in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts. All who come to sacrifice will take them and cook in them. No longer will there be merchants in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1–21 The marked eschatalogical thrust of Zec 9–14 culminates in this apocalyptic description, with its astonishing images of the day of the Lord. This last and longest chapter focuses on the restoration of Jerusalem and the return of the people of Zion so that the rest of the world will acknowledge God’s sovereignty. Four units constitute this chapter: vv. 1–5 concentrate on the destruction and rescue of Jerusalem and the escape of a remnant; vv. 6–11 describe the transformation of the climate and the topography of Jerusalem; vv. 12–15 depict the defeat of Jerusalem’s enemies; and vv. 16–21 outline a vision for the end time, in which even foreign nations will make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to acknowledge God’s universal reign.
  2. 14:4 God’s feet will stand: a remarkable anthropomorphic image adds emphasis to the traditional Old Testament scene of God appearing on a mountain and causing extreme reactions such as quaking, melting, shattering (see Ex 19:18; Ps 97:5; Hb 3:6). The Mount of Olives is split, which opens a way for those fleeing from the Lord’s appearance to escape from Jerusalem.
  3. 14:5 Earthquake: Amos 1:1 mentions an earthquake in the time of King Uzziah (cf. Is 6:4).
  4. 14:16 Feast of Booths: fall harvest festival, also known as the “festival of Ingathering” (Ex 23:16; 34:22) or “Booths” (Lv 23:33–36; Dt 16:13–15; 31:9–13). The singling out of this festival indicates its special status in the sacred calendar; it is frequently referred to as “the feast” (1 Kgs 8:1–2; 2 Chr 5:3; Ez 45:25).
  5. 14:20 Horses’ bells: even these bells, part of the trappings of animals used for war, will become holy in the end time, like the bells of the high priest’s garb (cf. Ex 28:34).
  6. 14:21 Every pot: vessels used for mundane food preparation will, in the end time, be as holy as Temple vessels.

Zechariah 13 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 522)

Zechariah 13New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

Oracles Concerning the End of False Prophecy.[a] On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David[b] and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to purify from sin and uncleanness.

On that day—oracle of the Lord of hosts—I will destroy the names of the idols from the land, so that they will be mentioned no more; I will also remove the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness from the land.If any still prophesy, their father and mother who bore them will say, “You will not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of theLord.” Their father and mother who bore them will thrust them through when they prophesy.

On that day, all prophets will be ashamed of the visions they prophesy; and they will not put on the hairy mantle[c] to mislead, but each will say, “I am not a prophet. I am a tiller of the soil, for I have owned land since my youth.” And if anyone asks, “What are these wounds on your chest?”[d] each will answer, “I received these wounds in the house of my friends.”

The Song of the Sword

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
    against the one who is my associate
    —oracle of the Lord of hosts.
Strike the shepherd
    that the sheep may be scattered;[e]
    I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In all the land—oracle of the Lord
    two thirds of them will be cut off and perish,
    and one third will be left.
I will bring the one third through the fire;
    I will refine them as one refines silver,
    and I will test them as one tests gold.
They will call upon my name, and I will answer them;
    I will say, “They are my people,”
    and they will say, “The Lord is my God.”

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1–6 False prophecy is a major theme of Second Zechariah (chaps. 9–14) and figures in many other passages (10:1–2; 11; 12:10). Problems of idolatry and false prophecy occurred in postexilic Judah as they had in preexilic times. The understanding of the role of the prophet as an intermediary was challenged because (1) there was no king in Jerusalem, and (2) the texts of earlier prophets were beginning to be accorded the authority of prophetic tradition.
  2. 13:1 For the house of David: anticipation that a cleansed leadership will enable the re-established monarchy to be rid of the misdeeds of its past.
  3. 13:4 Hairy mantle: worn by prophets as a sign of their calling, for example, Elijah (1 Kgs 19:13; 2 Kgs 1:8) and John the Baptist (Mt 3:4).
  4. 13:6 Wounds on your chest: lit., “wounds between your hands.” The false prophets, like the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:28), apparently inflicted wounds on themselves. Here it seems that persons accused of false prophecy deny having inflicted wounds on themselves and instead claim that they have received them at the houses of their friends.
  5. 13:7 Strike the shepherd…may be scattered: in Matthew’s Gospel (26:31) Jesus makes use of this text before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane and the flight of the disciples.

Zechariah 12 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 521)

Zechariah 12New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 12

Oracles Concerning the Nations and Judah.[a] An oracle:[b] The word of the Lord concerning Israel—oracle of the Lord, who spreads out the heavens, lays the foundations of the earth, and fashions the human spirit within: See, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling[c] for all peoples round about. Judah will be besieged, even Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all peoples. All who attempt to lift it will injure themselves badly, though all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day—oracle of the Lord—I will strike every horse with fright, and its rider with madness. But over the house of Judah I will keep watch, while I strike blind all the horses of the peoples. Then the clans of Judah will say to themselves, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem have their strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.” On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a brazier of fire in the woodland and like a burning torch among sheaves, and they will devour right and left all the surrounding peoples; but Jerusalem will again inhabit its own place.

The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over Judah. On that day the Lord will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the weakest among them will be like David on that day; and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lordbefore them.

On that day I will seek the destruction of all nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of mercy and supplication, so that when they look on him whom they have thrust through,[d] they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and they will grieve for him as one grieves over a firstborn.

Catalogue of Mourners. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.[e]12 And the land shall mourn, each family apart: the family of the house of David, and their women; the family of the house of Nathan, and their women; 13 the family of the house of Levi, and their women; the family of Shimei, and their women; 14 and all the rest of the families, each family apart, and the women apart.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:1–10 The oracles deal with (1) the status of Judah in relation to other political powers in the world that threaten its existence and (2) the reordering of Judah’s internal structures so that its future can be realized. That future is linked to the fortunes of the house of David, which is mentioned five times between 12:7 and 13:1 (12:7, 8, 10, 12; 13:1).
  2. 12:1 An oracle: part two of Second Zechariah begins with the same heading as that of part one (9:1; also Mal 1:1), suggesting two distinct blocks of material. The unusual cluster of introductory terms that follow the heading greatly intensifies the claim of prophetic authority, apparently an issue in postexilic prophecy.
  3. 12:2 Cup of reeling: like a cup filled with intoxicating drink, Jerusalem will cause the nations to stumble and fall (cf. Is 51:17, 22; Jer 25:15; 49:12; Lam 4:21).
  4. 12:10 They look on him…thrust through: another possible rendering is “they shall look to me concerning him…thrust through.” In either case, the victim is an enigmatic figure, perhaps referring to a Davidic descendant, a priestly leader, or even a true prophet. Some historical event, unknown to us from any surviving source, may underlie this reference. The Gospel of John applies this text to the piercing of Christ’s side after his death (19:37).
  5. 12:11 The mourning for the pierced victim in Jerusalem is compared to the annual ritual mourning in the plain of Megiddo over the death of the Phoenician fertility god, Hadadrimmon. According to others, Hadadrimmon is the name of a place near Megiddo, and the reference would then be to the mourning over the death of King Josiah at the hands of Pharaoh Neco in 609 B.C.; cf. 2 Kgs 23:29–30; 2 Chr 35:22–25.

Zechariah 11 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 521)

Zechariah 11New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 11

The Cry of Trees, Shepherds, and Lions

Open your doors, Lebanon,
    that fire may devour your cedars!
Wail, cypress trees,
    for the cedars are fallen,
    the mighty are destroyed!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
    for the dense forest is cut down!
Listen! the wailing of shepherds,
    their glory has been destroyed.
Listen! the roaring of young lions,
    the thickets of the Jordan are destroyed.

The Shepherd Narrative.[a] Thus says the Lord, my God: Shepherd the flock to be slaughtered. For they who buy them slay them and are not held accountable; while those who sell them say, “Blessed be theLord, I have become rich!” Even their own shepherds will not pity them.For I will no longer pity the inhabitants of the earth—oracle of theLord.—Yes, I will deliver them into each other’s power, or into the power of their kings; they will crush the earth, and I will not deliver it out of their power.

So I shepherded the flock to be slaughtered for the merchants of the flock. I took two staffs: one I called Delight, and the other Union. Thus I shepherded the flock. In a single month, I did away with the three shepherds, for I wearied of them, and they disdained me. “I will not shepherd you,” I said. “Whoever is to die shall die; whoever is to be done away with shall be done away with; and those who are left shall devour one another’s flesh.”

10 Then I took my staff Delight and snapped it in two, breaking my covenant which I had made with all peoples. 11 So it was broken on that day. The merchants of the flock, who were watching me, understood that this was the word of the Lord. 12 Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, withhold them.” And they counted out my wages, thirty pieces of silver. 13 Then the Lord said to me, Throw it in the treasury—the handsome price at which they valued me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the Lord. 14 Then I snapped in two my second staff, Union, breaking the kinship between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord said to me: This time take the gear of a foolish shepherd.16 For I am raising up a shepherd in the land who will take no note of those that disappear, nor seek the strays, nor heal the injured, nor feed the exhausted; but he will eat the flesh of the fat ones and tear off their hoofs!

Oracle to the Worthless Shepherd

17 Ah! my worthless shepherd
    who forsakes the flock!
May the sword fall upon his arm
    and upon his right eye;
His arm will surely wither,
    and his right eye surely go blind!

Footnotes:

  1. 11:4–17 This narrative has features of an allegory, a parable, and a commissioning narrative. The use of a symbolic action (vv. 7, 10, 14), however, places this text squarely in the tradition of classical prophecy. For example, the staff “Delight” signifies the Mosaic covenant, and the staff “Union” signifies the union of Israel and Judah. Breaking the staffs signifies the breaking of the Mosaic covenant (resulting in the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile) and the historical schism between north and south. In this narrative the prophet is the “shepherd” of God’s flock, which is to be slaughtered. The “three shepherds” of v. 8 represent either leaders responsible for the decay in Israelite society or false prophets (cf. vv. 15, 17 and 13:2–6). The service of the good shepherd is contemptuously valued at thirty pieces of silver, the legal indemnity for a gored slave (Ex 21:32). The prophet throws the money into the Temple treasury, showing how poorly God’s love is requited (cf. Mt 26:14–16; 27:5). With great rhetorical irony, payment is rejected. The entire wage-payment scenario may be regarded as another symbolic action, embedded within the primary action.

Zechariah 10 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 520)

Zechariah 10New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

The Lord Strengthens Judah and Rescues Ephraim

Ask the Lord for rain in the spring season,
    the Lord who brings storm clouds, and heavy rains,
    who gives to everyone grain in the fields.
For the teraphim[a] have spoken nonsense,
    the diviners have seen false visions;
Deceitful dreams they have told,
    empty comfort they have offered.
This is why they wandered like sheep,
    wretched, for they have no shepherd.
My wrath is kindled against the shepherds,[b]
    and I will punish the leaders.
For the Lord of hosts attends to the flock, the house of Judah,
    and will make them like a splendid horse in battle.
From them will come the tower,
    from them the tent peg,
    from them the bow of war,
    from them every officer.
Together they will be like warriors,
    trampling the mud of the streets in battle.
They will wage war because the Lord is with them,
    and will put the horsemen to shame.
I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    the house of Joseph[c] I will save;
I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them;
    they will be as if I had never cast them off,
    for I am the Lord their God, and I will answer them.
Then Ephraim will be like a hero,
    and their hearts will be cheered as by wine.
Their children will see and rejoice—
    their hearts will exult in the Lord.
I will whistle for them and gather them in;
    for I will redeem them
    and they will be as numerous as before.[d]
I sowed them among the nations,
    yet in distant lands they will remember me;
    they will bear their children and return.
10 I will bring them back from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria.
To the land of Gilead and to Lebanon I will bring them,
    until no room is found for them.
11 I will cross over to Egypt
    and smite the waves of the sea,
    and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
The pride of Assyria will be cast down,
    and the scepter of Egypt disappear.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord,
    in whose name they will walk—oracle of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:2 Teraphim: household idols or cult objects (see Gn 31:19, 30–35; Jgs 17:5; 1 Sm 19:11–17), or ancestor statuettes (see 2 Kgs 23:24; Hos 3:4).
  2. 10:3 Against the shepherds: bad leaders or false prophets.
  3. 10:6 The house of Joseph: represents the Northern Kingdom (Israel), as does Ephraim in v. 7 below.
  4. 10:8 Gather them in…be as numerous as before: God’s intention is to bring back the exiles and redeem them as at the time of the exodus. This image, resumed in vv. 10–11, anticipates an expanded population, echoes the ancestral promise (Gn 1:22, 28; 9:1, 7;35:11), and also suggests an awareness of the acute demographic decline of Jews in Palestine in the Persian period.