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New American Bible


IntraText - Index of footnotes





  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1:1-2:4a] This section introduces the whole Pentateuch. It shows how God brought an orderly univ[...]
  2: [2] The abyss: the primordial ocean according to the ancient Semitic cosmogony. After God's creat[...]
  3: [5] In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial[...]
  4: [26] Man is here presented as the climax of God's creative activity; he resembles God primarily b[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 2
  1: [4b-25] This section is chiefly concerned with the creation of man. It is much older than the narr[...]
  2: [7] God is portrayed as a potter molding man's body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebre[...]
  3: [8] Eden: used here as the name of a region in southern Mesopotamia; the term is derived from the [...]
  4: [10-14] Rises: in flood to overflow its banks. Beyond there: as one travels upstream. Branches: li[...]
  5: [23] There is a play on the similar-sounding Hebrew words ishsha ("woman") and ishah ("her man, h[...]
  6: [24] One body: literally "one flesh"; classical Hebrew has no specific word for "body." The sacre[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 3
  1: [5] Like gods who know: or "like God who knows."
  2: [8] The breezy time of the day: literally "the wind of the day." On most days in Palestine a cooli[...]
  3: [15] He will strike . . . at his heel: since the antecedent for he and his is the collective noun [...]
  4: [20] This verse seems to be out of place; it would fit better after Genesis 3:24. The Hebrew name[...]
  5: [24] The above rendering is based on the ancient Greek version; that of the current Hebrew is, Whe[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] The Hebrew name qayin ("Cain") and the term qaniti ("I have produced") present another play o[...]
  2: [7] Demon lurking: in Hebrew, robes, literally "croucher," is used here, like the similar Akkadian[...]
  3: [15] A mark: probably a tattoo. The use of tattooing for tribal marks has always been common among[...]
  4: [16] The land of Nod: not a definite geographic region. The term merely means "the land of nomads[...]
  5: [17-22] In Genesis 4:12-16 Cain was presented as the archetype of nomadic peoples. The sacred aut[...]
  6: [25-26] Has granted: Hebrew shat, a wordplay on the name shet ("Seth"). Enosh: in Hebrew, a synony[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1-32] Although this chapter, with its highly schematic form, belongs to the relatively late "Prie[...]
  2: [24] In place of the usual formula, Then he died, the change to Enoch walked with God clearly impl[...]
  3: [29] There is a similarity in sound between the Hebrew word noah, "Noah," and the verbal phrase y[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-4] This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology[...]
  2: [2] The sons of heaven: literally "the sons of the gods" or "the sons of God," i.e., the celestia[...]
  3: [3] My spirit: the breath of life referred to in Genesis 2:7. His days . . . years: probably the [...]
  4: [4] As well as later: According to Numbers 13:33, when the Israelites invaded Palestine and found[...]
  5: [6:5-8:22] The story of the great flood here recorded is a composite narrative based on two separ[...]
  6: [14] Gopherwood: an unidentified wood not mentioned elsewhere; gopher is merely the Hebrew word fo[...]
  7: [15] The dimensions of Noah's ark were approximately 440 x 73 x 44 feet, a foot and a half to the[...]
  8: [16] Opening for daylight: a conjectural rendering of the Hebrew word sohar, occurring only here.[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 7
  1: [11] Abyss: the subterranean ocean; see note on 1:2.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 8
  1: [4] Ararat: ancient Urartu, north of the Mesopotamian plain, part of modern Armenia.
  2: [6] In the original Yahwist source, from which this verse is taken, the forty days refer to the fu[...]
  3: [21] From the start: literally "from his youth." It is uncertain whether this means from the begi[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 9
  1: [3] Antediluvian creatures, including man, are depicted as vegetarians (Genesis 1:29-30), becomin[...]
  2: [4] Because a living being dies when it loses most of its blood, the ancients regarded blood as th[...]
  3: [18-27] This story seems to be a composite of two earlier accounts; in the one, Ham was guilty, wh[...]
  4: [26] Blessed . . . Shem: perhaps the text read originally, "Blessed of the LORD be Shem," which wo[...]
  5: [27] In the Hebrew text there is a play on the words yapt ("expand") and yepet ("Japheth").



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1-32] This chapter presents a remarkably good classification of the various peoples known to the [...]
  2: [2] Gomer: the Cimmerians; Madai: the Medes; Javan: the Greeks.
  3: [3] Ashkenaz: the Scythians.
  4: [4] Elishah: Cyprus; the Kittim: certain inhabitants of Cyprus; the Rodanim: the inhabitants of Rh[...]
  5: [6] Cush: Biblical Ethiopia, modern Nubia. Mizraim: Egypt; Put: either Punt in East Africa or Liby[...]
  6: [8] Cush: here, the Kassites; see note on Genesis 2:10-14. Nimrod: probably Tukulti-Ninurta I (th[...]
  7: [10] Shinar: ancient Sumer in southern Mesopotamia, mentioned also in Genesis 11:2; 14:1.
  8: [11] Asshur: Assyria. Rehoboth-Ir: literally "wide-streets city," was probably not the name of ano[...]
  9: [12] Calah: Assyrian Kalhu, the capital of Assyria in the ninth century B.C.
  10: [14] The Pathrusim: the people of upper (southern) Egypt; cf Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 44:1; Ezekie[...]
  11: [15] Heth: the biblical Hittites; see note on Genesis 23:3.
  12: [19] Lasha: the reading of this name is uncertain; perhaps it should be "Bela"; cf Genesis 14:2. [...]
  13: [25] In the Hebrew text there is a play on the name Peleg and the word niplega, "was divided." [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-9] This story, based on traditions about the temple towers or ziggurats of Babylonia, is used b[...]
  2: [2] Shinar: see note on Genesis 10:10.
  3: [4] Tower with its top in the sky: a direct reference to the chief ziggurat of Babylon, the E-sag-[...]
  4: [9] Babel: the Hebrew form of the name "Babylon"; the native name, Bab-ili, means "gate of the go[...]
  5: [10-26] This section is a continuation of the genealogical record given in Genesis 5:1-32; see no[...]
  6: [12] The Greek text has a certain Kenan (cf Genesis 5:9-10) between Arpachshad and Shelah. This t[...]
  7: [16] Eber: the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews, "descendants of Eber" (Genesis 10:21, 24-30); s[...]
  8: [28] Ur of the Chaldeans: Ur was an extremely ancient city of the Sumerians (later, of the Babylon[...]
  9: [31] The Samaritan and Greek texts include Nahor and his wife in Terah's migration to Haran. Altho[...]
  10: [32] Since Terah was seventy years old when his son Abraham was born (Genesis 11:26), and Abraham[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 12
  1: [3] Shall find blessing in you: the sense of the Hebrew expression is probably reflexive, "shall b[...]
  2: [5] Persons: slaves and retainers that formed the social aggregate under the leadership of Abraham[...]
  3: [9] The Negeb: the semidesert land of southern Palestine.
  4: [13] You are my sister: although Abraham's deceit may not be fully defensible, his statement was a[...]
  5: [16] Camels: domesticated camels probably did not come into common use in the ancient Near East un[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1] In the days of . . . : the personal name by which the event is dated has not been preserved. [...]
  2: [3] The Salt Sea: now known as the Dead Sea.
  3: [5-6] The four kings came from north to south through the land east of the Jordan.
  4: [13] Abram the Hebrew: elsewhere in the Old Testament, until the last pre-Christian centuries, the[...]
  5: [18] Salem: traditionally identified with Jerusalem (Psalm 76:3), but the Hebrew text is not cert[...]
  6: [19] God Most High: in Hebrew, el-elyon. In Canaanite texts, each element may occur separately as [...]
  7: [20] Abram gave him: literally "he gave him"; but Abram is to be understood as the subject of the [...]
  8: [22] Abraham uses the name of the Canaanite god el-elyon ("God, the Most High") in apposition to t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 15
  1: [6] Abraham's faith in God's promises was regarded as an act of righteousness, i.e., as expressing[...]
  2: [9] Three-year-old: ritually mature.
  3: [16] Time-span: the Hebrew term dor is commonly rendered as "generation," but it may signify a per[...]
  4: [17] Brazier: literally "oven"; a portable one is meant here. The smoke and fire represent God's [...]
  5: [18] Made a covenant: literally "cut a covenant"; the expression derives from the ceremony of cutt[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1-6] Sarah's actions are all in keeping with the laws of the time, as known from ancient extra-bi[...]
  2: [7] The LORD'S messenger: a manifestation of God in human form; therefore in Genesis 16:13 the me[...]
  3: [11] Ishmael: in Hebrew the name means "God has heard."
  4: [13] The God of Vision: In Hebrew, el-roi; hence the name of the spring. Remained alive: for the a[...]
  5: [14] Beer-lahai-roi: probably "the well of living sight," i.e., the well where one can see (God) [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 17
  1: [1] The Almighty: traditional but incorrect rendering of the divine title shaddai, of uncertain me[...]
  2: [5] Abram and Abraham are merely two forms of the same name, both meaning, "the father is exalted"[...]
  3: [15] Sarai and Sarah are variant forms of the same name, both meaning "princess."
  4: [17] Laughed: yishaq, which is the Hebrew form of the name "Isaac"; other similar explanations of [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 18
  1: [3] Abraham addresses the leader of the group, whom he does not yet recognize as Yahweh; in the ne[...]
  2: [6] Three seahs: one ephah, about half a bushel.
  3: [8] Curds: a type of soft cheese or yoghurt.
  4: [10] One of them: i.e., the Lord. Abraham now realizes this for the first time when he hears the p[...]
  5: [12] Sarah laughed: see note on Genesis 17:17.
  6: [20] Israelite tradition was unanimous in ascribing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to the w[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 19
  1: [2] Gentlemen: Lot does not yet know that the distinguished-looking men are God's messengers; cf [...]
  2: [11] Blinding light: a preternatural flash that temporarily dazed the wicked men and revealed to L[...]
  3: [12] Since Lot apparently had no sons, a glossator interpreted the term to mean sons-in-law.
  4: [14] It is uncertain whether Lot's sons-in-law were fully married to his daughters or only "engage[...]
  5: [20] A small place: the Hebrew word misar, literally "a little thing," has the same root consonant[...]
  6: [25] Overthrew: The consistent use of this term, literally "turned upside down," to describe the [...]
  7: [28-29] From the height east of Hebron, Abraham could easily see the region at the southern end of[...]
  8: [30-38] This Israelite tale about the origin of Israel's neighbors east of the Jordan and the Dead[...]
  9: [37] From my father: in Hebrew, meabi, similar in sound to the name "Moab."
  10: [38] The son of my kin: in Hebrew, ben-ammi, similar in sound to the name "Ammonites."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1-18] This story from the Elohist source (see note on Genesis 4:25) combines elements found in t[...]
  2: [7] Spokesman: the Hebrew term nabi used here is regularly translated as "prophet," but it simply [...]
  3: [16] A thousand shekels of silver: not a gift distinct from that of the animals and the slaves (G[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 21
  1: [9-19] This story of Hagar's expulsion, in the Elohist source, is in general a duplicate of the on[...]
  2: Placing the child on her back: the phrase is translated from an emended form of the Hebrew text. I[...]
  3: [22] Here and in Genesis 21:32 the Greek text has ". . . Abimelech, accompanied by Ahuzzath, his [...]
  4: [23] This place: Beer-sheba (Genesis 21:31). Abimelech had come from Gerar (Genesis 20:2), about [...]
  5: [31] Beer-sheba: the Hebrew name really means, "the well of the seven," i.e., the place where ther[...]
  6: [33] God the Eternal: in Hebrew, el olam, perhaps the name of the deity of the pre-Israelite sanct[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1] God put Abraham to the test: to prove the firmness of Abraham's faith in God's promise that th[...]
  2: [2] Only one: uniquely precious, especially loved; therefore the same term is rendered in Genesis[...]
  3: [14] Yahweh-yireh: a Hebrew expression meaning "the Lord will see"; the reference is to the words [...]
  4: [20-24] A list of Aramean tribes who lived to the east and northeast of Israel, twelve in number, [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 23
  1: [3] The Hittites: a non-Semitic people in Canaan; their relationship to the well-known Hittites of[...]
  2: [4] A resident alien: literally "a sojourner and a settler," i.e., a long-term resident alien. Suc[...]
  3: [10] Who sat on his town council: probable meaning of the literal translation, "who came in at the[...]
  4: [15] Four hundred shekels: probably an exorbitant sum; Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:9) paid only sevente[...]
  5: [16] The current market value: the standard weight called a shekel varied according to time and pl[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 24
  1: [2] Put your hand under my thigh: the symbolism of this act was apparently connected with the Hebr[...]
  2: [10] Nahor: it is uncertain whether this is to be understood as the name of Abraham's brother (Ge[...]
  3: [12] Let it turn out favorably for me: let me have a favorable omen; cf Genesis 24:14.
  4: [63] He went out: the meaning of the Hebrew term that follows this is obscure.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1-11] Though mentioned here, Abraham's marriage to a "concubine," or wife of secondary rank, and [...]
  2: [6] The land of Kedem: or "the country of the East," the region inhabited by the Kedemites or East[...]
  3: [18] Pitched camp: literally "fell"; the same Hebrew verb is used in Judges 7:12 in regard to the[...]
  4: [25] Reddish: in Hebrew, admoni, a reference to Edom, another name for Esau (Genesis 25:30; 36:1)[...]
  5: [26] Esau's heel: the Hebrew is baaqeb esaw, a reference to the name Jacob; cf Genesis 27:36. Pro[...]
  6: [30] Red stuff: in Hebrew, adom; another play on the word Edom, the "red" land.
  7: [31] Birthright: the privilege that entitled the first-born son to a position of honor in the fami[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 26
  1: [6-11] The Yahwist's version of the wife-sister episode at Gerar; the Elohist's version (Genesis [...]
  2: [12-33] The Yahwist's version of the story about the wells at Beer-sheba; again, the Elohist's ver[...]
  3: [20] Esek: "challenge."
  4: [21] Sitnah: "opposition"; one might expect the text to be continued by some such words as "becau[...]
  5: [33] Shibah: "seven," for the sake of a closer assonance with Beer-sheba; but the present version [...]
  6: [34-35] These verses from the Priestly source, which have no logical connection with the preceding[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 27
  1: [1-45] What Jacob did in deceiving his father and thereby cheating Esau out of Isaac's deathbed bl[...]
  2: [4] My special blessing: "the blessing of my soul." The same expression is used also in Genesis 2[...]
  3: [36] He has now supplanted me: in Hebrew, wayyaqebeni, a wordplay on the name Jacob, yaaqob; see [...]
  4: [27:46-28:9] This section, which is from the Priestly source and a direct sequel of Genesis 26:3[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 28
  1: [11] Shrine: literally "place," often used specifically of a sacred site. Here the place was Bethe[...]
  2: [12] Stairway: in Hebrew, sullam, traditionally but inaccurately translated as "ladder." The corre[...]
  3: [17] This: the stone Jacob used as a headrest; cf Genesis 28:22. That: the stairway Jacob saw in [...]
  4: [18] Memorial stone: in Hebrew, masseba, a stone which might vary in shape and size, set upright a[...]
  5: [19] Bethel: i.e., "house of God"; the reference is to the abode of God in Genesis 28:17.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 29
  1: [1] Easterners: see note on Genesis 25:6.
  2: [11] Burst into tears: literally "raised his voice and wept," i.e., for joy.
  3: [14] Flesh and blood: literally "bone and flesh," i.e., a close relative; on the Hebrew idiom, see[...]
  4: [17] Lovely eyes: the adjective modifying eyes is often translated as "weak," but "lovely" is the[...]
  5: [18] Jacob offers to render service (Joshua 15:16, 17; 1 Sam 17:25; 18;17) in lieu of the customa[...]
  6: [25] Jacob was amazed: he had not recognized Leah because a bride was veiled when she was brought [...]
  7: [27] The bridal week: an ancient wedding lasted for seven days of festivities; cf Judges 14:12. [...]
  8: [32] Reuben: the literal meaning of the Hebrew name is "look, a son!" But in this case, as also wi[...]
  9: [33] Simeon: in popular etymology, related to shama, "he heard."
  10: [34] Levi: related to yillaweh, "he will become attached."
  11: [35] Judah: related to odeh, "I will give grateful praise."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 30
  1: [3] On my knees: in the ancient Near East, a father would take a newborn child in his lap to signi[...]
  2: [4] Consort: The Hebrew word normally means "wife," but here it refers to a wife of secondary ran[...]
  3: [6] Dan: explained by the term dannanni, "he has vindicated me."
  4: [8] Naphtali: explained by the phrase "naptule elohim niptalti," literally, "in a divine wrestlin[...]
  5: [11] Gad: explained by the Hebrew term begad, literally "in luck," i.e., what good luck!
  6: [13] Asher: explained by the term beoshri, literally "in my good fortune." i.e., what good fortune[...]
  7: [14] Mandrakes: an herb whose root was anciently thought to promote conception. The Hebrew word fo[...]
  8: [18] Issachar: explained by the terms, sekari, "my reward," and in Genesis 30:16, sakor sekartika[...]
  9: [20] Zebulun: related to the Akkadian word zubullum, "bridegroom's gift," is explained by the term[...]
  10: [24] Joseph: explained by the words yosep, "may he add," and in Genesis 30:23, asap, "he has remo[...]
  11: [32] Dark . . . sheep . . . spotted or speckled goats: In the Near East the normal color of sheep [...]
  12: [35] By giving the abnormally colored animals to his sons, Laban not only deprived Jacob of his fi[...]
  13: [39-42] Jacob's stratagem was based on the widespread notion among simple people that visual stimu[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 31
  1: [8-12] This Elohist account of the miraculous increase in Jacob's flock differs somewhat from the [...]
  2: [15] Outsiders: literally "foreign women"; they lacked the favored legal status of native women. [...]
  3: [19] Household idols: in Hebrew, teraphim, figurines used in divination (Ezekiel 21:26; Zechariah[...]
  4: [20] Hoodwinked: literally "stolen the heart of," i.e., lulled the mind of. Aramean: The earliest[...]
  5: [23] For seven days: literally "a way of seven days," a general term to designate a long distance;[...]
  6: [26] War captives: literally "women captured by the sword"; the women of a conquered people were [...]
  7: [39] Laban's actions were contrary to the customs of the ancient Near East, as recorded in the Cod[...]
  8: [43-54] In this account of the treaty between Laban and Jacob, the Yahwist and Elohist sources are[...]
  9: [47] Jegar-sahadutha: an Aramaic term meaning "mound of witness." Galeed: in Hebrew, galed, with t[...]
  10: [49] Mizpah: a town in Gilead; cf Judges 10:17; 11:11, 34; Hosea 5:1. The Hebrew name mispa ("l[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 32
  1: [3] Mahanaim: a town in Gilead (Joshua 13:26, 30; 21:38; 2 Sam 2:8; etc.). The Hebrew name means[...]
  2: [25] Some man: a messenger of the Lord in human form, as is clear from Genesis 32:29,-31
  3: Israel: the first part of the Hebrew name Yisrael is given a popular explanation in the word sarit[...]
  4: [31] Peniel: a variant of the word Penuel (Genesis 32:32), the name of a town on the north bank o[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 33
  1: [17] Succoth: an important town near the confluence of the Jabbok and the Jordan (Joshua 13:27; J[...]
  2: [19] Pieces of bullion: in Hebrew, kesita, a monetary unit of which the value is now unknown. Desc[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 34
  1: [1] Every able-bodied man in the community: literally "all those who go out at the gate of the cit[...]
  2: [2] Hivite: The Greek text has "Horite"; the terms were apparently used indiscriminately to desig[...]
  3: [24] Behind the story of the rape of Dinah and the revenge of Jacob's sons on the men of the city [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 35
  1: [2] Foreign gods: pagan images, including household idols (see note on Genesis 31:19), that Jacob[...]
  2: [4] Rings: Earrings were often worn as amulets connected with pagan magic.
  3: [8] This verse may have stood originally in some other context. Rebekah's nurse is spoken of witho[...]
  4: [18] Ben-oni: means either "son of my vigor" or, more likely in the context, "son of affliction."[...]
  5: [19] Bethlehem: the gloss comes from a later tradition that identified the site with Bethlehem, al[...]
  6: [24-26] Benjamin is here said to have been born in Paddan-aram, either because all twelve sons of [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 36
  1: [2-14] The names of Esau's wives and of their fathers given here differ considerably from their na[...]
  2: [20] Seir the Horite: according to Deut 2:12, the highlands of Seir were inhabited by Horites bef[...]
  3: [31] Before any king reigned over the Israelites: obviously this statement was written after the t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 37
  1: [21-36] The chapter thus far is from the Yahwist source, as are also Genesis 37:25-28a. But Genes[...]
  2: [28] They sold Joseph . . . silver: in the Hebrew text, these words occur between out of the ciste[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 38
  1: [1-30] This chapter, from the Yahwist source, has nothing to do with the Joseph story in which Jud[...]
  2: [5] Chezib: a variant form of Achzib (Joshua 15:44; Micah 1:14), a town in the Judean Shephelah. [...]
  3: [8] Preserve your brother's line: literally "raise up seed for your brother." The ancient Israelit[...]
  4: [18] Seal and cord: the cylinder seal, through which a hole was bored lengthwise so that it could [...]
  5: [21] Temple prostitute: the Hebrew term qedesha, literally "consecrated woman," designates a woman[...]
  6: [29] He was called Perez: the Hebrew word means "breach."
  7: [30] He was called Zerah: a name connected here by popular etymology with a Hebrew verb for the re[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 39
  1: [1] (Potiphar . . . chief steward): These words in the text serve to harmonize Genesis 39 from the[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 40
  1: [13] Lift up your head: signifying "pardon you." In Genesis 40:19 "to lift up the head" means "to[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 41
  1: [42] Signet ring: a finger ring in which was set a stamp seal, different from the cylinder seal su[...]
  2: [43] Abrek: apparently a cry of homage, though the word's derivation and actual meaning are uncert[...]
  3: [45] Zaphenath-paneah: a Hebrew transcription of an Egyptian name meaning "the god speaks and he ([...]
  4: [51] Manasseh: allusion to this name is in the Hebrew expression, nishshani, "he made me forget." [...]
  5: [52] Ephraim: related to the Hebrew expression hiphrani, "(God) has made me fruitful."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 42
  1: [9,12] The nakedness of the land: the military weakness of the land, like human nakedness, should [...]
  2: [27-28] These two verses are from the Yahwist source, whereas the rest of the chapter is from the [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 43
  1: [1-34] This chapter and the following one are from the Yahwist source, in which Judah, not Reuben [...]
  2: [32] Separately to him: that Joseph did not eat with the other Egyptians was apparently a matter o[...]
  3: [34] Five times as large as: probably an idiomatic expression for "much larger than."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 44
  1: [1-2] Replacement of the money in the men's bags is probably a redactional addition here, taken fr[...]
  2: [5] Divination: seeking omens through liquids poured into a cup or bowl was a common practice in t[...]
  3: [16] Guilt: in trying to do away with Joseph when he was young.
  4: [19] My lord . . . your servants: such frequently repeated expressions in Judah's speech show the [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 45
  1: [8] Father to Pharaoh: a term applied to a vizier in ancient Egypt.
  2: [9-15] In these verses, as in Genesis 46:31-47:5a, all from the Yahwist source, Joseph in his own[...]
  3: [10] The region of Goshen: modern Wadi Tumilat in the eastern part of the Nile Delta.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 46
  1: [3] I am God: more precisely according to the Hebrew text, "I am El." "El" is here a divine name,[...]
  2: [9-27] This genealogical list has here been inserted by a redactor who based it on the clan lists [...]
  3: [27] Seventy persons: either to be understood as a round number, or arrived at by including Jacob [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 47
  1: [9] Wayfarer . . . wayfarers: man is merely a sojourner on earth; cf Psalm 39:13.
  2: [11] The region of Rameses: same as the region of Goshen; see note on Genesis 45:10. The name Ram[...]
  3: [31] Israel bowed at the head of the bed: meaning perhaps that he gave a nod of assent and appreci[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 48
  1: [3] Luz: an older name of Bethel (Genesis 28:19).
  2: [7] Since her early death prevented Rachel from bearing more than two sons, Jacob feels justified [...]
  3: [22] Both the meaning of the Hebrew and the historical reference in this verse are obscure. By tak[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 49
  1: [5] Knives: if this is the meaning of the obscure Hebrew word here, the reference may be to the kn[...]
  2: [10] While tribute is brought to him: this translation is based on a slight change in the Hebrew t[...]
  3: [11] In wine . . . the blood of grapes: Judah's clothes are poetically pictured as soaked with gra[...]
  4: [16] In Hebrew the verb for achieve justice is from the same root as the name Dan.
  5: [19] In Hebrew there is a certain assonance between the name Gad and the words for "raided," "rai[...]
  6: [25-26] A very similar description of the agricultural riches of the tribal land of Joseph is give[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Genesis
      • Chapter 50
  1: [10-11] Goren-ha-atad: "Threshing Floor of the Brambles." Abel-mizraim: although the name really [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Sons of Israel: here literally the first-generation sons of Jacob. Cf Genesis 1:5. However, be[...]
  2: [2] The sons of Jacob are listed here according to the respective mothers. Cf Genesis 29:31; 30:2[...]
  3: [5] Direct descendants: literally, persons coming from the loins of Jacob; hence, wives and servan[...]
  4: [8] Who knew nothing of Joseph: this king ignored the services that Joseph had rendered to Egypt. [...]
  5: [11] Pharaoh: not a personal name, but a title common to all the kings of Egypt.
  6: [14] Mortar: either the wet clay with which the bricks were made, as in Nahum 3:14, or the cement[...]
  7: [16] And see them giving birth: the Hebrew text is uncertain.
  8: [22] The river: the Nile, which was "the" river for the Egyptians.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 2
  1: [3] Basket: literally, "chest" or "ark"; the same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 6:14 for Noah's [...]
  2: [10] When the child grew: probably when he was weaned or a little later. Moses: in Hebrew, Mosheh;[...]
  3: [11] After Moses had grown up: Acts 7:23 indicates that this was after an interval of nearly fort[...]
  4: [18] Reuel: he was also called Jethro. Cf Exodus 3:1; 4:18; 18:1.
  5: [19] An Egyptian: Moses was probably wearing Egyptian dress, or spoke Egyptian to Reuel's daughter[...]
  6: [22] Gershom: the name is explained as if it came from the Hebrew word ger, "stranger," joined to [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] The mountain of God: probably given this designation because of the divine apparitions which t[...]
  2: [2] An angel of the LORD: the visual form under which God appeared and spoke to men is referred to[...]
  3: [6] The appearance of God caused fear of death, since it was believed that no one could see God an[...]
  4: [8] I have come down: a figure of speech signifying an extraordinary divine intervention in human [...]
  5: [11] Who am I: besides naturally shrinking from such a tremendous undertaking, Moses realized that[...]
  6: [14] I am who am: apparently this utterance is the source of the word Yahweh, the proper personal [...]
  7: [16] Elders: the Israelite leaders, who were usually older men. They were representatives of the p[...]
  8: [22] Articles: probably jewelry. Despoil: this was permissible, that the Israelites might compensa[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 4
  1: [13] Send someone else: literally, "Send by means of him whom you will send," that is, "Send whom [...]
  2: [16] Spokesman: literally, "mouth"; Aaron was to serve as a mouthpiece for Moses, as a prophet do[...]
  3: [17] This staff: probably the same as that of Exodus 4:2-4; but some understand it here of a new [...]
  4: [18] Moses did not tell his father-in-law his main reason for returning to Egypt, but this seconda[...]
  5: [21] Make him obstinate: literally, "harden his heart." God permitted Pharaoh to be stubborn in hi[...]
  6: [24-26] Apparently God was angry with Moses for having failed to keep the divine command given to [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 5
  1: [6] The taskmasters and foremen: the former were higher officials and probably Egyptians; the latt[...]
  2: [7] Straw was mixed with the clay to give the sun-dried bricks greater consistency.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 6
  1: [14] The purpose of the genealogy here is to give the line from which Moses and Aaron sprang. Reub[...]
  2: [20] His aunt: more exactly, "his father's sister." Later on such a marriage was forbidden. Cf Le[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] Just as God had his prophets to speak to men in his name, so Moses had Aaron as his "prophet" [...]
  2: [14] Most of the ten plagues of Egypt seem to be similar to certain natural phenomena of that coun[...]
  3: [7:25-8:28] This is Exodus 8:1-32 in the verse enumeration of the Vulgate.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 8
  1: [9] Courtyards: some render "farmhouses."
  2: [12, 17] Gnats, flies: it is uncertain what species of trouble-some insects are here meant.
  3: [15] The finger of God: understood by the magicians as the staff mentioned in Exodus 8:13, Cf Luk[...]
  4: [22] The Egyptians would fiercely resent the sacrifice of any animal they considered sacred. Certa[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 9
  1: [16] To show you: some ancient versions read, "to show through you." Cf Romans 9:17.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 10
  1: [10] The LORD help you . . . : literally, "May the LORD be with you in the same way as I let you .[...]
  2: [11] Pharaoh realized that if the men alone went they would have to return to their families. He s[...]
  3: [13] East wind: coming across the desert from Arabia, the strong east wind brings Egypt the burnin[...]
  4: [19] The Red Sea: according to the traditional translation, but the Hebrew is literally, "the Reed[...]
  5: [21] Darkness: at times a storm from the south, called the khamsin, blackens the sky of Egypt with[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 12
  1: [2] This month: Abib, the month of "ripe grain." Cf Exodus 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; Deut 16:1. It occ[...]
  2: [4] Share in the lamb: probably, in the expenses of its purchase. Some explain, "reckon for the la[...]
  3: [11] Passover: in Hebrew, pesach, in Aramaic, pascha. In the following verses the same root is use[...]
  4: [22] Hyssop: a plant with many woody branchlets that made a convenient sprinkler.
  5: [38] Mixed ancestry: half-Hebrew and half-Egyptian. Cf Numbers 11:4; Lev 24:10-11.
  6: [40] In Egypt: according to some ancient sources, "in Canaan and Egypt," thus reckoning from the t[...]
  7: [46] You shall not break any of its bones: the application of these words to our Lord on the cross[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 13
  1: [17] By way of the Philistines' land: the most direct route from Egypt to Palestine, along the sho[...]
  2: [21] A column of cloud . . . a column of fire: probably one and the same preternatural phenomenon,[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 14
  1: [2] These places have not been definitively identified. Even the relative position of Pi-hahiroth [...]
  2: [20] The cloud now became dark: the light which it ordinarily cast at night would now have been a [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 15
  1: [1-21] This canticle (used in Christian liturgy) celebrates God's saving power, miraculously deliv[...]
  2: [21] She led them: Miriam's refrain re-echoes the first verse of this song and was probably sung a[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1] On the fifteenth day of the second month: just one full month after their departure from Egypt[...]
  2: [4] Bread from heaven: as a gift from God, the manna is said to come down from the sky. Cf Psalm [...]
  3: [15] What is this: the original man hu is thus rendered by the ancient versions, which understood [...]
  4: [18] St. Paul cites this passage as an example of equitable sharing. Cf 2 Cor 8:15.
  5: [31] Coriander seed: small, round, aromatic seeds of bright brown color; the comparison, therefore[...]
  6: [33] Urn: according to the Greek translation, which is followed in Hebrews 9:4, this was a golden[...]
  7: [34] The commandments: the two tablets of the ten commandments, which were kept in the ark. Cf Ex[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 17
  1: [7] Massah . . . Meribah: Hebrew words meaning respectively, "the (place of the) test," and, "the [...]
  2: [8] Amalek: the Amalekites were an aboriginal people of southern Palestine and the Sinai peninsula[...]
  3: [15] Yahweh-nissi: meaning, "the LORD is my banner."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 19
  1: [6] Kingdom of priests: inasmuch as the whole Israelite nation was consecrated to God in a special[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1-17] The precise division of these precepts into "ten commandments" is somewhat uncertain. Trad[...]
  2: [5] Jealous: demanding exclusive allegiance, such as a wife must have for her husband.
  3: [24] I choose for the remembrance of my name: literally, "where I make my name to be remembered": [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] Rules: judicial precedents to be used in settling questions of law and custom. This introducto[...]
  2: [6] To God: to the sanctuary; or perhaps the phrase is to be rendered, "to the gods," in the sense[...]
  3: [8] Destined her: intended her as a wife of second rank.
  4: [23-25] This section is known as the lex talionis, the law of tit for tat. The purpose of this law[...]
  5: [36] In the Vulgate, Exodus 22:1-31.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1-2] If a thief is caught: this seems to be a fragment of what was once a longer law on housebrea[...]
  2: [4] The Greek and Latin versions understood this verse as a prohibition against allowing one's cat[...]
  3: [7] Brought to God: see note on Exodus 21:6. Cf also Exodus 22:10.
  4: [16] The customary marriage price for virgins: fifty shekels according to Deut 22:29.
  5: [27] God: or perhaps "the gods," in the sense of "the judges," as the parallel with a prince of y[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 23
  1: [14] These three feasts are elsewhere called the Passover, Pentecost and Booths. Cf Exodus 34:18-2[...]
  2: [15] Appear before me: the original expression was "see my face"; so also in several other places,[...]
  3: [19] Boil a kid in its mother's milk: this was part of a Canaanite ritual; hence it is forbidden h[...]
  4: [21] My authority resides in him: literally, "My name is within him."
  5: [24] Make anything like them: some render, "act according to their conduct." Sacred pillars: objec[...]
  6: [28] Hornets: some understand this figuratively of various troublesome afflictions; others transla[...]
  7: [31] The sea of the Philistines: the Mediterranean. The River: the Euphrates. Only in the time of [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 24
  1: [4] Pillars: stone shafts or slabs, erected as symbols of the fact that each of the twelve tribes [...]
  2: [11] After gazing on God: the ancients thought that the sight of God would bring instantaneous dea[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 25
  1: [5] Tahash: perhaps the name of a marine animal, such as the dugong or the porpoise. The Greek and[...]
  2: [17] Propitiatory: this traditional rendering of the Hebrew term, which may mean merely "cover," i[...]
  3: [18-20] Cherubim: probably in the form of human-headed winged lions. The cherubim over the ark for[...]
  4: [25] A frame: probably placed near the bottom of the legs to keep them steady. The golden table of[...]
  5: [29-30] The plates held the showbread, that is, the holy bread which was placed upon the table eve[...]
  6: [33] In keeping with the arrangement of the ornaments on the shaft, the three sets of ornaments on[...]
  7: [34-35] Of the four ornaments on the shaft, one was at the top and one was below each of the three[...]
  8: [37] The lamps were probably shaped like small boats, with the wick at one end; the end with the w[...]
  9: [38] Trays: small receptacles for the burnt-out wicks.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 26
  1: [1] Sheets: strips of tapestry, woven of white linen, the colored threads being used for the cheru[...]
  2: [7] Tent covering: the cloth made of sheets of goat hair to cover the Dwelling.
  3: [9] Half the width of the end strip was folded back at the front of the Dwelling, thus leaving ano[...]
  4: [17] Arms: literally, "hands." According to some, they served as "tongue and groove" to mortise t[...]
  5: [32] Hooks: probably placed near the tops of the columns, to hold the rope from which the veils an[...]
  6: [36] Variegated: without definite designs such as the cherubim on the inner veil.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 27
  1: [4] Grating: it is not clear whether this was flush with the altar or at some small distance from [...]
  2: [8] Hollow: probably filled with earth or stones when in use. Cf Exodus 20:24-25.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 28
  1: [6] Ephod: this Hebrew word is retained in the translation because it is the technical term for a [...]
  2: [15-30] Breastpiece: in shape like a modern altar burse, it was a pocketlike receptacle for holdin[...]
  3: [17-20] The translation of the Hebrew names of some of these gems is quite conjectural.
  4: [30] Urim and Thummim: both the meaning of these Hebrew words and the exact nature of the objects [...]
  5: [41] Ordain them: literally, "fill their hands," a technical expression used solely for the insta[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 29
  1: [22] Fatty tail: the thick layer of fat surrounding the tails of sheep and rams bred in Palestine [...]
  2: [24-26] Wave offering: the portions of a peace offering, breast and right thigh, which the officia[...]
  3: [27-30] These verses are a parenthetical interruption of the ordination ritual; Exodus 29:31 belo[...]
  4: [36,37] Purge the altar: the construction of an altar by profane hands rendered it impure. The ano[...]
  5: [38-42] A parenthesis inserted into the rubrics for consecrating the altar; Exodus 29:43 belongs [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 31
  1: [10] The service cloths: so the Greek. They were perhaps the colored cloths mentioned in Numbers [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 32
  1: [5] The calf . . . a feast of the LORD: from this it is clear that the golden calf was intended as[...]
  2: [20] The water: the stream that flowed down Mount Sinai. Cf Deut 9:21.
  3: [27] Slay your own kinsmen . . . : those who were especially guilty of the idolatry.
  4: [29] Dedicated to the LORD: because of their zeal for the true worship of the Lord, the Levites we[...]
  5: [32] The book that you have written: the list of God's intimate friends. In a similar sense St. Pa[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 33
  1: [7-11] The meeting tent is mentioned here by anticipation; its actual construction is described in[...]
  2: [14] I myself: literally, "my face," that is, "my presence." To give you rest: in the Promised La[...]
  3: [23] You may see my back: man can see God's glory as reflected in creation, but his "face," that i[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 34
  1: [13] Sacred poles: "Ashera" was the name of a Canaanite goddess. In her honor wooden poles (asher[...]
  2: [14] The LORD is "the Jealous One": see note on Exodus 20:5. Some, by a slight emendation, render[...]
  3: [22] Feast of Weeks: the festival of thanksgiving for the harvest, celebrated seven weeks or fifty[...]
  4: [33] He put a veil over his face: St. Paul sees in this a symbol of the failure of the Jews to rec[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 38
  1: [8] The reflecting surface of ancient mirrors was usually of polished bronze. The women who served[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Exodus
      • Chapter 40
  1: [2] On the first day of the first month: almost a year after the departure of the Israelites from [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2] From the herd or from the flock: the only animals which could be used as sacrificial victims w[...]
  2: [3] Holocaust: from the Greek word meaning "wholly burned," this is the technical term for the spe[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 2
  1: [2] Token offering: literally, "reminder." Instead of burning the whole cereal offering, they burn[...]
  2: [13] The salt of the covenant of your God: the partaking in common of salt by those seated togethe[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] Peace offering: thus the ancient versions have rendered the Hebrew word, which perhaps means m[...]
  2: [4] The lobe of the liver: some render, "the fatty covering of the liver."
  3: [9] The whole fatty tail: see note on Exodus 29:22.
  4: [17] Any fat: only the fat mentioned in Lev 3:9-10, 14-15 is meant; other fat could be eaten by t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 4
  1: [2] A sin: not necessarily a moral fault; included are all the cases of ritual uncleanness which p[...]
  2: [3] The anointed priest: his violation of the ceremonial law brought a sort of collective guilt on[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 5
  1: [15] Cheating: not offering the full amount in tithes, first fruits, etc. Guilt offering: its char[...]
  2: [17] Without being aware of it: the case naturally presupposes that later on the offender learns o[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 6
  1: [2] Ritual: literally, "law, instruction." Here, and in the following paragraphs, are given additi[...]
  2: [12-16] This is another law about the daily or "established" cereal offering. It differs in some [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 7
  1: [13] Leavened bread: these loaves were not burned on the altar (cf Lev 2:11), but were eaten at t[...]
  2: [23] The fat: only the particular portions specified in Lev 3:9- 10,14-15 are meant. Ox or sheep [...]
  3: [30-34] A wave offering . . . a raised offering: these ceremonies are described in Exodus 29:24-2[...]
  4: [35] The priestly share: literally, "the anointed part."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1-9, 21] Though presented in the form of a narrative, this description of Aaron's ordination was [...]
  2: [2] The vestments, etc.: already described in Exodus 28-29.
  3: [8] The Urim and Thummim: see note on Exodus 28:30.
  4: [34] The sense is not quite clear. Either the verse gives merely the reason why God ordered this c[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] Nadab and Abihu: the older sons of Aaron. Cf Exodus 6:23-24.
  2: [2] Fire: perhaps after the manner of lightning.
  3: [3] I will manifest my sacredness: the presence of God is so sacred that it strikes dead those who[...]
  4: [5] In their tunics: they were buried just as they were, with no shroud or funeral solemnities. [...]
  5: [6] Bare your heads: go without the customary head covering, as a sign of mourning. Some interpret[...]
  6: [16-19] Eleazar and Ithamar burned the entire goat of the sin offering (Lev 9:15) instead of eati[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-3] These distinctions between edible and inedible meats were probably based on traditional idea[...]
  2: [5-6] According to modern zoology, the rock badger (hyrax Syriacus) is classified as an ungulate, [...]
  3: [13-19, 30] The identification of the various Hebrew names for these birds and reptiles is in many[...]
  4: [19] The bat: actually a mammal, but listed here with the birds because of its wings.
  5: [22] The Hebrew distinguishes four classes of edible locust-like insects, but the difference betwe[...]
  6: [24-28] This paragraph sharpens the prohibition against unclean animals: not only is their meat un[...]
  7: [26] All hoofed animals that are not cloven-footed: such as the horse and the ass.
  8: [27] All those that walk on paws: such as dogs and cats.
  9: [36] Whoever touches the dead body: to remove the dead insect from the water supply.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 12
  1: [2-3] The uncleanness of the woman was more serious during the first period, the seven days after [...]
  2: [8] Forty days after the birth of Jesus, his Virgin Mother made this offering of the poor (Luke 2[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 13
  1: [2-4] Various kinds of skin blemishes are treated here which were not contagious but simply disqua[...]
  2: [12-14] If leprosy breaks out on the skin: the symptoms described here point to a form of skin dis[...]
  3: [30] Scall: a scabby or scaly eruption of the scalp. According to some, "ringworm."
  4: [39] Tetter: vitiligo, a harmless form of skin disease.
  5: [47] A leprous infection: some mold or fungus growth resembling human leprosy.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 14
  1: [4] Scarlet yarn: probably used for tying the hyssop sprig to the cedar branchlet.
  2: [5] Spring water: literally, "living water," taken from some source of running water, not from a [...]
  3: [22] Two turtledoves: substitutes for the two additional lambs, similar to the offering of a poor [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 15
  1: [23] What is added to the legislation by this verse is uncertain in both the Hebrew and the Greek.[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 16
  1: [2] The sanctuary, inside the veil: the innermost part of the sanctuary, known also as "the holy o[...]
  2:  Azazel: perhaps a name for Satan, used only in this chapter. The ancient versions translated this[...]
  3: [13] Else he will die: the smoke is to conceal the resplendent majesty of God, the sight of which [...]
  4: [23] This verse is best read after Lev 16:25. According to later Jewish practice the high priest [...]
  5: [29] Mortify himself: literally, "afflict his soul"; traditionally understood by the Jews as sign[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 17
  1: [3-5] The ancients considered blood the seat and sign of life, and therefore something sacred, eve[...]
  2: [11] That atonement may thereby be made for your own lives: hence, the sacrifice of an animal was [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 18
  1: [6-18] These laws are formulated as directed to the male Israelites only, but naturally the same n[...]
  2: [16] With your brother's wife: it was the violation of this law which aroused the wrath of John th[...]
  3: [21] Immolated to Molech: the reference is to the Canaanite custom of sacrificing children to the [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 19
  1: [18] You shall love your neighbor as yourself: cited by our Lord as the second of the two most imp[...]
  2: [20-22] This law seems out of its proper context here; perhaps it stood originally after Lev 20:1[...]
  3: [23-25] Uncircumcised: by analogy with a newborn boy, the newly planted tree was considered impure[...]
  4: [27] See note on Lev 21:5.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 20
  1: [27] This verse is best read immediately after Lev 20:6.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] Unclean for any dead person: by preparing the corpse for burial. Cf Numbers 6:6; 19:11-19. [...]
  2: [5] Such mourning customs of the Canaanites were forbidden to all the Israelites, but especially t[...]
  3: [6] Sacred: the same Hebrew word has both the active meaning of "holy," that is, keeping oneself f[...]
  4: [10] Bare his head: see note on 10:6.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 23
  1: [11] The sabbath: according to the Jewish tradition this was the feast day itself, the fifteenth o[...]
  2: [14] Any bread: made from the new grain. The harvest had first to be sanctified for man's use by t[...]
  3: [16] The fiftieth: from the Greek word for this we have the name "Pentecost." Cf 2 Macc 12:31; Ac[...]
  4: [34] Feasts of Booths: the joyful observance of the vintage and fruit harvest. Cf Deut 16:13. Duri[...]
  5: [40] Foliage: literally, "fruit," but here probably used in the general sense of "produce, growth[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 25
  1: [5-7-9] As long as the produce of the sabbatical year remains on the field, it remains available t[...]
  2: [10] Fiftieth year: to arrive at this number, the preceding year of jubilee is included in the cou[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 26
  1: [3-45] Since God's covenant was with the Israelite nation as a whole, these promises and threats a[...]
  2: [29] Eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters: extreme famine in cities under siege often forc[...]
  3: [46] The Book of Leviticus seems originally to have ended here; the following chapter is an append[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Leviticus
      • Chapter 27
  1: [12] Determine its value: fix the price at which the animal may be sold to someone else. Only the [...]
  2: [27] An unclean animal: such as the first-born of an ass, which was unfit for sacrifice. According[...]
  3: [29] All human beings that are doomed: according to some interpreters, this signifies the idolatro[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2] All Israel was divided into tribes, each tribe into clans, and each clan into ancestral houses[...]
  2: [16] Troops: literally "thousands"; this division of the Israelites, with its subdivisions of "hu[...]
  3: [47] The Levites were not enrolled in this census, which was principally for military purposes, bu[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 2
  1: [3-31] A similar arrangement of the tribes around the central sanctuary in the ideal Israelite sta[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 3
  1: [25-26] The Gershonites had two wagons for transporting these things; cf Numbers 7:7. For a descr[...]
  2: [31] The Kohathites had to carry these sacred objects on their shoulders; cf Numbers 7:9. For a d[...]
  3: [36-37] The Merarites had four wagons for transporting this heavy material; cf Numbers 7:8. For a[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 4
  1: [3] Thirty: at a later period the Levites began to serve when they were twenty-five (Numbers 8:24[...]
  2: [5] The screening curtain: the veil between the inner and the outer rooms of the sanctuary. Cf Exo[...]
  3: [11] The golden altar: the altar of incense. Cf Exodus 30:1-6.
  4: [13] The altar: the bronze altar of holocausts. Cf Exodus 27:1-8.
  5: [14] Forks: used in turning over the sacrificed animal on the fire of the altar. Basins: to receiv[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 5
  1: [2] For the laws regarding victims of leprosy, see Lev 13-14; those suffering from a discharge, Le[...]
  2: [5-10] The basic law on unjust possession is given in Lev 5:14-19. The new item here concerns the[...]
  3: [8] Next of kin: literally "redeemer," a technical term denoting the nearest relative, upon whom [...]
  4: [17] Holy water: water from the laver that stood in the court of the Dwelling.
  5: [18] Appeal: by which she invokes the Lord and refers her case to his decision.
  6: [21] An example of malediction and imprecation: the woman's name would be used in curses and oaths[...]
  7: [22] Amen: a Hebrew word meaning, "certainly, truly," used to give assent to a statement, a curse,[...]
  8: [31] Free from guilt:by fulfilling his obligation of obtaining a decision in the matter.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-3] Nazirite: from the Hebrew word nazir, meaning "set apart as sacred, dedicated, vowed." The [...]
  2: [25] Let his face shine: a Hebrew idiom for "smile."
  3: [26] Peace: the Hebrew word includes the idea of "prosperity, happiness."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 7
  1: [12-88] The repetitious account of the same offerings brought by each of the twelve tribal princes[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 8
  1: [6] Purify them: in the language of the Pentateuch only the priests were "consecrated," that is, m[...]
  2: [7] Water of remission: literally, "water of sin," that is, for the remission of sin.
  3: [21] Cleansed themselves of sin: by having the "water of remission" sprinkled on them as prescribe[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 9
  1: [14] An alien: this passage presupposes that he is already circumcised as prescribed in Exodus 12[...]
  2: [15] The cloud: already mentioned at the departure from Egypt; cf Exodus 13:21-22.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 10
  1: [10] Days of celebration: special holidays, such as the occasion of a victory. Festivals: the grea[...]
  2: [30-33] Hobab wished to be coaxed before granting the favor. From Judges 1:16 it seems probable t[...]
  3: [33] The mountain of the LORD: Sinai (Horeb), elsewhere always called "the mountain of God."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 11
  1: [3] Taberah means "the burning."
  2: [7] Coriander seed: see note on Exodus 16:31. Bdellium: a transparent, amber-colored gum resin, w[...]
  3: [25] They prophesied: in the sense, not of foretelling the future, but of speaking in enraptured e[...]
  4: [31] At a height of two cubits from the ground: exhausted by the storm, the quail could take but s[...]
  5: [32] They spread them out: to cure by drying.
  6: [34] Kibroth-hattaavah means "graves of greed."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1] Cushite woman: apparently Zipporah, the Midianitess, is meant; cf Exodus 2:21. Perhaps the te[...]
  2: [2] The real reason for Miriam's quarrel with her brother Moses was her jealousy of his superior p[...]
  3: [10] A snow-white leper: afflicted with "white leprosy," a skin disease that generally is not seri[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 13
  1: [16] Joshua: in Hebrew, "Jehoshua," which was later modified to "Jeshua," the Hebrew pronunciatio[...]
  2: [21] The desert of Zin: north of Paran and southwest of the Dead Sea. It is quite distinct from "t[...]
  3: [22, 28] Anakim: an aboriginal race in southern Palestine, largely absorbed by the Canaanites befo[...]
  4: [23] Eshcol means "cluster."
  5: [33] Giants: in Hebrew, "nephilim." Cf Genesis 6:4.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 14
  1: [9] They are but food for us: that is, "we can easily consume and destroy them." This is the answe[...]
  2: [25] The valleys: the low-lying plains in the Negeb and along the seacoast and in the Jordan depre[...]
  3: [28-29] God punished the malcontents by giving them their wish; cf Numbers 14:2. Their lack of fa[...]
  4: [45] Hormah: one of the Canaanite royal cities in southern Judea (Joshua 12:14), known at this ti[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 15
  1: [2-16] These laws on sacrifice are complementary to those of Lev 1-3. Since the food of the Israel[...]
  2: [20] Dough: some render, "barley grits." This word is used elsewhere only in Ezekiel 44:30 and Ne[...]
  3: [22-24] Although no moral guilt is incurred by an inadvertent violation of God's commandments, the[...]
  4: [34] No clear decision: they already knew that a willful violation of the sabbath was a capital of[...]
  5: [38] Tassels: at the time of Christ these tassels were worn by all pious Jews, including our Lord [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1-3] The evidence seems to show that there were two distinct rebellions: one of Korah and his ban[...]
  2: [12] We will not go: to appear before Moses' tribunal.
  3: [14] Gouge out our eyes: blind us to the real state of affairs.
  4: [25] Since Dathan and Abiram had refused to go to Moses (Numbers 16:12-14), he, with the elders a[...]
  5: [35] This verse continues 16:24; the first sentence is transposed from 16:27.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 17
  1: [3] Whatever was brought into intimate contact with something sacred shared in its sacredness. See[...]
  2: [17] (17)The staff was not merely an article of practical use, but also a symbol of authority; cf [...]
  3: [18] (18)Levi's staff: it is not clear whether this is considered as one of the twelve mentioned i[...]
  4: [27] (27,28)Logically these two verses belong immediately after Numbers 16:35.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 18
  1: [1-3] This law, which kept unqualified persons from contact with sacred things, is the answer to t[...]
  2: [2] Associates: in Hebrew this word alludes to the popular etymology of the name "Levi." Cf Genesi[...]
  3: [4] Layman: here, "one who is not a Levite"; in Numbers 18:7, "one who is not a priest."
  4: [7] Veil: the outer veil, or "curtain," is probably meant.
  5: [8-10] Two classes of offerings are here distinguished: the most sacred offering, which only the m[...]
  6: [11] Wave offering: this included the breast and right leg (Numbers 18:18), the shoulder of the p[...]
  7: [14] Doomed: in Hebrew, herem, which means here "set aside from profane use and made sacred to the[...]
  8: [19] An inviolable covenant: literally, "a convenant of salt." Cf 2 Chron 13:5. The reference may [...]
  9: [20] The priests and Levites were forbidden to own hereditary land such as the other Israelites po[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 19
  1: [3] Outside the camp: several Fathers of the Church saw in this a prefiguring of the sacrificial d[...]
  2: [4] Toward the front of the meeting tent: since the tabernacle faced the east (Exodus 26:15-30), [...]
  3: [17-19] "If . . . the sprinkled ashes of a heifer sanctify the unclean unto the cleansing of the [...]
  4: [20] Ritual uncleanness is, as it were, contagious, so also sacredness; see note on Numbers 17:3.[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1] The first month: we would expect the mention also of the day and of the year (after the exodus[...]
  2: [11] Twice: perhaps because he had not sufficient faith to work the miracle with the first blow. C[...]
  3: [12-13] The sin of Moses and Aaron consisted in doubting God's mercy toward the ever-rebellious pe[...]
  4: [14] Your brother Israel: the Edomites were descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob. Their count[...]
  5: [17] The royal road: an important highway, running north and south along the plateau east of the D[...]
  6: [22] Mount Hor: not definitively identified, but probably to be sought in the vicinity of Kadesh. [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1-3] The account of this episode seems to be a later insertion here, for Numbers 21:4, belongs l[...]
  2: [3] Hormah: related to the Hebrew word herem, meaning "doomed." See notes on Numbers 14:45; 18:1[...]
  3: [5] This wretched food: apparently the manna is meant.
  4: [6] Saraph: the Hebrew name for a certain species of venomous snakes; the word probably signifies [...]
  5: [8] If anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover: "and as Moses lifted up the serpen[...]
  6: [9] King Hezekiah, in his efforts to abolish idolatry, "smashed the bronze serpent which Moses had[...]
  7: [11] lye-abarim probably means "the ruins in the Abarim (Mountains)." See note on Numbers 27:12. [...]
  8: [14] The "Book of the Wars of the LORD": an ancient collection of Israelite songs, now lost. Waheb[...]
  9: [16] Beer means a well.
  10: [20] Jeshimon: "the wasteland"; in 1 Sam 23:19, 24; 26:1, 3 this is the desert of Judah, on the [...]
  11: [29] Chemosh: the chief god of the Moabites, and mentioned as such in the famous inscription of Me[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1] The plains of Moab: the lowlands to the northeast of the Dead Sea, between the Jordan and the [...]
  2: [6] Curse this people for us: Balak believed that if Balaam forecast an evil omen for Israel, this[...]
  3: [22] The anger of God flared up: not merely because Balaam was going to Balak, for he had God's pe[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 23
  1: [7] Aram: the ancient name of the region later known as Syria. The Eastern Mountains: the low rang[...]
  2: [9] A people that lives apart: Israel, as the chosen people of God, occupied a unique place among [...]
  3: [10] The dust of Jacob . . . Israel's wind-borne particles: the Israelites will be as numerous as [...]
  4: [13] To another place: Balak thought that if Balaam would view Israel from a different site, he co[...]
  5: [21] Misfortune . . . misery: Balaam admits that he is unable to predict any evils for Israel.
  6: [22] A wild bull of towering might: the reference is to Israel, rather than to God.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 24
  1: [10] Balak beat his palms: a sign of disclaiming any responsibility for paying the promised rewar[...]
  2: [17] A star . . . a staff: many of the Fathers have understood this as a Messianic prophecy, alth[...]
  3: [20] First: literally "the beginning." Amalek was an aboriginal people in Palestine and therefore[...]
  4: [21] The Kenites lived in high strongholds in the mountains of southern Palestine and the Sinai P[...]
  5: [23-24] The translation of this short oracle is based on a reconstructed text and is rather uncer[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1] Shittim: the full name was Abel-shittim, a locality at the foot of the mountains in the northe[...]
  2: [4] Hold a public execution: the same phrase occurs in 2 Sam 21:6-14 where the context shows that[...]
  3: [6] Midianite woman: at this time the Midianites were leagued with the Moabites in opposing Israel[...]
  4: [11] For my honor: by taking vengeance on those who had made Baal of Peor a rival of the Lord.
  5: [14-15] The nobility of the slain couple is mentioned in order to stress the courage of Phinehas i[...]
  6: [16-18] The account of the execution of this command is given in Numbers 31:1-18.
  7: [19] This is the last verse of Numbers 25.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 26
  1: [12] Nemuel: so also in Genesis 46:10; 1 Chron 4:24. In Exodus 6:15, the same man is called "Je[...]
  2: [52-56] The division of Canaan among the various tribes and clans and families was determined part[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 27
  1: [3] He did not join . . . against the LORD: had he done so, he and his heirs could have rightly be[...]
  2: [5-11] The purpose of this law, as also that of the related laws in Numbers 36:2-10 (heiresses to[...]
  3: [12] The Abarim Mountains: the range on the eastern side of the Dead Sea.
  4: [16] The God of the spirits of all mankind: the sense is either that God knows the character and a[...]
  5: [18] A man of spirit: literally, "a man in whom there is spirit": one who has the qualities of a g[...]
  6: [21] The Urim: certain sacred objects which the Hebrew priests employed to ascertain the divine wi[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 28
  1: [3] The established holocaust: "the tamid holocaust," the technical term for the daily sacrifice. [...]
  2: [5] Oil of crushed olives: this oil, made in a mortar, was purer and more expensive than oil extra[...]
  3: [7] In the sanctuary: according to Sirach 50:15 it was at the base of the altar.
  4: [11] On the first of each month: literally, "at the new moons"; beginning on the evening when the [...]
  5: [16] On the fourteenth day: toward evening at the end of this day; cf Exodus 12:6, 18.
  6: [26] The day of first fruits: a unique term for this feast, which is usually called "the feast of [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 29
  1: [1] The first day of the seventh month (about September-October) is now the Jewish New Year's Day.[...]
  2: [7] The tenth day of this seventh month: the Day of Atonement. Mortify yourselves: literally, "aff[...]
  3: [11] The atonement sin offering: the bullock prescribed in Lev 16:11-12.
  4: [12] This feast of Booths celebrating the vintage harvest was the most popular of all and therefor[...]
  5: [13] Thirteen bullocks: the number of bullocks sacrificed before the octave day was seventy, arran[...]
  6: [35] A solemn meeting: the Hebrew word is the technical term for the closing celebration of the th[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 30
  1: [3] A vow . . . a pledge: here the former signifies the doing of some positive good deed, in parti[...]
  2: [11] In her husband's house: after her marriage. This contrasts with the case given in Numbers 30[...]
  3: [16] He countermands them: he prevents their fulfillment. Since he has first allowed the vows to r[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 31
  1: [1-3] The narrative of Israel's relations with Midian, which was interrupted after Numbers 25:18,[...]
  2: [8] The five Midianite kings: they are called "Midianite princes, Sihon's vassals" in Joshua 13:2[...]
  3: [17] (17)There are later references to Midian in Jdgs 6-8; 1 Kings 11:18; Isaiah 60:6. The presen[...]
  4: [23] Lustral water: water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer as prescribed in Numbers 19:9. [...]
  5: [27] Divide them evenly: for a similar division of the booty into two equal parts, between those w[...]
  6: [50] The precise nature and use of some of these articles of gold is not certain.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 32
  1: [1] Gilead: the name of the western part of the plateau east of the Jordan, sometimes signifying t[...]
  2: [3] The places named in this verse, as well as the additional ones given in Numbers 32:34-38, wer[...]
  3: [12] Kenizzite: a member of the clan of Kenaz, which, according to Genesis 36:11, 15, 42, was Ed[...]
  4: [20-22] Since the ark of the Lord was borne into battle with the Israelite army, the vanguard was [...]
  5: [33] The preceding is concerned solely with the two tribes of Gad and Reuben and with the land of [...]
  6: [38] The phrase in brackets is a gloss, warning the reader either to change the order of the prece[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 33
  1: [1-3] This list of camping sites was drawn up by Moses, as Numbers 33:2 expressly states. However[...]
  2: [3-4] These two verses were probably borrowed from some ancient song celebrating the exodus from E[...]
  3: [30-36] Moseroth is mentioned in Deut 10:6 (in the form of "Moserah"), as the place where Aaron d[...]
  4: [40] The verse begins the same account of the victory over Arad as is given in Numbers 21:1-3, wh[...]
  5: [41b-49] It seems that this section stood originally immediately after Numbers 33:36a.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 34
  1: [6] The Great Sea: the Mediterranean.
  2: [7-8] Mount Hor: different from the one where Aaron died; cf Numbers 20:22; 33:37, 38.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 35
  1: [8] This provision was hardly observed in the actual assignment of the levitical cities as narrate[...]
  2: [12] The avenger of blood: one of the close relatives of the slain (2 Sam 14:7) who, as executor [...]
  3: [16-25] Here, as also in Deut 19:1-13, there is a casuistic development of the original law as st[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Numbers
      • Chapter 36
  1: [4] Before the jubilee year various circumstances, such as divorce, could make such property rever[...]
  2: [5-9] This is a supplement to the law given in Numbers 27:5-11.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The local setting of all these discourses is in the land of Moab beyond the Jordan (cf Deut 1[...]
  2: [7] The Amorites and the Canaanites formed the principal part of the pre-Israelite population of P[...]
  3: [9] Carry you: cf Deut 1:31.
  4: [27] In your tents: among yourselves.
  5: [36] Except Caleb: Joshua also was allowed to enter, but he is not referred to here because specia[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 2
  1: [23] The Caphtorim: members of one of the groups of sea peoples who invaded the coast of Egypt and[...]
  2: [34] Doomed: see notes on Numbers 18:14; 21:3.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 3
  1: [11] Bed of iron some translate, "a sarcophagus of basalt."
  2: [18] I charged them the words which follow were spoken to the men of Reuben and Gad (cf Numbers 32[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 4
  1: [10] Beginning here and continuing on for several verses (at least to the end of v Deut 4:14) is [...]
  2: [20] Egypt is called an iron foundry, or furnace for smelting iron, because God allowed the Israel[...]
  3: [25] Grown old: Israel will lose the freshness of its youthful fervor.
  4: [34] Testings: the demonstrations of God's power as in the ten great plagues of Egypt; cf Deut 7:[...]
  5: [48] Sion: another name for Mount Hermon, besides those mentioned in 3:9.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 5
  1: [9-10] God does not punish us for another's sins, but because of the solidarity of human society, [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 6
  1: [4-5] This passage contains the basic principle of the whole Mosaic law, the keynote of the Book o[...]
  2: [8] Bind them . . . as a sign: these injunctions were probably meant merely in a figurative sense;[...]
  3: [13] Him shall you serve: here, to "serve" God means especially to "worship" him; in this sense i[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 7
  1: [5] Sacred pillars . . . poles: see note on Exodus 34:13.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 8
  1: [3] Not by bread alone, etc: quoted by our Lord in Matthew 4:4. The sense is: God takes care of t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 10
  1: [14] Even the highest heavens: literally, "and the heavens of the heavens"; compare the phrase, "[...]
  2: [16] Circumcise your hearts: cf Deut 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:29. The "uncircumcised heart" [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 11
  1: [13-15] As often in the Prophets, the discourse passes into the words of God himself. Cf Deut 7:4[...]
  2: [14] The early rain: the rains which begin in October or November and continue intermittently thro[...]
  3: [24] The Western Sea: the Mediterranean.
  4: [29] You shall pronounce the blessing . . . the curse: for the full ceremony, see Deut 27-28. Geri[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 12
  1: [20] Meat for food: as on special feasts. Meat was not eaten every day in Israel, even by the weal[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 13
  1: [2,4,6] Dreamer: a false prophet who pretended to have received revelations from God in his dreams[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 14
  1: [5] The gazelle, the addax, the oryx: species of antelopes. The ibex: a species of wild goat.
  2: [19-20] The apparent contradiction is to be resolved in the light of Lev 11:20-23: the unclean wi[...]
  3: [21] Boil a kid in its mother's milk: see note on Exodus 23:19.
  4: [24] Considering how the LORD has blessed you: should the Israelite farmer be blessed with an abun[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 15
  1: [1] At the end of every seven-year period: in every seventh, or sabbatical, year. Cf Deut 15:9; 3[...]
  2: [11] The needy will never be lacking: compare the words of Christ, "The poor you have always with [...]
  3: [17] His ear: cf Exodus 21:6 and the note there.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1] Abib: "ear of grain, ripe grain," the name of the month in which the barley harvest fell, cor[...]
  2: [10] Feast of Weeks: later known more commonly as "Pentecost."
  3: [13] See note on Lev 23:34.
  4: [21-[ETML-C:=.Deu.17.7]17:7[ETML-C:/]] This section seems to be out of its proper place, since it [...]
  5: [21-22] Sacred pole . . . sacred pillar: see note on Exodus 34:13.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 17
  1: [5] Out to your city gates: outside the gates in an unclean place; cf Lev 24:14; Numbers 15:36; A[...]
  2: [12] The priest: the high priest; the judge: a layman. The former presided over the court in cases[...]
  3: [16] Horses: chariotry for war. The LORD'S warning: the same warning is also referred to in Deut [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 18
  1: [10-11] Immolates his son or daughter in the fire: to Molech. See note on Lev 18:21. Such human s[...]
  2: [15] A prophet like me: from the context (opposition to the pagan soothsayers) it seems that Moses[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 19
  1: [2] Set apart three cities: the Israelites were to have at least six cities of refuge, three in th[...]
  2: [6] The avenger of blood: see note on Numbers 35:12.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1-9] This paragraph is best read immediately after Deut 19:21. The slain man may not necessarily[...]
  2: [4] They shall cut the heifer's throat there in the wadi: its blood is to be carried away by the s[...]
  3: [6] Wash their hands: a symbolic gesture in protestation of one's own innocence when human blood i[...]
  4: [7] This blood: the blood of the slain man as symbolized by the heifer's blood.
  5: [12-13] Shave her head . . . : these symbolic actions are meant to signify the purification of the[...]
  6: [19] The gate: in the city walls. This open space served as the forum for the administration of ju[...]
  7: [22] Hung on a tree: some understand, "impaled on a stake." In any case the hanging or impaling w[...]
  8: [23] God's curse rests on him who hangs on a tree: St. Paul quotes these words in Gal 3:13, where[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 22
  1: [9] Become forfeit: to the sanctuary; cf Lev 19:19; Joshua 6:19.
  2: [12] Twisted cords: referred to as "tassels" on "violet cords" in Numbers 15:38. See note there. [...]
  3: [15] The evidence of her virginity: the bridal garment or sheet stained with a little blood from t[...]
  4: [18] Chastise him: flog him, as prescribed in Deut 25:1-3.
  5: [23] A maiden who is betrothed: a girl who is married but not yet brought to her husband's home an[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 23
  1: [1] Father's wife: stepmother. Dishonor: cf Deut 27:20.
  2: [17] In any one of your communities: from this it would seem that the slave in question is a fugit[...]
  3: [18-19] The pagans believed that they could enter into special relationship with their gods and go[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-4] This law is directly concerned only with forbidding divorced couples to remarry each other, [...]
  2: [1] Something indecent: a rather indefinite phrase, meaning perhaps "immodest conduct." At the tim[...]
  3: [6] Since the Israelites ground their grain into flour only in sufficient quantity for their curre[...]
  4: [10-11] The debtor had the right to select the pledge that the creditor demanded as a guarantee fo[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 25
  1: [3] Forty stripes: a relatively mild punishment in ancient times. Later Jewish practice limited th[...]
  2: [4] St. Paul argues from this verse that a laborer has the right to live on the fruits of his labo[...]
  3: [5] When brothers live together: when relatives of the same clan, though married, hold their prope[...]
  4: [9-10] The penalty decreed for a man who refuses to comply with this law of family loyalty is publ[...]
  5: [17-19] This attack on Israel by Amalek is not mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament, although [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 26
  1: [5] Aramean: either in reference to the origin of the patriarchs from Aram Naharaim (cf Genesis 2[...]
  2: [12] And you have given them to the Levite . . . : as prescribed in Deut 14:28-29.
  3: [14] These are allusions to pagan religious practices.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 27
  1: [8] On the stones: cf Deut 27:3-4; not the stones of the altar.
  2: [15-26] Amen: see note on Numbers 5:22.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 28
  1: [1-69] This chapter would read better immediately after Deut 26.
  2: [6] In your coming in . . . in your going out: at the beginning and end of every action, or in all[...]
  3: [7,25] From but one direction . . . in seven: in one compact mass, contrasted with many scattered [...]
  4: [10] You bearing the name of the LORD: literally, "The LORD'S name is called over you," an express[...]
  5: [13] The head, not the tail: in the honorable position as leader. Cf Isaiah 9:14; 19:15.
  6: [35] This verse is best read with Deut 28:27.
  7: [46] A sign and a wonder: an ominous example, attracting attention; cf Deut 29:21-28.
  8: [60] He will again afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt: such as the Lord had promised to re[...]
  9: [65] Wasted eyes: worn out and disappointed in their longing gaze.
  10: [68] In galleys: in the ships of the Phoenician slave traders (Ezekiel 27:13; Joel 3:6[4:6]; Amo[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 29
  1: [3] Eyes to see . . . ears to hear: with inner, spiritual discernment. Cf Matthew 13:43.
  2: [11] Sanction of a curse: the present pact binds under penalty of the curses mentioned in this boo[...]
  3: [14] Not here among us: this includes their descendants.
  4: [18] To sweep away both the watered soil and the parched ground: apparently a proverb signifying t[...]
  5: [28] What is still hidden: the events of the future. What has already been revealed: God's law and[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 30
  1: [6] Circumcise your hearts: see note on Deut 10:16.
  2: [11-14] God has revealed his will so clearly that ignorance of hislaw can be no excuse. St. Paul i[...]
  3: [14] In your mouths: that you may readily talk about it; cf Deut 6:7; 11:19. And in your hearts: [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 31
  1: [10] The year of relaxation: cf Deut 15:1-3 and the note there.
  2: [11-13] Reading the law not only instructed the people but also consoled them by the assurance of [...]
  3: [14-15,23] Deut 31:23 is best read immediately after Deut 31:15; perhaps the original order was D[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 32
  1: [1-43] In the style of the great prophets, the speaker is often God himself. The whole song is a p[...]
  2: [8] The sons of God: the angels; cf Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalm 89:6-7. Here the various nations a[...]
  3: [13] The land: Canaan.
  4: [14] Bashan: a fertile grazing land east of the Jordan, famous for its strong cattle. Cf Psalm 22[...]
  5: [15] The darling: a probable meaning of the Hebrew word yeshurun, a term of endearment for "Israe[...]
  6: [28-35] The reference is to the pagan nations, not to Israel.
  7: [36] Their protected and unprotected: the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; according to some, t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Deuteronomy
      • Chapter 33
  1: [2-5,26-29] These verses seem to form an independent hymn describing, in the form of a theophany, [...]
  2: [3] His holy ones were in his hand: the Israelites were protected by the Lord.
  3: [5,26] The darling: see note on Deut 32:15.
  4: [6] In keeping with the other blessings, probably this verse was once introduced by the phrase, "O[...]
  5: [7] Bring him to his people: this probably refers to the isolated position of the tribe of Judah d[...]
  6: [8] Thummim . . . Urim: see note on Exodus 28:30.
  7: [9] The reference is probably to the Levites' slaughter of their brethren after the affair of the [...]
  8: [16] Him who dwells in the bush: a title given to the Lord because of his appearance to Moses in t[...]
  9: [19] The abundance of the seas: perhaps the wealth that comes from sea-borne trade or from fishing[...]
  10: [21] The princely portion: Moses gave the tribe of Gad their land on the east of the Jordan only o[...]
  11: [22] The sense is, "May he leap up like a lion of Bashan"; the heavily wooded hills of Bashan were[...]
  12: [23] The lake: the Lake of Gennesaret on which the land of this tribe bordered.
  13: [24] The land of the tribe of Asher was covered with olive groves.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 1
  1: [4] The ideal frontiers are given: in the south the desert of Sinai, in the north the Lebanon rang[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Harlot: this is the regular equivalent of the Hebrew word, but perhaps it is used here of Raha[...]
  3: [8-11] Rahab's faith and good works are praised in the New Testament; cf Hebrews 11:31; James 2:2[...]
  4: [15] A house built into the city wall: such houses, which used the city wall for their own inner w[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 3
  1: [15] Season of the harvest: toward the end of March and the beginning of April, when the grain and[...]
  2: [16] The sudden damming of the river could have been caused by a landslide, as has happened on oth[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 4
  1: [10-18] After the digression about the two sets of memorial stones, the author resumes the narrati[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 5
  1: [3] Gibeath-haaraloth: "Hill of the Foreskins."
  2: [9] The place is called Gilgal: by popular etymology, because of the similarity of sound with the [...]
  3: [10] The month: the first month of the year, later called Nisan; see note on Joshua 3:15. The cro[...]
  4: [5:13-6:26] The account of the siege of Jericho embraces: (1) The command of the Lord, through h[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 6
  1: [18] That is under the ban: that is doomed to destruction; see notes on Lev 27:29; Numbers 18:14;[...]
  2: [20] The wall collapsed: by the miraculous intervention of God. The blowing of the horns and the s[...]
  3: [25] From Matthew 1:5, we learn that Rahab married Salmon of the tribe of Judah and thus became t[...]
  4: [26] He shall lose his first-born . . . its gates: this curse was fulfilled when Hiel rebuilt Jeri[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 7
  1: [16-18] Was designated: probably by means of the Urim and Thummim; cf 1 Sam 14:38-42. See note on[...]
  2: [26] Achor: "misery, affliction." The reference is to the saying of Joshua in Joshua 7:25, with a[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 8
  1: [3] Thirty thousand warriors: this figure of the Hebrew text, which seems extremely high, may be d[...]
  2: [30-35] These ceremonies were prescribed in Deut 11:29; 27:2-26. See notes on those passages.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 9
  1: [7] The Hivites: apparently the Gibeonites belonged to this larger ethnic group (cf also Joshua 1[...]
  2: [21] Hewers of wood and drawers of water: proverbial terms for the lowest social class in the Isra[...]
  3: [26-27] Later on, Saul violated the immunity of the Gibeonites, but David vindicated it; cf 2 Sam[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 10
  1: [5] Hebron . . . Eglon: these four cities were to the south and southwest of Jerusalem.
  2: [11] Great stones from the sky: the hailstones mentioned in the next sentence.
  3: [13] Is this not recorded: the reference is to the preceding, poetic passage. Evidently the Book o[...]
  4: [41] Goshen: a town and its surrounding district at the southern end of the Judean mountains (cf [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-3] Hazor, Madon, Shimron, and Chinneroth: cities and their surrounding districts in eastern Gal[...]
  2: [5] The waters of Merom: a stream in central Galilee that flows southeast to water the fertile Ara[...]
  3: [21-23] Most of the land assigned to the tribe of Judah was not conquered by it till the early per[...]
  4: [23] The land enjoyed peace: of a limited and temporary nature. Many of the individual tribes had [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-24] This chapter, inserted between the two principal parts of the book (Joshua 1-11; 13-21), re[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 13
  1: [2] Geshur: not to be confused with the large Aramaean district of the same name in Bashan (Joshu[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 15
  1: [8] The Valley of Ben-hinnom: the southern limit of Jerusalem. Ben-hinnom means "son of Hinnom." [...]
  2: [17-19] The story of Othniel is told again in Judges 1:13-15; cf also Judges 3:9-11.
  3: [20-62] This elaborate list of the cities of Judah was probably taken from a document made origina[...]
  4: [33] In the foothills: see note on Deut 1:7.
  5: [61] In the desert: in the Jordan rift near the Dead Sea.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Jos.17.18]17:18[ETML-C:/]] The boundaries and cities of Judah, the most important tr[...]
  2: [1-3] This line formed the southern boundary of Ephraim and the northern boundaries of Benjamin an[...]
  3: [5] The dividing line: separating Ephraim from Manasseh. Ephraim's northern border (Joshua 16:5) [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 17
  1: [7] Manasseh bordered on Asher: only at the extreme northwestern section of Manasseh's territory. [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 18
  1: [12-20] Benjamin's northern boundary (Joshua 18:12-13) corresponded to part of the southern bound[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 19
  1: [10-16] Zebulun's territory was in the central section of the Plain of Esdraelon and of southern G[...]
  2: [17-23] Issachar's land was on the eastern watershed of the Plain of Esdraelon, but also included [...]
  3: [24-31] Asher inherited the western slope of the Galilean hills as far as the sea, with Manasseh t[...]
  4: [32-39] Naphtali received eastern Galilee; Asher was to the west and Zebulun and Issachar were to [...]
  5: [40-46] The original territory of Dan was a small enclave between Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and the[...]
  6: [47] Leshem: called Laish in Jdgs 18 where the story of the migration of the Danites is told at gr[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1-9] The laws concerning the cities of refuge are given in Numbers 35:9-28; Deut 19:1-13; see no[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] The order to establish special cities for the Levites is given in Numbers 35:1-8. The forty-e[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 22
  1: [11] In the region of the Jordan facing the land of Canaan: on the eastern side of the Jordan vall[...]
  2: [12] To declare war on them: the western Israelites considered this altar, which seemed to violate[...]
  3: [19] Unclean: not sanctified by the Dwelling of the Lord.
  4: [20] Achan . . . did not perish alone: his guilt caused the failure of the first attack on Ai (Jo[...]
  5: [22] The LORD, the God of gods: the Hebrew, which cannot be adequately rendered in English here, a[...]
  6: [28] To witness: far from being destined to form a rival sanctuary, the model of the altar was int[...]
  7: [34] The name of this altar was the Hebrew word for "witness," "ed.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 23
  1: [14] Going the way of all men: drawing near to death, the inevitable goal of all; cf 1 Kings 2:1-[...]
  2: [15] Every threat: mentioned especially in Deut 28:15-68.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Joshua
      • Chapter 24
  1: [2] Beyond the River: east of the Euphrates; cf Genesis 11:28-31.
  2: [12] The hornets: see note on Exodus 23:28.
  3: [15] The gods your fathers served: Abraham's ancestors were polytheists.
  4: [19] You may not be able: fidelity to God's service is not easy, and therefore those who take such[...]
  5: [32] The bones of Joseph: the mummified body of Joseph (Genesis 50:25-26), which the Israelites t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1-36] This chapter summarizes events most of which occurred shortly after the death of Joshua. Pe[...]
  2: [16] Moses' father-in-law: Reuel; cf Numbers 10:29-32 and note. City of palms: Jericho (cf Deut 3[...]
  3: [21] According to Joshua 18:16, Jerusalem was assigned to the tribe of Benjamin. But it was not a[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 2
  1: [5] Bochim: the Hebrew word for "weepers."
  2: [11] Baals: the chief god of the Canaanites and the Phoenicians was called "Baal," a word meaning [...]
  3: [13] Ashtaroth: the Canaanite Phoenician goddess of love and fertility was Astarte. The plural for[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 3
  1: [3] The Philistines: non-Semitic invaders who gave their name to all Palestine, although they occu[...]
  2: [7] Asherahs: elsewhere rendered "sacred poles." See note on Exodus 34:13 and on Deut 7:5. Here t[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 4
  1: [11] Most of the Kenites occupied a district in the southern part of Judah (Judges 1:16). A group[...]
  2: [17-22] It is to be noted that the sacred author merely records the fact of the murder of Sisera. [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 5
  1: [2-31] This canticle is an excellent example of early Hebrew poetry, even though some of its verse[...]
  2: [8] New gods: pagan deities; cf Deut 32:16-18. God punished the idolatry of the Israelites by lea[...]
  3: [14-22] Praise for the tribes which formed the Israelite league against Sisera: Ephraim, Benjamin,[...]
  4: [20-21] It would seem that nature aided the Hebrews in some way. Perhaps the torrential rains swel[...]
  5: [23] Meroz: an unknown locality in which Hebrews probably resided, since its inhabitants are curse[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 6
  1: [24] Yahweh-shalom: Hebrew for "the LORD is peace," a reference to the LORD's words, "Be calm," l[...]
  2: [25] The sacred pole: see note on Exodus 34:13.
  3: [32] Jerubbaal: similar in sound to the Hebrew words meaning, "Let Baal take action."



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 7
  1: [5] The Lord desired not numerous but reliable soldiers. Those who drank from their hands were ale[...]
  2: [13] The barley loaf represents the agricultural Hebrews while the tent refers to the nomadic Midi[...]
  3: [19] At the beginning of the middle watch: about two hours before midnight. The ancient Hebrews di[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 8
  1: [6] Are the hands . . . in your possession . . . ?: i.e., can you already boast of victory? The ha[...]
  2: [24] Ishmaelites: here as in Genesis 37:25-28, the designation is not ethnic; it refers rather to[...]
  3: [31] Concubine: a wife of secondary rank.
  4: [33] Baal of Berith: one of the titles of Baal as worshiped by the Canaanites of Shechem, meaning [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 9
  1: [9] Whereby men and gods are honored: oil was used in the worship both of the true God and of fals[...]
  2: [13] Cheers gods: wine was used in the libations both of the Temple of Jerusalem and of pagan temp[...]
  3: [16] Just as the noble trees refused the honor of royalty and were made subject to a mean plant, s[...]
  4: [45] Sowing the site with salt: a severe measure, which was a symbol of desolation, and even more,[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 10
  1: [4] Saddle-asses: a sign of rank and wealth; cf Judges 5:10; 12:14.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 11
  1: [24] Chemosh: the chief god of the Moabites - not of the Ammonites, whose leading deity was called[...]
  2: [30-40] The text clearly implies that Jephthah vowed a human sacrifice, according to the custom of[...]
  3: [37] Mourn my virginity: to bear children was woman's greatest pride; to be childless was regarded[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 12
  1: [6] Shibboleth: "an ear of grain." But this Hebrew word can also mean "flood water" as in Psalm 6[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 13
  1: [5] Consecrated: in Hebrew, nazir. Samson therefore was for life to be under the nazirite vow, whi[...]
  2: [18] Mysterious: incomprehensible, above human understanding. Hence, the angel speaks in the name [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1-3] Marriages were arranged by the parents of the bridegroom as well as of the bride; cf Genesi[...]
  2: [5-7] Although Samson was accompanied by his parents on the journey to Timnah, Judges 14:7 implie[...]
  3: [11] Companions: known at a later period as "the friends of the bridegroom" (1 Macc 9:39; Mark 2:[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 15
  1: [17] Ramath-lehi: "heights of the jawbone."
  2: [19] En-hakkore: "the spring of him who cries out," an allusion to Samson's cry in Judges 15:18. [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 16
  1: [23] Dagon was originally a Mesopotamian deity, whom the Philistines came to worship as their own [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 17
  1: [3] Idol: an image, not of a pagan god, but of the Lord. The Mosaic law forbade the making of an i[...]
  2: [12-13] According to Numbers 18:1-7 only those Levites who were descended from Aaron could be con[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 18
  1: [1] The tribe of Dan had been assigned a territory with definite limits in central Palestine. Howe[...]
  2: [3] Recognized the voice: perhaps they noticed the peculiar pronunciation of his south Hebrew dial[...]
  3: [30] Until . . . land: about the year 734 B.C., when the Assyrian emperor Tiglath-pileser III subj[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 19
  1: [5-9] Such importuning of guests to prolong their stay at the home of their host is characteristic[...]
  2: [15] Private hospitality was the customary means of providing comfort to travelers where public fa[...]
  3: [22] Who were corrupt: literally "sons of Belial," indicating extreme perversion; cf Genesis 19:4[...]
  4: [29] A drastic means for arousing the tribes to avenge the unheard of crime of the Benjaminites. [...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1] From Dan to Beer-sheba: from north to south. The land of Gilead: all the territory east of the[...]
  2: [7] The Israelites were asked to decide at once what action to take concerning this crime; cf 2 S[...]
  3: [12] Before the crime at Gibeah was punished, the Benjaminites were invited to join their brethren[...]
  4: [18] Judah shall go first: the same response as in Judges 1:1-2, but without the assurance of imm[...]
  5: [29-46] This stratagem proved more useful to the Israelites than force, as in the siege of Ai (Jo[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Judges
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1-3] The anger of the Israelites led them to destroy their brethren, the Benjaminites. Having rea[...]
  2: [6-9] This account is summarized in the parallel passage in Judges 21:2-5.
  3: [11] Under the ban: see note on Numbers 21:3.
  4: [15] Had made a breach: what is here attributed to God was in reality the free and deliberate act [...]
  5: [18] Regardless of the serious consequences of their vow, the Israelites considered themselves obl[...]
  6: [25] Cf Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1. The verse gives the reason why the lawlessness of the period of[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Ruth
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1,2 ] In the time of the judges: three generations before the end of the period of judges; cf Ru[...]
  2: [8] Mother's house: the women's part of the dwelling; cf Judges 4:17; Song 3:4.
  3: [11] Have I other sons . . . husbands? Naomi insisted that her daughters-in-law remain in their ow[...]
  4: [16-17] An example of heroic fidelity and piety. Ruth's decision, confirmed with an oath, to adher[...]
  5: [20-21] Naomi: "amiable" or "pleasant," suggesting God's favor toward her. The Almighty has broug[...]
  6: [22] Barley harvest: early April. This circumstance favored the events of the narrative that follo[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Ruth
      • Chapter 2
  1: [2] Let me go and glean . . . grain: even the poor, the widow, the stranger, and the orphan had a [...]
  2: [4] The LORD be with you: courtesy and religious feeling characterize the salutations of the Hebre[...]
  3: [20] One of our next of kin: literally "our redeemer," a near relative of the same clan who had th[...]



  • The Pentateuch
    • Ruth
      • Chapter 3
  1: [4] Uncover a place at his feet, . . .: confident of the virtue of Ruth and Boaz, Naomi advises th[...]
  2: [9] Spread the corner of your cloak over me: be my protector by marrying me according to the duty [...]
  3: [12] Relative still closer: who had a prior right and duty to marry Ruth.



  • The Pentateuch
    • Ruth
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] Took a seat at the gate: i.e., of the city, where business affairs were settled.
  2: [2] Ten of the elders: to serve as judges in legal matters as well as witnesses of the settlement [...]
  3: [4] Poverty had obliged Naomi to sell the land of her deceased husband. The law permitted the near[...]
  4: [5-6] The heir of Elimelech's field had died without children (Ruth 1:5). The nearest of kin coul[...]
  5: [7] Take off his sandal . . .: by this act the near relative renounced his legal right, both to th[...]
  6: [12] Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah: the right which Judah unwittingly satisfied for his daughter[...]
  7: [16] Placed him on her lap: took him as her own; cf Genesis 30:3; 48:12; Numbers 11:12.
  8: [17] The father of Jesse, the father of David: indicating the place of Obed, Jesse and David in th[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 1
  1: [11] Give him to the LORD: some ancient texts call Samuel a nazir in this context; see note on Nu[...]
  2: [20] Since she had asked: this explanation would be more directly appropriate for the name Saul, w[...]
  3: [24] An ephah: a little more than a bushel.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-10] A hymn attributed to Hannah, the mother of Samuel, as her thanksgiving to God because she h[...]
  2: [1] Horn: the symbol of strength; cf Psalm 18:3; 75:5; 89:18; 112:9.
  3: [3] Speak . . . mouths: addressed to the enemies mentioned in 1 Sam 2:1.
  4: [18] Linen apron: called in Hebrew "ephod," but not the same as the high priest's ephod (Exodus 2[...]
  5: [22] The bracketed words, which recall Exodus 38:8, are a gloss in the received text; they are la[...]
  6: [27-36] These verses propose the punishment of Eli from a point of view contemporary with the refo[...]
  7: [28] Ephod: a portable container, presumably of cloth, for the lots used in ritual consultation of[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] Uncommon: prophetic communications from God were almost unknown.
  2: [17] May God do thus and so to you: the Biblical writers avoid repeating for us the specific terms[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] And. . . Israel: this belongs to ch 4.
  2: [4] Enthroned upon the cherubim: this title of the Lord seems to have originated in the sanctuary [...]
  3: [8] These mighty gods: the Philistines, who were polytheists, are represented as supposing the Isr[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 5
  1: [6] Hemorrhoids . . . mice: a double calamity fell upon them - a plague of mice or rats, and a sev[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 6
  1: [3] A guilt offering: a propitiatory offering customary after unwitting transgression of the ordin[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 7
  1: [6] Poured it out on the ground: for the symbolism, cf 2 Sam 14:4.
  2: [12] Ebenezer: or eben ha-ezer, means "stone of help."



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1] From this chapter on, the First Book of Samuel gives us two and sometimes three viewpoints on [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 9
  1: [8] A quarter of a silver shekel: about a tenth of an ounce of silver.
  2: [9] (9)This verse is a later explanation of the term seer, first used in the text in 1 Sam 9:11. [...]
  3: [12] On the high place: the local sanctuary on the top of a hill, where the sacrifice was offered [...]
  4: [24] And what went with it: a slight change would give "and the fatty tail" as perhaps the origina[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 10
  1: [2] Here, as in Jeremiah 31:15 Rachel's tomb is placed north of Jerusalem. Later tradition unders[...]
  2: [5] A garrison of the Philistines: the Hebrew word for "garrison" has been explained alternatively[...]
  3: [8] By inserting this verse, with its seven days, an editor has prepared for one narrative of the [...]
  4: [10] The story has here been abridged by omitting the fulfillment of the first two signs given by [...]
  5: [25] The law of royalty: the charter defining the rights of the king. Neither this work nor any[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] About a month later: there is ancient evidence for a longer introduction to this campaign. The[...]
  2: [12-14] With these verses, an editor has harmonized the account of the acknowledgment of Saul as k[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] A formula like that of 2 Sam 5:4 was introduced here at some time; but the age of Saul when h[...]
  2: [3-4] The Philistine garrison: see note on 1 Sam 10:5. Let the Hebrews hear: a different reading [...]
  3: [7-15] These verses, like 1 Sam 10:8 anticipate the rejection of Saul; a different occasion and m[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 14
  1: [18] Ephod: to be used in consulting God; see note on 1 Sam 14:41; 2:28
  2: [23] Past Beth-horon: this is a textual correction influenced by 1 Sam 13:18; the received Hebrew[...]
  3: [41] The Urim and Thummim, or sacred lots, were a device for ascertaining the will of God; they ce[...]
  4: [45] Rescue: the Hebrew word used is that for the "redemption" of the first-born (Exodus 13:13-15[...]
  5: [49] Ishvi: known also as Ishbaal, in 2 Sam 2:8 and elsewhere. The name may once have read "Ishyo[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 15
  1: [3] Under the ban: in such wars of extermination, all things (men, cities, beasts, etc.) were to b[...]
  2: [4] The numbers here are not realistic; compare note 1 Sam 14:24.
  3: [11] I regret: God manifests "regret" when, offended by men, he takes away his benefits, graces a[...]
  4: [22] Samuel is disapproving, not of sacrifices in general, but of merely external sacrifices offer[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1] The anointing here prepared for is unknown to David's brother Eliab in the next chapter (1 Sa[...]
  2: [14] An evil spirit sent by the LORD: the Lord permitted Saul to be tormented with violent fits of[...]
  3: [18] Of the two traditions which describe the coming of David into Saul's service, the oldest Gree[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 17
  1: [6] Scimitar: the Hebrew word for this is rather rare, and the nature of the weapon was in doubt u[...]
  2: [7] Six hundred shekels: over 15 pounds.
  3: [12-31] An alternative account of how David came to undertake the combat with the Philistine is he[...]
  4: [54] At the time supposed by this narrative, Jerusalem was still Jebusite, and David had no milita[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 19
  1: [11] This story in all probability orignially followed 1 Sam 18:29, placing the episode of David'[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 20
  1: [26] The meal on the first day of the month would have religious overtones, and a ritual impurity [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 21
  1: [5-6] From women: the high priest, willing to distribute the holy bread to David and his men, requ[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 22
  1: [4-5] Refuge: seemingly connected with the cave complex spoken of in 1 Sam 22:1.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 25
  1: [25] Fool is his name: Nabal in Hebrew means "a fool."
  2: [26] Abigail anticipates that some misfortune will shortly overtake Nabal, as in fact it does (1 [...]
  3: [29] The bundle of the living: the figure is perhaps taken from the practice of tying up valuables[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 26
  1: [19] The Lord's inheritance: the land of Israel (Deut 32:8-9) under the Lord's special protection[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 27
  1: [6] Has . . . belonged to the kings of Judah: as a personal holding, outside the system of tribal [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 28
  1: [12] Human beings cannot communicate at will with the souls of the dead. God may, however, permit [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Samuel
      • Chapter 31
  1: [5] This report of the suicidal act of Saul is presented as a part of his downfall, to be judged a[...]
  2: [12] Cremated them: cremation was not normally practiced in Israel, though it was known in the cou[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 1
  1: [21] Upsurgings of the deeps: this reading attempts to recover from an unintelligible Hebrew phras[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 2
  1: [16] The nature of this gruesome game is not clear, and the place name is variously given in the o[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 4
  1: [4] Saul's grandson Meribbaal is the subject of 2 Sam 9. The text of this verse may owe its presen[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 5
  1: [6-12] David's most important military exploit, the taking of Jerusalem, is here presented before [...]
  2: [17] Refuge: probably near Adullam (1 Sam 22:1-5).
  3: [18-25] The successive defeats of the Philistines in the valley of Rephaim southwest of Jerusalem [...]
  4: [20] Baal-perazim: means approximately "the lord of scatterings."
  5: [24] Sound of marching: the wind in the treetops suggestive of the Lord's footsteps.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 7
  1: [8-16] The prophecy to David contained in these verses is cited again, in poetic form, in Psalm 8[...]
  2: [19] This too you have shown to man: the text as transmitted has, rather, "and this is instruction[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1] Wresting . . . : the Hebrew text here gives "the bridle of the cubit"; 1 Chron 18:1 understoo[...]
  2: [2] Two lengths . . . a full length: usually taken to mean that two-thirds of them were executed; [...]
  3: [13] On his return: possibly to Jerusalem, after the revolt of Absalom, a circumstance which this [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] Some time later: early in the reign of David, since Hanun's father had been ruling in Ammon at[...]
  2: [6-9] A Hebrew text from Qumran (4Q Sam * ) comes closer in these verses to what is given in 1 Ch[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] At the turn of the year: in the spring.
  2: [22] After this verse, the Greek text, which is here the older form, has David, angry with Joab, r[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-4] This utterance of Nathan is in regular lines in Hebrew, resembling English blank verse.
  2: [30] Weighed a talent: since this would be more than 75 pounds, some commentators picture the idol[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 14
  1: [7] Hope: literally, "glowing coal." The image is similar to that of the lighted lamp, e.g., Psal[...]
  2: [14] How not to banish: a possible allusion to the religious institution of cities of refuge for i[...]
  3: [17] A resting place: cf Psalm 95:11; Hebrews 3:7-4, 11. The reference here is to a return home [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 16
  1: [8] Bloodshed . . . Saul: refers to the episode recounted in 2 Sam 21:1-14.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 20
  1: [8] The text of this verse is quite uncertain.
  2: [18-19] The proverbial expression here has been poorly transmitted, and its sense is doubtful.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1-51] This song of thanksgiving is also given, with a few small variants, in Ps 18. In both place[...]
  2: [3] The horn of my salvation: my strong savior. The horn, the dreadful weapon of an enraged bull, [...]
  3: [5-6] These verses are to be understood figuratively.
  4: [7] His temple: his heavenly abode.
  5: [8-10] God's intervention is graphically portrayed under the figures of an earthquake (2 Sam 22:8[...]
  6: [11] He mounted a cherub: since God makes the winds his messengers, or "angels" (Psalm 104:4), he[...]
  7: [26-27] Men are treated by God in the same way they treat him and their fellow men.
  8: [29] My lamp: a figure of life and happiness; cf 1 Kings 11:36.
  9: [34] The heights: a natural stronghold safe from attack; cf Psalm 62:3; Hebrews 3:19.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 23
  1: [1-7] The text of this short composition in the spirit of the wisdom writers (Proverb 30:1-6) is [...]
  2: [8-10] There are thirty-seven warriors in all mentioned in this list. First there are the Three wa[...]
  3: [24] A more complete notice about Asahel, who died early in his career (2 Sam 2:16-23), is to be [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Samuel
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-3] This story was probably joined at one time to 2 Sam 21:1-14.
  2: [10] The narrative supposes that since the people belonged to the Lord rather than to the king, on[...]
  3: [17] Before this verse a Qumran manuscript (4Q Sam[a]) gives the fuller text of 1 Chron 21:16 an [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 1
  1: [9] En-rogel: the modern Job's Well southeast of Jerusalem. It marked the ancient boundary between[...]
  2: [20] At this time, neither law nor the right of primogeniture, but the will of the ruling monarch,[...]
  3: [38] Cherethites and Pelethites: mercenaries in David's bodyguard. They became part of his retinue[...]
  4: [50] Horns of the altar: the protuberances on each of the four corners of the altar were surrounde[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-6,8-9] Solomon is expected to remove from his father's family the imputation of blood guilt bro[...]
  2: [17,22-25] Abishag had been the concubine of King David (1 Kings 1:4). His successor, Solomon, in[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 4
  1: [7-19] The administration of the kingdom thus initiated by Solomon continued in its main features [...]
  2: [19] One prefect . . . in the king's own land: the royal territory of Judah had its own peculiar [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] Construction of the temple of the LORD is here paralleled in importance with the founding of t[...]
  2: [11-13] The word of the LORD . . . my people Israel: the oracle, which came as a climax at the com[...]
  3: [19] The innermost part of the temple: the sanctuary or holy of holies reserved exclusively for th[...]
  4: [20] Twenty (cubits) high: it is usually supposed that the holy of holies was of this height becau[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 7
  1: [15-21] The two hollow bronze columns, Jachin and Boaz (2 Chron 3:17) stood free to the right and[...]
  2: [23-26] The sea . . . rested on twelve oxen: this was a large circular tank containing about twelv[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 8
  1: [6-9] The transfer of the ark of the covenant into the newly constructed temple building, and the [...]
  2: [33-34,46-53] These references to deportation of Israelites to a hostile land are an expansion of [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 9
  1: [14] One hundred and twenty talents of gold: approximately three million six hundred thousand doll[...]
  2: [15] Millo: probably means a filling, and may refer to an artificial earthwork or platform of stam[...]
  3: [26] Ezion-geber . . . Edom: the first mention of maritime commerce in the Israelite kingdom (to w[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] Queen of Sheba: women rulers among the Arabs are recorded in eighth-century- B.C. Assyrian ins[...]
  2: [11-12] Cabinet: an unknown wood, probably fragrant.
  3: [22] Tarshish ships: large, strong vessels for long voyages. Tarshish was the ancient Tartessus, a[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-3,7] The glorious rise of Solomon, his piety and wisdom, administrative skill and wealth, the e[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1] Shechem: chief city of the northern tribes, where a covenant of fidelity had previously been m[...]
  2: [16] What share have we in David: even in David's time the northern tribes seemed ready to withdra[...]
  3: [26-32] Jeroboam feared reunification of the divided kingdom through worship in the single temple [...]
  4: [29] Bethel and Dan: at the southern and northern boundaries of the separate kingdom of Israel, wh[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 14
  1: [25] In the fifth year . . . Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem: c. 926 B. C. According to[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 15
  1: [18] Ben-hadad . . . king of Aram: Ben-hadad I, third successor of Rezon, who had thrown off the y[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 17
  1: [1] Elijah the Tishbite: one of the most important figures in Old Testament history. As his name i[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 19
  1: [11-13] Compare these divine manifestations to Elijah with those to Moses (Exodus 19:1-23; 33:21-[...]
  2: [15-17] Elijah himself carried out only the third of the commissions entrusted to him (1 Kings 19[...]
  3: [19-21] Elijah's act of throwing his mantle over the shoulders of Elisha expressed the divine call[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 20
  1: [22] At the beginning of the year: in the spring.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 21
  1: [19] The response of Ahab to this divine judgment is described in 1 Kings 21:27, and the conseque[...]
  2: [20-26] In these verses the Judean editor of the Books of Kings substitutes, for the message of El[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Kings
      • Chapter 22
  1: [19-23] The prophet Micaiah uses as a last resort to deter Ahab from his foolhardy design of fight[...]
  2: [28] A note in the Hebrew text after this verse attributes to Micaiah ben Imlah the first words of[...]
  3: [52] Seventeenth year: so the present Hebrew text. More consistent with 2 Kings 1:17 would be a d[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 1
  1: Baalzebub: in this form, "Baal of flies." The name in the Hebrew text is a derisive alteration of [...]
  2: [8] Hairy garment: a sign of ascetical and prophetic calling, imitated by John the Baptizer; see [...]
  3: [12] Divine fire: literally, "fire of God," which in Hebrew sounds quite like man of God. The play[...]
  4: [17] Joram: in the Second Book of Kings the name Joram (yoram), alternately Jehoram (yehoram), app[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Gilgal: commonly identified with Jiljulieh, about seven miles north of Bethel, and different f[...]
  2: [9] Double portion of your spirit: as the first-born son inherited a double portion of his father'[...]
  3: [12] My father: a religious title accorded prophetic leaders; cf 2 Kings 6:21; 8:9. Israel's char[...]
  4: [23-24] This story, like the one about Elijah and the captains (2 Kings 1), is preserved for us in[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] The sequence of the reigns between Ahab and Jehu of Israel may be reconstructed as follows: Je[...]
  2: [22] The two Jehorams were contemporary for much of their reigns; Jehoram of Judah was succeeded b[...]
  2: [22] Red as blood: possibly caused by the red sandstone of the Wadi Zered (Deut 2:13), south of M[...]
  3: [25] Kir-hareseth: modern Kerak, east of the Dead Sea; cf Isaiah 16:7, 11; Jeremiah 48:31, 36. [...]
  4: [27] The wrath against Israel: probably the wrath of Chemosh, the Moabite god to whom the child wa[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] His creditor . . . slaves: Hebrew law permitted the selling of wife and children as chattels f[...]
  2: [26] Greetings: the conventional answer to Gehazi's question, which tells him nothing.
  3: [29] Do not greet him: the profuse exchange of compliments among Orientals meeting and greeting on[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 5
  1: [12] Wash in them and be cleansed: typical of the ambiguity in ritual healing or cleanliness. The [...]
  2: [17] Two mule-loads of earth: Israelite earth on which to erect in Aram an altar to the God of Isr[...]
  3: [19] Go in peace: Elisha understands and approves the situation of Naaman who, though a proselyte [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 6
  1: [22] With your sword or bow: since the king would not slay prisoners who had surrendered to his po[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] Market: literally "gate," the principal place of trading in ancient walled cities in time of [...]
  2: [6] Kings of the borderlands: from Musur in Anatolia rather than Egypt.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 8
  1: [6] An official: literally "eunuch," and perhaps actually so in this instance.
  2: [13] A dog . . . your servant: Hazael feigns humility (1 Sam 24:14; 2 Sam 9:8), without attending[...]
  3: [16] Jehoram of Judah succeeded his father Jehoshaphat during the reign of Ahaziah of Israel. See [...]
  4: [25] Twelfth year of Joram: i.e., of Israel, who probably reigned only eight years.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 9
  1: [7-10] The editors of the Books of Kings have here added to the prophet's message the same type of[...]
  2: [22] Fornications and witchcrafts: the worship of foreign gods.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 11
  1: [2] Jehosheba was the wife of Jehoida, the high priest; cf 2 Chron 22:11.
  2: [14] By the pillar: see note on 2 Chron 23:13.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 13
  1: [5] A savior: by this language, typical of the Book of Judges (2 Kings 3:9, 15), Jeroboam II of I[...]
  2: [6] Sacred pole: see note on Exodus 34:13.
  3: [12-13] The conclusion to the reign of Joash is given again in 2 Kings 14:15-16 where it is more [...]
  4: [14] My father, my father: the king expresses here the same sentiments as those with which Elisha [...]
  5: [16-19] Symbolic acts similar to these are seen in Exodus 17:8-10; Joshua 8:18-20; Ezekiel 4:1-3.[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1-2] In the second year . . . twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: the reigns of the kings of Judah be[...]
  2: [17] See note on 2 Kings 14:1-2.
  3: [21] Azariah: also called Uzziah in many texts.
  4: [25] Sea of the Arabah: the Dead Sea. Jonah: see note on Jonah 1:1.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 15
  1: [1] Twenty-seventh year: see note on 2 Kings 14:1-2.
  2: [19] Pul: The Babylonian throne name of the Assyrian Tiglath-pileser III; cf 2 Kings 15:29.
  3: [27] The twenty years here ascribed to Pekah are an impossibility; the calculation which made his [...]
  4: [35] The Upper Gate: also the Gate of Benjamin; cf Jeremiah 20:2; Ezekiel 9:2.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 16
  1: [9] Firmly dated events bearing on chapters 16 through 20 are: the fall of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9[...]
  2: [15] For consultation: perhaps the introduction into Judah of the Babylonian practice of omen sacr[...]
  3: [18] Emplacement . . . for a throne, and the outer entrance for the king: signs of sovereignty for[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 17
  1: [3] Shalmaneser: son and successor of Tiglath-pileser.
  2: [6] The king of Assyria: Shalmaneser's successor and usurper, Sargon II.
  3: [34-40] They did not . . . earlier manner: this passage is an adaptation of language denouncing th[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 18
  1: [9] See note on 2 Kings 16:9.
  2: [18:13-20:11] Duplication of Isaiah 36:1-22; 37; 38:8, 21-22.
  3: [13] Sennacherib succeeded Sargon II as king of Assyria. His Judean campaign was waged in 701 B.C.[...]
  4: [17] General, the lord chamberlain . . . commander: the text lists three major functionaries by th[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 19
  1: [3] See note on Isaiah 37:3.
  2: [21-31] 2KI 19:21-28 are addressed to Sennacherib, 2 Kings 19:29-31 to Judah.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 20
  1: [12-19] Duplication of Isaiah 39:1-8.
  2: [20] Pool and conduit: Hezekiah's tunnel; cf 2 Chron 32:30.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 22
  1: [3] Shaphan: head of a prominent family in the reign of Josiah, secretary to the king, bearer and [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 23
  1: [7] Cult prostitutes: of both sexes; cf 1 Kings 14:24.
  2: [10] Topheth . . . by fire: condemned by Deuteronomic law and denounced by Jeremiah (Deut 12:31; [...]
  3: [11] Large building: to the west of the temple area (1 Chron 26:18), named in the Hebrew by an Eg[...]
  4: [13] Mount of Misconduct: a paranomasia on "Mount of Olives" (in Hebrew Maschit/mishcheh) as sugg[...]
  5: [18] From Samaria: more narrowly, from Bethel; cf 1 Kings 13:31-32.
  6: [24] Household gods, idols: teraphim. See note on Genesis 31:19.
  7: [30-35] People of the land: in this period, the phrase referred to "landed gentry"; in later times[...]
  8: [33] A talent of gold: some manuscripts of the Greek and Syriac texts have "ten talents."



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 24
  1: [8] He reigned three months: in the year 597 B.C.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Kings
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1-30] This chapter parallels Jer 39 and 52; see notes to those parts of Jeremiah.
  2: [11] Those who had deserted: perhaps on the advice of Jeremiah; cf Jeremiah 38:2-3.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1:1-9:34] The Chronicler set as his task the retelling, from his particular viewpoint, of the s[...]
  2: [38] Seir: another name for Esau (1 Chron 1:35) or Edom (1 Chron 1:43).



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 2
  1: [2:3-4:23] For two reasons, the Chronicler places the genealogy of the tribe of Judah before that[...]
  2: [9] Chelubai: a variant form of the name Caleb (1 Chron 2:18, 42) distinct from Chelub of 1 Chro[...]
  3: [10-17] Immediate ancestors of David. A similar list is given in Ruth 4:19-22; each list, indepen[...]
  4: [18-24] Descendants of Caleb. In 1 Chron 4:15 as is often the case in the Pentateuch (Numbers 13:[...]
  5: [25-41] The Jerahmeelites were a clan in the Negeb of Judah.
  6: [42-49] Another list, dating from preexilic times, of the Calebites, a clan that inhabited the sou[...]
  7: [50-55] The Hurites, a clan dwelling to the south and west of Jerusalem and related to the Calebit[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-9] David's sons.
  2: [1] Daniel: called Chileab in 2 Sam 3:3.
  3: [5] Shimea: called Shammua in 2 Sam 5:14. Ammiel: called Eliam in 2 Sam 11:3.
  4: [10-16] The kings of Judah from Solomon to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
  5: [15] Shallum: the same as Jehoahaz, Josiah's successor; cf Jeremiah 22:11.
  6: [17-24] The descendants of King Jechoniah up to the time of the Chronicler. If twenty-five years a[...]
  7: [18] Shenazzar: presumably the same as Sheshbazzar of Ezra 1:8, 11; 5:14-16 the prince of Judah [...]
  8: [19] Zerubbabel: here called the son of Pedaiah, though elsewhere (Haggai 1:12, 14; 2:2, 23; Ezr[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1-43] The southern tribes.
  2: [39] Gedor: in the Greek, Gerar, no doubt correct.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1-26] The Transjordan tribes.
  2: [26] Pul: the name which the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 B.C.) took as king of Baby[...]
  3: [5:27-6:66] The tribe of Levi. The list gives special prominence to Levi's son Kohath, from whom[...]
  4: [30-41] The line of preexilic priests. The list seems to be confused in 1 Chron 5:26(36-38), whic[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 6
  1: [16-32] The origin of the choir services performed by the levitical families in the postexilic tem[...]
  2: [39-66] Regarding the nature of the rights of Levites in the cities assigned to them, see note on [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-40] The northern tribes.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1-40] A second, variant list of the Benjaminites, with special prominence given to Saul's family [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 9
  1: [2-34] The inhabitants of Jerusalem after the exile. A similar list, with many variants in the nam[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 10
  1: [13-14] The Chronicler's comment on why Saul met his tragic end: he had disobeyed the Lord's comma[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 11
  1: [11-12] The Three: the Chronicler names only two of them: Ishbaal and Eleazar. According to 2 Sam[...]
  2: [20] The Thirty: listed by name in 1 Chron 11:26-47. The list given in 2 Sam 23:8-39 often differ[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 12
  1: [25-38] The Chronicler fills out the pageantry of joyous occasions in keeping with his much later [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 13
  1: [5] Shihor of Egypt: the eastern branch of the Nile delta. Labo of Hamath: in southern Syria.
  2: [9] Chidon: in 2 Sam 6:6 Nodan.
  3: [11] Perez-uzza: a Hebrew term meaning "the breaking out against Uzza."



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 15
  1: [20] Alamoth: a musical term (literally, "young women") of uncertain meaning, occurring also in P[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 16
  1: [8-36] A hymn composed of parts, with textual variants, from several Psalms: 1 Chron 16:8-22 = Ps[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 18
  1: [16] Zadok . . . and Ahimelech, son of Abiathar, were priests: as in the Chronicler's source, 2 S[...]
  2: [17] David's sons were the chief assistants to the king: in the parallel passage, 2 Sam 8:18 whic[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 20
  1: [5] Elhanan . . . slew Lahmi, the brother of Goliath: the Chronicler thus solves the difficulty of[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] A satan: in the parallel passage of 2 Sam 24:1 the Lord's anger. The change in the term refle[...]
  2: [25] Six hundred shekels of gold: about 10, 000 dollars. According to 2 Sam 24:24, David paid 50 [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 22
  1: [2-4] According to 1 Kings 5:15-18,(15-32) it was Solomon who made the material preparations for [...]
  2: [9] The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is reflected in the name Solomon, in Hebrew, Shelomo. A con[...]
  3: [14] A hundred thousand talents of gold: about 3,775 tons of gold. A million talents of silver: ab[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 24
  1: [6] Ahimelech, son of Abiathar: see note on 1 Chron 18:16.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 25
  1: [2-31] This list of twenty-four classes of temple singers balances the list of the twenty-four cla[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 26
  1: [18] The large building (in the Hebrew text Parbar): see note on 2 Kings 23:11.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 27
  1: [1-15] This list of army commanders is similar to, but distinct from, the list of David's warriors[...]
  2: [34] After Ahithophel: after his suicide (2 Sam 17:23). Jehoiada then succeeded him as the king's[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 28
  1: [2] The ark . . . , the footstool . . . of our God: the Lord, who was invisibly entroned upon the [...]
  2: [18] Chariot throne: probably suggested by Ezekiel 1:4-24; 10:1-22.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Chronicles
      • Chapter 29
  1: [22] For a second time: the first time is referred to in 1 Chron 23:1. Here there is a solemn pub[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 1
  1: [5] The bronze altar . . . the LORD's Dwelling: the Chronicler justifies Solomon's worship at the [...]
  2: [16-17] Egypt . . . Cilicia: it seems likely that the horses came from Cilicia and the chariots fr[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 2
  1: [13] A Danite woman: a widow of the tribe of Naphtali (1 Kings 7:14). The Danites had settled in [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] Mount Moriah: the height in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:2). This is the only place in the [...]
  2: [4] The porch . . . twenty cubits high: this measurement, not given in the Books of Kings, is here[...]
  3: [14] The veil: at the entrance of the holy of holies, as also in the Mosaic meeting tent (Exodus [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 4
  1: [3] Oxen: in 1 Kings 7:24 this double row of ornaments is described as being gourds. The text of [...]
  2: [5] Three thousand measures: according to 1 Kings 7:26, two thousand measures.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 5
  1: [4] The Levites: The parallel passage in 1 Kings 8:3 has the priests; but see 2 Chron 5:5 where t[...]
  2: [9] The ark has remained there to this day: the Chronicler must have copied this from his source [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 6
  1: [13] This verse is not found in the Chronicler's source; cf 1 Kings 8:22-23. He has Solomon prayi[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 7
  1: [9-10] The feast: of Booths, celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and followed by [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 8
  1: [2] The cities which Huram had given him: according to 1 Kings 9:10-14, Solomon had ceded the cit[...]
  2: [4] Tadmor: later known as Palmyra, an important caravan city in the Syrian desert. The parallel p[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 9
  1: [28] See note on 2 Chron 1:16-17.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] All Israel: as in the original source (1 Kings 12:1), the northern tribes, distinct from Juda[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 11
  1: [5-12] These verses, though not found in 1 Kings, are apparently based on a reliable, ancient sour[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 12
  1: [3] Sukkites: foreign mercenaries in the Egyptian army.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 13
  1: [4-12] This is a free composition of the Chronicler to show that this was a religious, rather than[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 14
  1: [7-14] An Ethiopian invasion of Judah is mentioned only in 1 Chronicles. This account may be a leg[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 15
  1: [10-12] With this description of a covenant ceremony in the third month of a year beginning in the[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 16
  1: [7] The king of Aram . . . escaped: according to the Lucianic recension, "the king of Israel escap[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 17
  1: [3] The Lord was with Jehoshaphat: along with Hezekiah and Josiah, Jehoshaphat was one of the Chro[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 18
  1: [12-22] See note on 1 Kings 22:19-23.
  2: [27] "Hear, O peoples, all of you!": this quotation, which appears in some texts of 1 Kings 22:28[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 19
  1: [2] Jehu the seer, son of Hanani: hardly the same seer as Jehu, son of Hanani, who prophesied agai[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1-30] Although the account here seems to be a free composition of the Chronicler, there is probab[...]
  2: [21] Holy Appearance: the Lord, who is with the Israelite army (2 Chron 20:17), manifests himself[...]
  3: [26] Beracah: the Hebrew word for "blessing."



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 21
  1: [6] One of Ahab's daughters: Athaliah. In 2 Chron 22:2 (and its source, 2 Kings 8:26) she is call[...]
  2: [12] Elijah: the only mention by the Chronicler of this prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel.[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 22
  1: [9] This account of the death of Ahaziah of Judah is not derived from 2 Kings 9:27-28 with which [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 23
  1: [13] Beside his pillar: the king had a special place in the eastern gateway of the temple court th[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 24
  1: [5] Collect money: according to 2 Kings 12:5 the people themselves brought the money to the templ[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 25
  1: [24] With Obed-edom: possibly a reference to the priest of an Edomite false worship (cf 2 Chron 2[...]
  2: [28] The City of Judah: in the parallel passage of 2 Kings 14:20 the City of David. The Chronicle[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 26
  1: [5] Zechariah: this person, not otherwise identified, is referred to in language suggesting a piou[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 28
  1: [19] Ahaz, king of Israel: in the period of the divided kingdom the term king of Israel would else[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 31
  1: [7] Third month . . . seventh month: between the feast of Pentecost and that of Booths, an interva[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 32
  1: [33] The approach to the tombs: literally, "the ascent of the tombs," which may mean "the upper se[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 33
  1: [11] There is no evidence elsewhere for an imprisonment of King Manasseh in Babylon. However, acco[...]
  2: [13] And prayed to him: these words led an unknown writer to compose the apocryphal "Prayer of Man[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 34
  1: [3] In his twelfth year: c. 628 B.C., the year after Asshurbanipal's death, when Judah could free [...]
  2: [31] Standing at his post: see note on 2 Chron 23:13.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 35
  1: [25] The reference to a lamentation over Josiah composed by Jeremiah is not found either in 2 Kgs [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Chronicles
      • Chapter 36
  1: [6] Nebuchadnezzar . . . bound him with chains to take him to Babylon: the Chronicler does not say[...]
  2: [10] His brother Zedekiah: Zedekiah was actually the brother of Jehoiakim and the uncle of Jehoiac[...]
  3: [22-23] The words of these verses are identical with those of Ezra 1:1-3a. Originally Ezra-Nehemi[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] In the first year of Cyrus: as sovereign over the world empire which began with his conquest o[...]
  2: [8] Sheshbazzar: very probably the fourth son of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, taken captive to Babyl[...]
  3: [11] Total . . . five thousand four hundred pieces: either this figure or the figures given for on[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-67] As it now stands, this list is an expanded form of the lists of returned captives from the [...]
  2: [63] His Excellency: the deputy of the Persian government; from the context, he was one of the Jew[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-2] The seventh month: Tishri (September-October), apparently of 538 B.C.; cf Ezra 1:1; 4:5. In[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 4
  1: [5] Darius: Darius I (521-485 B.C.). The temple-building narrative continues in Ezra 4:24. In betw[...]
  2: [7] Aramaic: this word in the original text seems to be a note indicating a change of language fro[...]
  3: [8-23] The central question here is the rebuilding of the fortification walls of Jerusalem, not th[...]
  4: [24] The second year . . . of Darius: that is, 520 B.C.; it marks the beginning of the successful [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] The prophets Haggai and Zechariah: two of the Minor Prophets, whose books record their role in[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 6
  1: [22] Assyria: used here in a broad sense for the Persian Empire.



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-8] The date of Ezra's journey to Palestine is not known with certainty. The seventh year of Kin[...]
  2: [25] The wisdom of your God: the Mosaic law; cf Ezra 7:6, 14.



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 8
  1: [15] Ahava: a town at an unidentified site in Babylonia. The river that flowed toward it was proba[...]
  2: [36] The story of Ezra's mission is seemingly continued from this point by Nehemiah 7:72b-8:18 wh[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 9
  1: [7] After this verse, the next part of the prayer attributed to Ezra is perhaps to be found in Ne[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Ezra
      • Chapter 10
  1: [6] Johanan, son of Eliashib: actually, the grandson of Eliashib; the father of Johanan was Eliash[...]
  2: [9] Ninth month: Chislev (November-December), during the "early rains" in Palestine. Since the as[...]
  3: [16-17] The work of the committee lasted three months, from the first day of the tenth month, Tebe[...]
  4: [44] The account of the problem of mixed marriages at the time of Ezra is continued in Nehemiah 9[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The first mission of Nehemiah, from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I, lasted from the spring[...]
  2: [11] Cupbearer to the king: an important official in the royal household. Because Nehemiah could a[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [10] Sanballat the Horonite: the governor of the province of Samaria [Nehemiah 3:32(33,34)], appa[...]
  2: [13-15] Nehemiah left Jerusalem by the Valley Gate near the northwestern end of the old City of Da[...]
  3: [20] Neither share nor claim nor memorial: although Sanballat and Tobiah were Yahwist, Nehemiah wo[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-32] The construction work on the gates and walls of the city is described in counterclockwise d[...]
  2: [8] Wall of the public square: that is, the section of wall bounding the place of assembly outside[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 5
  1: [7] You are exacting interest from your own kinsmen!: contrary to the Mosaic law (Deut 23:20). [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 6
  1: [15] Elul: the sixth month (August-September). Fifty-two days: according to Josephus (Antiquities [...]
  2: [17-19] These verses should be read immediately after v 14.



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 7
  1: [6-72a] See note on Ezra 2:1-67.
  2: [65, 69] His Excellency: see note on Ezra 2:63.
  3: [7:72b-8:18] To be read after Ezra 8:36. The gloss mentioning Nehemiah in Nehemiah 7:9 was inser[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-5] This is a continuation of the account concerning the problem of mixed marriages at the time [...]
  2: [6-37] The prayer of Ezra which began in Ezra 9:6-7 is here continued; see note on Ezra 9:7.



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1-39] This section belongs to the Nehemiah narrative rather than to that of Ezra. It is best read[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-19] This list of the family heads who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah is best read a[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 12
  1: [10-11] Jeshua, the high priest when Zerubbabel was governor, i.e., the last decades of the sixth [...]
  2: [27-43] The dedication of the wall of Jerusalem took place, no doubt, soon after the restoration o[...]
  3: [44-47] This account of the provisions made for the temple services is apparently a composition of[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Nehemiah
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1-3] These verses were composed by the Chronicler to serve as an introduction to the reforms that[...]
  2: [4-31] This is part of the "Memoirs of Nehemiah"; it is continued in 10:1-40.
  3: [6] After due time: It is not known when Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem or how long his second per[...]
  4: [24] Ashdodite: the language spoken at Ashdod, more likely an Aramaic rather than a Philistine dia[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Tobit: in the fragments of the book found at Qumran, is given as Tobi, an abbreviated form of [...]
  2: [2] Shalmaneser (V) (727-722 B.C.): began the siege of Samaria; the inhabitants of the northern ki[...]
  3: [5] Jeroboam established sanctuaries in Dan and Bethel so that the people would no longer go to J[...]
  4: [6] (6-8) Perpetual decree: Deut 12:11, 13-14. Refusing to worship at Jeroboam's shrines, the fai[...]
  5: [14] A great sum of money: literally, "ten silver talents," about ten thousand dollars. Rages: mo[...]
  6: [15] Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.): the son of Sargon (722-705 B.C.); neither was descended from Shal[...]
  7: [17] (17-18) Tobit risked his own life to bury the dead. Deprivation of burial was viewed with hor[...]
  8: [21] Esarhaddon: 681-669 B.C. Ahiqar: a hero of ancient folklore, known for his outstanding wisdom[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] The feast of Weeks: also called by its Greek name Pentecost, was celebrated fifty days after t[...]
  2: [2] Almsgiving and charity to the poor are important virtues taught by the book (4:7-11, 16, 17; [...]
  3: [5] I washed myself: because of ritual defilement from touching a corpse (Numbers 19:11-13).
  4: [10] Cataracts: literally, "white scales, or films." Elymais: the Greek name of ancient Elam, a d[...]
  5: [12] Late in winter: literally, "seventh of Dystros," the Macedonian month which corresponds to th[...]
  6: [14] Anna's sharp rebuke calls to mind the words of Job's wife (Job 2:9).



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 3
  1: [6] It is better for me to die than to live: in his distress Tobit uses the words of the petulant [...]
  2: [7] From here on, the story is told in the third person. Tobit 3:7 relates one of the several mar[...]
  3: [8] Asmodeus: in Persian aeshma daeva, "demon of wrath," adopted into Aramaic with the sense of "[...]
  4: [11] Facing the window: that is, looking toward Jerusalem; cf Daniel 6:11: Blessed are you and "B[...]
  5: [17] Tobiah had the right: according to the patriarchal custom of marriage within the family group[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 4
  1: [3] (3-19) A collection of maxims which parallel those in the wisdom literature, especially Prov a[...]
  2: [6] Before the revelation of retribution for all men in the afterlife-a doctrine taught in the Boo[...]
  3: [17] Tobit counsels his son either to give alms in honor of the dead, or, more probably, to give t[...]
  4: [19] Prayer is the foundation of a moral life.



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 5
  1: [3] Document: in Greek cheirographon. In the Middle Ages, notably in England, a deed and its dupli[...]
  2: [4] He did not know: the theme of an angel in disguise occurs frequently in folklore as well as in[...]
  3: [6] It is a good two days' travel from Ecbatana to Rages: Alexander's army took eleven days in for[...]
  4: [10] Hearty greetings and what joy form a wordplay on the Greek verb chairein, "to greet" and "to [...]
  5: [13] (13-14) Azariah, "Yahweh helps"; Hananiah, "Yahweh is merciful"; Nathaniah, "Yahweh gives"; [...]
  6: [15] The normal wages: literally, "a drachma," about seventeen cents, a day's wage for a workingma[...]
  7: [22] My love: literally, "sister," a term of endearment applied to one's wife; cf Tobit 7:11, 15;[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 6
  1: [5] Its gall . . . medicines: belief in the healing power of these organs was common among even th[...]
  2: [13] Raguel . . . Book of Moses: Numbers 36:6-8 prescribed marriage within the ancestral tribe, b[...]
  3: [18] Rise up to pray: prayer is needed to drive out the demon.



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 8
  1: [2] (2,3) The manner of coping with demonic influences among the ancients seems quaint to us. Howe[...]
  2: [3] Into Upper Egypt: to the desert there. The desert was considered the dwelling place of demons.[...]
  3: [20] For fourteen days: because of the happy, and unexpected, turn of events, Raguel doubles the t[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 12
  1: (1-5) Tobit and his son generously agree to give Azariah far more than the wages agreed upon in T[...]
  2: [6] (6-10) In the fashion of a wisdom teacher, Raphael gives the two men a short exhortation simil[...]
  3: [6] (6-7) The Jews considered the duty of praising God their most esteemed privilege. Without prai[...]
  4: [8] Prayer . . . fasting . . . almsgiving . . . righteousness: these, together with the proper att[...]
  5: [12] (12,15) Raphael is one of the seven specially designated intercessors who present man's praye[...]
  6: [14] I was sent . . . test: God often sends trials to purify his faithful servants further. Cf Job[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] (1-18) Tobit's hymn of praise (cf Exodus 15:1-18; Judith 16:1-17) is divided into two parts. [...]
  2: [9] Works of your hands: idols.



  • The Historical Books
    • Tobit
      • Chapter 14
  1: [4] (4-5) Nahum: one of the minor prophets, whose book contains oracles of doom against Nineveh. H[...]
  2: [5] Until the era . . . completed: a reference to the advent of Messianic times, in which a new, m[...]
  3: [6] Conversion of the Gentiles is also to come in the Messianic era.
  4: [10] Nadab: In the Story of Ahiqar, the hero Ahiqar, chancellor under the Assyrian kings Sennacher[...]
  5: [15] Cyaxares: Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, and Cyaxares conquered and destroyed Nineveh in 612 [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 1
  1: [6] Cheleoud: probably the Chaldeans are meant.
  2: [12] The two seas: the ancient rulers in Mesopotamia often designated the limits of their realm as[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 2
  1: [7] Earth and water: in the Persian period, the offering of these to a conqueror was a symbolic ge[...]
  2: [12] As I live: in the Old Testament, an oath proper to divinity; cf Deut 32:40. Nebuchadnezzar i[...]
  3: [23] Put and Lud: the same as the "Put and Lud" mentioned in Ezekiel 30:5 as allies of Egypt, and[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 3
  1: [10] Geba: perhaps originally "Gelboe," the mountain range near the eastern end of which lay Scyt[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 4
  1: [3] Returned from exile . . . profanation: these allusions are variously attributed-to the Persian[...]
  2: [6] Joakim, who was high priest: see Baruch 1:7 and the footnote on Baruch 1:8, 9; this name for[...]
  3: [8] The organization of the Jewish nation as subject to a high priest and a senate, or council of [...]
  4: [10] Domestic animals: see note on Jonah 3:8.
  5: [11] Prostrated themselves in front of the temple building: for a parallel to this ceremony of ent[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 5
  1: [6] (6-9) Achior outlines the early history of the Hebrews, whose forefather, Abraham, first lived[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 6
  1: [19] The Latin Vulgate (Judith 6:15) has a longer form of this prayer: "Lord, God of heaven and e[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 7
  1: [5] Lighted fires on their bastions: to serve as signals for alerting the neighboring towns. Refer[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1] Salamiel, son of Sarasadai: head of the tribe of Simeon during the wanderings of the Israelite[...]
  2: [5] A tent: erected by Judith on the roof of her house (Judith 8:5); it was here that the elders [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 9
  1: [2] The maiden: Dinah, Jacob's daughter, who was violated by Shechem, the Hivite (Genesis 34:2). [...]
  2: [3] Because Shechem had deceived and violated Dinah, her brothers, Simeon and Levi, tricked Sheche[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 10
  1: [12] (12-13) The deceitful means used by Judith against Holofernes, here and in Judith 11:5-19, a[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 12
  1: [10] Banquet for his servants alone . . . officers: Holofernes invited the officials of his househ[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 14
  1: [6] (6-10) In recognizing the head of Holofernes, whom he had known personally, Achior was so over[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 15
  1: [9] You are the glory of Jerusalem, the surpassing joy of Israel; you are the splendid boast of ou[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Judith
      • Chapter 16
  1: [17] Fire and worms into their flesh: see footnote on Isaiah 66:24.
  2: [25] The Vulgate adds: "The feast day of this victory was adopted by the Hebrews into the calendar[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter A
  1: [1] King Ahasuerus: Xerxes I (486-465 B.C.). Mordecai: a Babylonian name, after the god Marduk. Th[...]
  2: [4] The interpretation of this dream is given in Esther F:1-6.
  3: [16] Rewarded him: this reward comes only later; see the sequence of events from the Hebrew text o[...]
  4: [17] Haman . . . the Agagite: opposed Mordecai the Benjaminite, by whom, however, he was overcome [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] From India to Ethiopia: from western India to Upper Egypt, the greatest extent of the Persian [...]
  2: [2] Susa: ancient capital of Elam (Genesis 14:1); under the Achamenid kings, one of the two capit[...]
  3: [9] Queen Vashti: Herodotus (Histories 7:61) relates that the wife of Ahasuerus was Amestris.
  4: [19] Irrevocable royal decree: the historian Siculus Indicates that such a concept of irrevocable [...]
  5: [22] To each province . . . script and to each people . . . language: many languages were spoken i[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 2
  1: [7] Hadassah (the feminine form of hadas, myrtle), was the name by which this woman would be known[...]
  2: [18] A holiday: or perhaps, "a remission of taxes."
  3: [19-23] This is a resumption, in a slightly different form, of the story already told in Esther A[...]
  4: [21] Mordecai . . . at the king's gate: to exercise watchful care for Esther. Some understand this[...]
  5: [23] Hanged on a gibbet: impaled, perhaps, after the Babylonian manner.



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 3
  1: [2] Mordecai . . . would not kneel and bow down: in order not to render to man the homage which he[...]
  2: [7] Pur: a Babylonian word which the Hebrew translates as goral, "lot." This word is preserved in [...]
  3: [10] Signet ring: a ring containing a seal which was impressed on documents to authenticate them. [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter B
  1: [6] Fourteenth day: the Hebrew text, as in Esther 2:13 above, and the Greek text here translated [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 4
  1: [14] From another source: very probably Mordecai refers to divine aid; the Greek additions (C) are[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter C
  1: [28] Wine of libations: offered in sacrifice to the gods.



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] The Hebrew text here translated is a short form of the account already given in Greek.



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 8
  1: [8] Whatever is written . . . cannot be revoked: the king cannot directly grant Esther's request [...]
  2: [13] Avenge themselves on their enemies: partly in self-defense (Esther E:20), and partly to expr[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter E
  1: [10] Macedonian: a redactor of the book in the Hellenistic period used the designation Macedonian,[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter 9
  1: [10] They did not engage in plundering: in contrast to the Israelites who fought Agag (1 Sam 15:9[...]
  2: [15] This second slaughter explains the two dates (13th and 14th) of the Purim celebration by Jews[...]
  3: [16] Seventy-five thousand: according to the Greek text this number was fifteen thousand.
  4: [29] Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail and of Mordecai: the natural offspring of Abihail and adopt[...]
  5: [31] Fasting and supplication: as the Jews had previously undertaken the duty of fasting and suppl[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • Esther
      • Chapter F
  1: [7] Two lots: in this passage of the Greek text, which gives a more religious interpretation of th[...]
  2: [10] The Greek text of Esther contains a postscript as follows: In the fourth year of the reign of[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Land of Kittim: Greece. The name referred originally to inhabitants of Kiti, capital of the is[...]
  2: [7] Twelve years: 336-323 B.C.
  3: [10] The year one hundred and thirty-seven: Antiochus IV seized the throne in September, 175 B.C. [...]
  4: [14] Gymnasium: symbol and center of athletic and intellectual life, it was the chief instrument o[...]
  5: [17] Elephants: an important part of Seleucid armament. About 300 B.C. Seleucus I, founder of the [...]
  6: [20] Defeated Egypt in the year one hundred and forty-three: 169 B.C. No mention is made in 1 Mc o[...]
  7: [33] City of David: not Mount Zion on the eastern hill of Jerusalem, which David captured from the[...]
  8: [54] Fifteenth day of the month Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five: December 6, 167 B[...]
  9: [56-57] Scrolls of the law: one or more of the first five books of the Old Testament.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Modein: a village twenty miles northwest of Jerusalem.
  2: [18] The King's Friends: a regular order of nobility at Hellenistic courts. The various grades are[...]
  3: [18] Friends, Chief Friends, Kinsmen.
  4: [29] The desert: the sparsely inhabited mountain country southward from Jerusalem and west of the [...]
  5: [42] Hasideans: in Hebrew hasidim, "pious ones," a religious group devoted to the strict observanc[...]
  6: [70] In the year one hundred and forty-six: 166 B.C.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 3
  1: [10] Apollonius: the Mysian commander mentioned in 1 Macc 1:29; 2 Macc 5:24.
  2: [16] Beth-horon: the famous pass leading up from the coastal plain to the Judean hill country. Her[...]
  3: [22] He himself: out of reverence for God, the author of 1 Macc prefers to use this and other expr[...]
  4: [24] About eight hundred: the figures given in this book for strength of armies and number of casu[...]
  5: [37] This expedition, in the spring of 165 B.C., resulted in failure; cf 1 Macc 6.
  6: [38] Nicanor: the leader of another attack against the Jews four years later. He was finally kille[...]
  7: [40] Emmaus: probably not the village mentioned in Luke 24:13 but a settlement about twenty miles[...]
  8: [46] ...Mizpah a place of prayer for Israel: a holy place established of old eight miles north and[...]
  9: [48] To learn . . . idols: favorable omens for the coming battle. A contrast is intended between t[...]
  10: [49] Nazirites: see note on Numbers 6:1-3.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 4
  1: [15] Gazara: Gezer of the Hebrew Bible, five miles northwest of Emmaus; Azotus, Hebrew Ashdod, lay[...]
  2: [22] Philistine territory: the coastal cities of southern Palestine, traditionally hostile to Jeru[...]
  3: [29] Beth-zur: an important frontier city in the mountain area, fifteen miles south of Jerusalem. [...]
  4: [35] According to 2 Macc 11:13-15 peace negotiations followed between Lysias and Judas.
  5: [36] The sanctuary: the whole temple area with its walls, courts and outbuildings, to be distingui[...]
  6: [52] Twenty-fifth day of the ninth month . . . in the year one hundred and forty-eight: December 1[...]
  7: [59] Days of the dedication . . . Chislev: institution of thefeast of Hannukah, also called the fe[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] The events of this chapter occurred within the year 163 B.C.
  2: Akrabattene: a district southwest of the Dead Sea.
  3: [4] Sons of Baean: 2 Macc 10:15-23 calls them simply Idumeans.
  4: [6-8] This summary anticipates the order of events and would fit better between 1 Macc 5:36 and 3[...]
  5: [15] Ptolemais: Hebrew Acco (Judges 1:31), modern Acre, on the coast north of Haifa.
  6: [25] Nabateans: an Arab people who acquired wealth and power as caravan merchants in the final two[...]
  7: [46] Ephron: a city in Transjordan opposite Beth-shan, about five miles east of the Jordan River. [...]
  8: [65] Sons of Esau: Idumeans.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] Elymais: the mountainous region of Elam, north of the Persian Gulf. This section continues the[...]
  2: [16] The year one hundred and forty-nine: September 22, 164, to October 9, 163 B.C. A Babylonian l[...]
  3: [17] The king's son Antiochus: Antiochus V Eupator, then about nine years old. He was in Antioch, [...]
  4: [20] The year one hundred and fifty: October, 163, to September, 162 B.C.
  5: [49] A sabbath year in the land: when sowing and reaping were prohibited (Exodus 23:10-11; Lev 25[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-3] The year one hundred and fifty-one: the spring of 161 B.C. Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was t[...]
  2: [5-6] Alcimus: a renegade Jew hostile to the Maccabees, who became high priest after the death of [...]
  3: [19] Beth-zaith: about three miles north of Beth-zur and twelve miles south of Jerusalem.
  4: [27] Nicanor . . . deceitfully sent to Judas: a more favorable picture of Nicanor, as an honest ma[...]
  5: [31] Caphar-salama: a village seven miles north-northwest of Jerusalem, on the road leading to Bet[...]
  6: Defiled them: spitting on the priests caused them to become legally defiled.
  7: [40] Adasa: a village southeast of Caphar-salama.
  8: [49] The thirteenth of Adar: March 27, 160 B.C. This day in the Jewish calendar was called the "Da[...]
  9: [50] A short time: about one month following the death of Nicanor. After that began the attack of [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1] This chapter contains the account of the embassy which Judas sent to Rome, probably before the[...]
  2: [1] The image of the Roman Republic greatly impressed the smaller Eastern peoples seeking support [...]
  3: [2] Gauls: probably the Celts of northern Italy and southern France, subdued by the Romans in 222 [...]
  4: [5] Phillip: Phillip V of Macedonia, defeated by a Graeco-Roman alliance at Cynoscephalae in 197 B[...]
  5: [6] Antiochus: Antiochus III, greatest of the Seleucid kings. He was defeated at Magnesia in 190 B[...]
  6: [8] Lycia, Mysia: regions in western Asia Minor. These names are restored here by conjectural emen[...]
  7: [9-10] The revolt of the Achaean League, inserted here, occurred in 146 B.C., after Judas' time. I[...]
  8: [16] They entrusted their government to one man: actually the Roman Republic always had two consul[...]
  9: [22] The reply . . . on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem: The decree of the Senate would be in[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 9
  1: [2] They took the road . . . Arbela, they captured it: This passage is restored, in part, by conje[...]
  2: [3] The first month of the year one hundred and fifty-two: April/May 160 B.C., by the temple calen[...]
  3: [15] As far as the mountain slopes: conjectural emendation. The Greek text has "as far as Mount Az[...]
  4: [33] Tekoa: home of the prophet Amos in the wild country above the Dead Sea, southeast of Jerusale[...]
  5: [34] Omitted, it is a dittography of 1 Macc 9:43.
  6: [35] Jonathan sent his brother: this was John who was called Gaddi (1 Macc 2:2; cf 1 Macc 9:36, 3[...]
  7: [36] Medaba: northeast of the Dead Sea.
  8: [45] Jonathan's force was apparently trapped in one of the many oxbows of the lower Jordan. Bacchi[...]
  9: [50] These sites constitute a ring on the edges of the province of Judea.
  10: [54] In the year . . . second month: May, 159 B.C.
  11: [62] Bethbasi: two miles east of Bethlehem and six miles north of Tekoa.
  12: [73] Began to judge: exercise the governing authority as in the book of Judges. With Jerusalem and[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] The year one hundred and sixty: 152 B.C. Alexander . . . Antiochus: Alexander Balas claimed to[...]
  2: [21] Jonathan . . . feast of Booths: Jonathan began to discharge the office of high priest October[...]
  3: [30] The three districts annexed from Samaria: mentioned by name in 1 Maccc 11;34. The present Gre[...]
  4: [57] Cleopatra: Cleopatra Thea, then about fifteen years old. She later married Demetrius II, and [...]
  5: [67] The year one hundred and sixty-five: 147 B.C. Demetrius: Demetrius II Nicator.
  6: [76] Joppa: about forty miles northwest of Jerusalem. For the first time the Maccabees took posses[...]
  7: [89] Kinsmen: a class higher than Chief Friends.



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 11
  1: [7] Eleutherus: modern Nahr el-Kebir, the northern border of modern Lebanon; in the second century[...]
  2: [8] Seleucia-by-the-Sea: at the mouth of the Orontes, the port city of Antioch.
  3: [10] I regret . . . to kill me: according to Josephus, Ammonius, a friend of Alexander, had tried [...]
  4: [19] The year one hundred and sixty-seven: 146/145 B.C. The two deaths (1 Macc 11:17-18) occurred[...]
  5: [30] Brother: this title and father in 1 Macc 11:32 are honorific titles used of the Kinsmen.
  6: [31] Lasthenes: leader of the mercenary troops who had come with Demetrius from Crete. He was now [...]
  7: [34] Aphairema: the Ophrah of Joshua 18:23; 1 Sam 23:6; the Ephron of 2 Chron 13:19; and the Eph[...]
  8: [59] Ladder of Tyre: modern Ras en-Naquurah, on the border between Lebanon and Israel, where the m[...]
  9: [60] West-of-Euphrates: refers here to the territory of Palestine and Coelesyria, but not Upper Sy[...]
  10: [67] Plain of Hazor: the site of the ancient Canaanite city (Joshua 11:10), ten miles north of th[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 12
  1: [7] Onias: Onias I, high priest from 323-300 or 290 B.C. Arius: Arius I, king from 309 to 265 B.C.[...]
  2: [9] The sacred books . . . in our possession: a reference to "the law, the prophets and other book[...]
  3: [25] Country of Hamath: the Seleucid territory of Upper Syria northeast of Coelesyria and separate[...]
  4: [49] The Great Plain: of Beth-shan (1 Macc 12:41), where Jonathan's disbanded troops remained. [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 13
  1: [20-21] The invaders made a wide flanking; movement to invade Judea from the south. Adora was a fe[...]
  2: [23] Bashama: northeast of the Sea of Galilee.
  3: [41] The year one hundred and seventy: March, 142, to April, 141 B.C., by the temple calendar.
  4: [43] Gazara: a key position in the Shephelah, fortified by Bacchides in 160 B.C.; cf 9,52.
  5: [51] The twenty-third day of the second month: June 3, 141 B.C.
  6: [53] John: John Hyrcanus, who was to succeed his father as ruler and high priest; cf 1 Macc 16:23[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1] The year one hundred and seventy-two: 141-140 B.C. The expedition began most probably in the s[...]
  2: [2] Arsaces: Arsaces VI, also called Mithridates I, the Parthian king (171-138 B.C.). Parthians ha[...]
  3: [16] The embassy to Rome and Sparta was sent soon after Simon's accession to power, and the replie[...]
  4: [27] Eighteenth day of Elul: September 13, 140 B.C. Asaramel: a Hebrew name meaning "court of the [...]
  5: [47] Ethnarch: a subaltern ruler over a racial group whose office needed confirmation by a higher [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 15
  1: [1] Antiochus: Antiochus VII Sidetes, son of Demetrius I, and younger brother of Demetrius II, now[...]
  2: [10] The year one hundred and seventy-four: 138 B.C.
  3: [11] Dor, by the sea: a fortress on the Palestinian coast, fifteen miles south of Carmel.
  4: [16] Lucius: Perhaps Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul in 142 B.C., or Lucius Calpurnicus Piso, co[...]
  5: [22] Attalus: Attalus II of Pergamum, reigned 159-138 B.C. Ariarthes: Ariarthes V of Cappadocia, r[...]
  6: [37] Orthosia: a port between Tripoli and the Eleutherus River.
  7: [39] Kedron: a few miles southeast of Jamnia and facing the fortress of Gazara held by John Hyrcan[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 1 Maccabees
      • Chapter 16
  1: [14] In the year one hundred and seventy-seven, in the eleventh month: January-February, 134 B.C.,[...]
  2: [15] Dok: a fortress built on a cliff three miles northwest of Jericho, near modern Ain Duq.
  3: [23-24] John Hyrcanus was ruler and high priest from 134 B.C. till his death in 104 B.C. These ver[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 1
  1: [7] Demetrius: Demetrius II, king of Syria (145-139, 129-125 B.C.). The year one hundred and sixty[...]
  2: [8] Our prayer was heard: in the ultimate victory of the Maccabees.
  3: [9] Feast of Booths in the month of Chislev: really the feast of the Dedication of the temple (2 [...]
  4: [10] 124 B.C. The date pertains to the preceding, not the following letter. King Ptolemy: Ptolemy [...]
  5: [11-12] The king: Antiochus IV of Syria, the bitter persecutor of the Jews, who, as leader of the [...]
  6: [13] Nanea: an oriental goddess comparable to Artemis of the Greeks.
  7: [14-17] A different account of the death of Antiochus IV is given in 2 Macc 9:1-29, and another v[...]
  8: [18-36] This purely legendary account of Nehemiah's miraculous fire is incorporated in the letter [...]
  9: [18] Nehemiah, the rebuilder of the temple he: rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, but the temple had [...]
  10: [19] Persia: actually Babylonia, which later became part of the Persian Empire.
  11: [36] By a play on words, the Greek term naphtha (petroleum) is assimilated to some Semitic word, p[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-8] This legendary accout of how Jeremiah hid the sacred tent (which was not mentioned after the[...]
  2: [4] The mountain: Nebo; cf Deut 34:1.
  3: [8] The Place: the temple of Jerusalem.
  4: [11] The statement attributed here to Moses seems to be based on Lev 10:16-20.
  5: [13] Nehemiah's Memoirs: a lost apocryphal work.
  6: [20] For the account of the campaigns against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, see 2 Macc 4:7-10:9; and fo[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-40] This legendary episode about Heliodorus is recounted here for the purpose of stressing the [...]
  2: [1] The high priest Onias: Onias III, who was high priest from 196 to 175 B.C., and died in 171 B.[...]
  3: [3] Seleucus: Seleucus IV Philopator, who reigned from 187 to 175 B.C.
  4: [4] Bilgah: a priestly family mentioned in Nehemiah 12:5, 18.
  5: [11] Son of Tobias: a member of the Tobiad family of Transjordan (Nehemiah 2:10; 6:17-19; 13:4-8)[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 4
  1: [7] Seleucus died: he was murdered by Heliodorus. Antiochus Epiphanes was his younger brother. Oni[...]
  2: [9] Youth club: an educational institution in which young men were trained both in Greek intellect[...]
  3: [11] Eupolemus: one of the two envoys sent to Rome by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 8:17).
  4: [12] Since the gymnasium, where the youth exercised naked (Greek gymnos), lay in the Tyropoeon Val[...]
  5: [20] Triremes: war vessels with three banks of oars.
  6: [21] Philometor: Ptolemy VI, king of Egypt, c. 172 to c. 145 B.C.
  7: [23] Menelaus: Jewish high priest from c. 172 to his execution in 162 B.C. (2 Macc 13:3-8).
  8: [30] Mallus: a city of Cilicia (2 Macc 4:36) in southeastern Asia Minor, about thirty miles east [...]
  9: [36] The city: Antioch. But some understand the Greek to mean "each city."
  10: [39] The city: Jerusalem. Menelaus was still in Syria.
  11: [44] The senate: the council of Jewish elders at Jerusalem; cf 1 Macc 12:6.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] Second expedition: the first invasion of Egypt by Antiochus in 169 B.C. (1 Macc 1:16-20) is n[...]
  2: [5] Jason: brother of Onias III, was claimant of the high priesthood (2 Macc 4:7-10). Later he wa[...]
  3: [8] Aretas: King Aretas I of the Nabateans; cf 1 Macc 5:25.
  4: [19] Man is more important than even the most sacred institutions; cf Mark 2:27.
  5: [22] Philip, a Phrygian by birth: the Philip of 2 Macc 6:11; 8:8 but probably not the same as Phi[...]
  6: [23] Mount Gerizim: the sacred mountain of the Samaritans at Shechem; cf 2 Macc 6:2.
  7: [24] Apollonius: the Mysian commander of 1 Macc 1:29; mentioned also in 2 Macc 3:5; 4:4.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 6
  1: [2] Olympian Zeus: equated with the Syrian Baal Shamen ("the lord of the heavens"), a term which t[...]
  2: [4] Amused themselves with prostitutes: as in the fertility cults of the ancient Near East; see no[...]
  3: [7] Dionysus: called also Bacchus, the god of the grape harvest and of wine; ivy was one of his sy[...]
  4: [6:18-7:42] The stories of Eleazar and of the mother and her seven sons, among the earliest mode[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 7
  1: [9] The King of the world will raise us up: here, and in 2 Macc 7:11, 14, 23, 29, 36, belief in [...]
  2: [28] God did not make them out of existing things: that is, God made all things solely by his omni[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 8
  1: [8-29, 34-35] This account of the campaign of Nicanor and Gorgias against Judas is paralleled, wit[...]
  2: [22] Joseph: called John in 1 Macc 2:2; 9:36, 38; this paragraph interrupts the story of Nicanor[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-28] In order to keep together the various accounts of God's punishment of the persecutors of hi[...]
  2: [19-27] Despite the statement in 2 Macc 9:18 this letter is not really a supplication. It is rath[...]
  3: [25] The letter copied below: not included in the text of 2 Macc.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 10
  1: [3] Two years: three years according to 1 Macc 1:54; 4:52.
  2: [12] Ptolemy Macron: son of Dorymenes (2 Macc 4:45), was formerly hostile to the Jews (2 Macc 6:8[...]
  3: [14-23] Probably the same campaign of Judas against the Idumeans that is mentioned in 1 Macc 5:1-[...]
  4: [24] Timothy . . . previously . . . defeated by the Jews: as recounted in 2 Macc 8:30-33.
  5: [28] As soon as dawn broke: the same battle at dawn as in 1 Macc 5:30-34.
  6: [37] Timothy . . . they killed: apparently, the same Timothy is still alive in 2 Macc 12:2, 18-25[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-12] The defeat of Lysias at Beth-zur probably occurred before the purification of the temple; c[...]
  2: [21] The year one hundred and forty-eight: 164 B.C. The reading of the name of the month and its p[...]
  3: [33] The date, which is the same as the date of the Romans' letter (v 38), cannot be correct. The [...]
  4: [38] The date is March 12, 164 B.C.



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 12
  1: [2] Apollonius, son of Gennaeus: not the Apollonius who was the son of Menestheus (2 Macc 4:21). [...]
  2: [10] From there: not from the aforesaid Jamnia (2 Macc 12:8-9) or Joppa (2 Macc 12:3-7), but from[...]
  3: [17] Certain Jews known as Toubiani: because they lived "in the land of Tob" (1 Macc 5:13).
  4: [26] Atargatis: a Syrian goddess, represented by the body of a fish.
  5: [29] Scythopolis: the Greek name of the city of Beth-shan; cf 1 Macc 5:52.
  6: [35] One of Bacenor's men: certain ancient witnesses to the text have "one of the Toubiani"; cf 2[...]
  7: [42-45] This is the earliest statement of the doctrine that prayers (2 Macc 12:42) and sacrifices[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] In the year one hundred and forty-nine: 163-162 B.C.
  2: [2] They led: the Greek means literally "Each (of them) led," but it is unlikely that the author [...]
  3: [4] Beroea: the Greek name of Aleppo.
  4: [5] Ashes: probably smoldering ashes; the tower resembles the ancient Persian fire towers.
  5: [15] Slew: literally "stabbed"; the deed was done by Eleazar (1 Macc 6:43-46).
  6: [16] They withdrew in triumph: according to 1 Macc 6:47 they fled.
  7: [21] Military secrets: probably about the lack of provisions in the besieged city; cf 1 Macc 6:49[...]
  8: [24] The Greek text is uncertain and may be rendered: "He approved of Maccabeus, then left Hegemon[...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1] Three years later: actually, Demetrius (I Soter), son of Seleucus (IV), landed at Tripolis in [...]
  2: [14] Who would have banished Judas: the meaning of the Greek is uncertain; some render it: "who ha[...]
  3: [37-46] The story of Razis belongs to the "martyrology" class of literature; it is similar to the [...]



  • The Historical Books
    • 2 Maccabees
      • Chapter 15
  1: [6] Public monument of victory: a heap of stones covered with the arms and armor of the fallen ene[...]
  2: [9] The law and the prophets: the first of the three parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, called the sa[...]
  3: [12] Onias, the former high priest: Onias III (2 Macc 3:1-40). Evidently the author believed that[...]
  4: [14] Jeremiah: regarded by the postexilic Jews as one of the greatest figures in their history; cf[...]
  5: [31] Those in the citadel: presumably Jewish soldiers; actually, the citadel was still in the poss[...]
  6: [36] Mordecai's Day: the feast of Purim, celebrated on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Uz: somewhere in Edom or Arabia. Job: a not uncommon name in ancient Semitic circles; its orig[...]
  2: [2-3] The numbers mentioned here indicate Job's great wealth and happiness, external proof of God'[...]
  3: [3] Men of the East: that is, east of Palestine.
  4: [6] Sons of God: angels. Satan: literally, "adversary."
  5: [15] Sabeans: from southern Arabia.
  6: [16] Lightning: literally, "God's fire."
  7: [21] Go back again: to the earth; cf Genesis 2:7; Sirach 40:1.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 2
  1: [4] Skin for skin: an expression which, as applied to Job, means that he has borne his suffering p[...]
  2: [9] Curse God and die: you have nothing to hope for from God and therefore nothing to live for. [...]
  3: [11] The names of Job's friends suggest Edomite origin. The Edomites (Obadiah 1:8-9) and more spe[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 3
  1: [8] Leviathan: in Job 40:25 the crocodile; here the reference is probably to a mythological sea m[...]
  2: [16] (16)This verse has been placed between Job 3:11-12 where it probably stood originally. There[...]
  3: [17] There: in death.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 4
  1: [10] The lion: used figuratively here for the violent, rapacious sinner who cannot prevail against[...]
  2: [12-21] A dramatic presentation of the idea of man's nothingness in contrast to God's greatness. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 5
  1: [4] At the gate: of the city, where justice was administered.
  2: [7] Sparks: in Hebrew, "sons of resheph," which the ancient versions took as the name of a bird. [...]
  3: [9] Omitted here; it is a duplicate of Job 9:10.
  4: [19] Six . . . the seventh: proverbial expression for any large number; cf Proverb 24:16; Luke 17[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 6
  1: [5-6] Job would not complain if his life were as pleasant to him as fodder to a hungry animal; but[...]
  2: [19] Tema: in northwest Arabia. Sheba: see note on Job 1:15.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] Drudgery: taken by some to refer to military service; cf also Job 14:14.
  2: [12] An allusion in poetic imagery to primeval chaos as a monstrous ocean vanquished by God at the[...]
  3: [12-21] Job now speaks, not to his friend, but to God.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 8
  1: [11-13] As marsh plants need water, so man needs God. These verses are taken by some as a quotatio[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 9
  1: [13] Rehab: cf Job 26:12. See note on Psalm 89:11.
  2: [28-31] You: refers to God.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] I loathe my life: this is the first verse of Job 10.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 12
  1: [4-5] The Hebrew is somewhat obscure, but the general sense is that the wicked mock at the pious w[...]
  2: [18] (18)Waistcloth . . . loins: he reduces kings to the condition of slaves, who wear only a clot[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 13
  1: [14] The second half of the verse is a common biblical expression for risking one's life; cf Judg[...]
  2: [20] From here to the end of Job 14 Job pleads his case, addressing God rather than his three frie[...]
  3: [28] (13:28)This verse has been transposed from Job 13.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 14
  1: [17] Sealed up in a pouch: hidden away and forgotten.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 15
  1: [35] They give birth to failure: their wicked plans yield nothing but futile results. Cf Psalm 7:[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 16
  1: [18] As the blood of those who were unjustly slain cries to heaven for vengeance (Genesis 4:10; E[...]
  2: [19] Witness: refers either to God or, more probably, to Job's prayer.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 17
  1: [3] Addressed to God; Job 17:10 to Job's friends.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 18
  1: [4] Job himself is portrayed as having the heedless rage of wild beasts, despite which God does no[...]
  2: [13] First-born of death: that is, disease, plague.
  3: [14] The king of terrors: of the nether world, death; however, the Hebrew is obscure.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 19
  1: [20] With my flesh between my teeth: meaning perhaps that Job has been reduced to such an extremit[...]
  2: [22] Divine: possessing God's attributes of judgment and authority to punish.
  3: [23-24] Job regards what he is about to say as so important that he wishes it recorded in a perman[...]
  4: [25, 27] The meaning of this passage is obscure because the original text has been poorly preserve[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 20
  1: [17] Oil: olive oil, one of the main agricultural products of Palestine, a land proverbially rich [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 21
  1: [22] Those on high: the angels.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 22
  1: [6-8] This criticism of Job by Eliphaz is altogether untrue, but it is made to dramatize the latte[...]
  2: [18] A gloss, taken partly from Job 21:16.
  3: [24] Ophir: cf note to Psalm 45:10.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1] Why does not God favor his friends by the speedy punishment of his enemies? (The text and orde[...]
  2: [17] The asterisks which follow this verse mark off a passage (Job 24:18-24) which cannot be ascr[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 25
  1: [3] His troops: the heavenly hosts, the stars or the angels. His light: compare the wording in Jo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 26
  1: [1-14] Probably to be read as Job's reply to Bildad's short speech. Some, however, would make it t[...]
  2: [5] Shades: the dead in Sheol, the nether world; cf Psalm 6:6; 88:11.
  3: [6] Nether world: cf note to Psalm 6:6. Abaddon: Hebrew for "(place of) destruction," a synonym f[...]
  4: [7] The North: used here as a synonym for the firmament, the heavens; cf Isaiah 14, 13.
  5: [10] Circle: the horizon of the ocean which serves as the boundary for the activity of light and d[...]
  6: [12] Rahab: cf Job 9:13; see note on Psalm 89:11.
  7: [13] The fugitive dragon: the same term occurs in Isaiah 27:1 in apposition to Leviathan; see not[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 27
  1: [2-11] This is probably to be read as Job's reply to Zophar's speech of Job 27:12-20(13-21). In t[...]
  2: [12-20] This is probably to be read as Zophar's third speech. The asterisks are present to indicat[...]
  3: [21] The Hebrew has two more verses: Job 27:22 (read above with Job 26:13); Job 27:23 which is a[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 28
  1: [1-28] Note the changed order of verses; Job 28:4 is uncertain. This chapter contains a beautiful[...]
  2: [16] Ophir: cf note to Psalm 45:9.
  3: [22] (22)Abaddon: cf note to Job 26:6.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 29
  1: [6] Hyperbole to express abundance; see note on Job 20:17.
  2: [18] Phoenix: a legendary bird which, after several centuries of life, consumed itself in fire, th[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 30
  1: [4] Saltwort: found in salt marshes and very sour to the taste; eaten by the extremely poor as a c[...]
  2: [16-21] (19-24)Job here refers to God's stern treatment of him.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 31
  1: [6-34] Job's final protestation of his innocence.
  2: [8,9] Note the gradation: avoidance of sinful glances and thoughts against a maiden; desire for an[...]
  3: [21] Gate: cf notes on Job 5:4; Ruth 4:1.
  4: [26-28] Job never sinned by worshiping the sun or the moon; waft them a kiss: an act of idolatrous[...]
  5: [31] The members of his household will testify to his hospitality.
  6: [33,34] Job's present protest is made, not in spite of hidden sins which he had been unwilling to [...]
  7: [36] On my shoulder: i.e., boldly, proudly.
  8: [37] Like a prince: not as a frightened criminal. Final plea: literally, "tau," the last letter of[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 32
  1: [2] Elihu means "My God is he." This speaker was from Buz, which, according to Jeremiah 25:23 was[...]
  2: [13] Met wisdom: in Job's arguments.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 33
  1: [23] Angel: one of the thousands who stand between God and man as intermediaries, reminding man of[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 34
  1: [26, 29-30] The extant Hebrew text of these verses contains several added phrases which either rep[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 35
  1: [4] A reply to you: Elihu refers to Job's statement that the innocent suffer as much as the wicked[...]
  2: [14-15] The text here is uncertain. It seems to indicate that Job should have realized God's indif[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 36
  1: [5-21] Perhaps this section should be read between Job 34:6 and 7.
  2: [12] Knowledge: practical wisdom in serving God, which they lack because they refused it when warn[...]
  3: [14] Reprobate: cf Deut 23:18-19.
  4: [16-20] The Hebrew text here is in disorder. The Vulgate has: "Therefore he will give you most amp[...]
  5: [31] These: refers to the showers of Job 36:28 if the verse order indicated above is correct.
  6: [30-31] Because of the uncertaintiy of the text, no translation of these verses has received unani[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 37
  1: [2] Voice: the thunder.
  2: [9] Chamber: where it was popularly believed storms were kept enclosed.
  3: [12] Their rounds: of rain (Job 36:27), of clouds (Job 36:29-30), of lightning and thunder (Job [...]
  4: [18] The firmament . . . mirror: the ancients thought of the sky as a ceiling above which were the[...]
  5: [20] Will an angel bring this to God's attention?
  6: [21] Even though God seems not to know our circumstances, he does know them, just as surely as the[...]
  7: [22] Now the storms of doubt and ignorance disappear, and from the North, used here as a symbol fo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 38
  1: [1] Now the LORD enters the debate and addresses two discourses (Job 38-39 and Job 40-41) to Job, [...]
  2: [3] Gird up your loins: prepare for combat - figuratively, be ready to defend yourself in debate. [...]
  3: [7] Sons of God: angels; cf Job 1:6.
  4: [21] Divine irony.
  5: [22-23] Hail . . . of war: thus God used a hailstorm to rout Joshua's foes in the battle of Gibeon[...]
  6: [31-32] Pleiades . . . Orion . . . Bear: cf Job 9:9. Mazzaroth: It is uncertain what astronomical[...]
  7: [34] Veil yourself . . . storm: wrap yourself in a cloud, as God comes in a theophany; cf Psalm 1[...]
  8: [35] Here we are: at your service.
  9: [36] Understanding: the reflection of divine Wisdom discernible in the created animal instincts of[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 39
  1: [13] The wings of the ostrich cannot raise her from the ground, but they help her to run swiftly. [...]
  2: [14-16] It was popularly believed that, because the ostrich laid her eggs on the sand, she was the[...]
  3: [19-25] The famous description of a war horse.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 40
  1: [15] Behemoth: the hippopotamus.
  2: [24] Eyes . . . nose: the only exposed parts of the submerged beast.
  3: [25] (25) Leviathan here is the crocodile. But cf Job 3:8.
  4: [30] (30) Merchants: literally, "Canaanites," whose reputation for trading was so widespread that [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 41
  1: [2] Before him; some read, "before me," i.e., God; also in Job 41:3.
  2: [17] The text here is uncertain.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Job
      • Chapter 42
  1: [2-6] In the current Hebrew text, this final utterance of Job is interrupted by words ascribed to [...]
  2: [7] The three friends of Job (Elihu is ignored in the Epilogue) are criticized by the LORD because[...]
  3: [8] Job becomes the intercessor for his friends, as were other great Old Testament characters, e.g[...]
  4: [11] A piece of money: the term is the same as that used in Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32. Gold rin[...]
  5: [14] Job's daughters had names symbolic of their charms: Jemimah, dove; Keziah, precious perfume ([...]
  6: [15] Ordinarily daughters did not inherit property unless there were no sons; cf Numbers 27:1-11.[...]
  7: [16] As his other rewards were twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10) so Job's hundred and fo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 1
  1: [Psalm 1] A preface to the whole Book of Psalms, contrasting with striking similes the destiny of [...]
  2: [1] Those: literally, "the man." That word is used here and in many of the Psalms as typical, and [...]
  3: [2] The law of the LORD: either the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, or, more probably, d[...]
  4: [4] The wicked: those who by their actions distance themselves from God's life-giving presence. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 2
  1: [Psalm 2] royal psalm. To rebellious kings (Psalm 2:1-3) God responds vigorously (Psalm 2:4-6). A[...]
  2: [2] Anointed: in Hebrew mashiah, "anointed"; in Greek christos, whence English Messiah and Christ.[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 3
  1: [Psalm 3] An individual lament complaining of enemies who deny that God will come to the rescue ([...]
  2: [1] The superscription, added later, relates the psalm to an incident in the life of David.
  3: [3,5,9] Selah: the term is generally considered a direction to the cantor or musicians but its exa[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 4
  1: [Psalm 4] An individual lament emphasizing trust in God. The petition is based upon the psalmist's[...]
  2: [1] For the leader: many psalm headings contain this rubric. Its exact meaning is unknown but may [...]
  3: [5] Tremble: be moved deeply with religious awe. The Greek translation understood the emotion to b[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 5
  1: [Psalm 5] A lament contrasting the security of the house of God (Psalm 5:8-9, 12-13) with the dan[...]
  2: [10] Their throats: their speech brings harm to their hearers (cf Jeremiah 5:16). The verse menti[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 6
  1: [Psalm 6] The first of the seven Penitential Psalms (Psalm 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), a design[...]
  2: [1] Upon the eighth: apparently a musical notation, now lost.
  3: [4] How long?: elliptical for "How long will it be before you answer my prayer?" Cf Psalm 13:2-3.[...]
  4: [5] mercy: Heb. hesed, translated as "mercy' or "love," describes God's affectionate fidelity to [...]
  5: [6] A motive for God to preserve the psalmist from death: in the shadowy world of the dead no one [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 7
  1: [Psalm 7] An individual lament. The psalmist flees to God's presence in the sanctuary for justice [...]
  2: [4] At fault in this: in the accusation the enemies have made against the psalmist.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 8
  1: [Psalm 8] While marvelling at the limitless grandeur of God (Psalm 8:2-3), the psalmist is struck[...]
  2: [1] Upon the gittith: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung or a musi[...]
  3: [3] Babes and infants: the text is obscure. Some join this line to the last line of Psalm 8:2 (it[...]
  4: [5] Humans . . . mere mortals: literally, "(mortal) person". . . "son of man (in sense of a human[...]
  5: [6] Little less than a god: Hebrew 'elohim, the ordinary word for "God" or "the gods" or members [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 9
  1: [Psalms 9-10] Psalm 9 and Psalm 10 in the Hebrew text have been transmitted as separate poems but [...]
  2: [1] Muth Labben: probably the melodic accompaniment of the psalm, now lost.
  3: [15] Daughter Zion: an ancient Near Eastern city could sometimes be personified as a woman or a qu[...]
  4: [17] The Lord is revealed in this divine rule: God has so made the universe that the wicked are pu[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 11
  1: [Psalm 11] A song of trust. Though friends counsel flight to the mountain country (a traditional h[...]
  2: [3] Foundations: usually understood of public order. Cf Psalm 82:5.
  3: [6] Their allotted cup: the cup that God gives people to drink is a common figure for their destin[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 12
  1: [Psalm 12] A lament. The psalmist, thrown into a world where lying and violent people persecute th[...]
  2: [Psalm 13] A crucible: lit. "in a crucible in the ground." The crucible was placed in the ground f[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] A lament in which the psalmist, seriously ill (Psalm 13:4), expresses fear that enemies will [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 14
  1: [Psalm 14] The lament (duplicated in Psalm 53) depicts the world as consisting of two types of peo[...]
  2: [1] Fools: literally, "the fool." The singular is used typically, hence the plural translation. [...]
  3: [7] Israel . . . Jacob . . . his people: the righteous poor are identified with God's people.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 15
  1: [Psalm 15] The psalm records a liturgical scrutiny at the entrance to the temple court (cf Psalm [...]
  2: [1] Your tent . . . your holy mountain: the temple could be referred to as "tent" (Psalm 61:5; Is[...]
  3: [5] Lends no money at interest: lending money in the Old Testament was often seen as assistance to[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 16
  1: [Psalm 16] In the first section, the psalmist rejects the futile worship of false gods (Psalm 16:[...]
  2: [1] Miktam: a term occurring six times in psalm superscriptions, always with "David." Its meaning [...]
  3: [4] Take their names: to use the gods' names in oaths and hence to affirm them as one's own gods. [...]
  4: [6] Pleasant places were measured out for me: the psalmist is pleased with the plot of land measur[...]
  5: [10] Nor let your faithful servant see the pit: Hebrew shahath means here the pit, a synonym for S[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 17
  1: [Psalm 17] A lament of an individual unjustly attacked who has taken refuge in the temple. Confide[...]
  2: [8] Apple of your eye . . . shadow of your wings: images of God's special care. Cf Deut 32:10; Pr[...]
  3: [10-12,14] An extended metaphor: the enemies are lions.
  4: [15] When I awake: probably the psalmist has spent the night in the sanctuary (cf Psalm 17:3) and[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 18
  1: [Psalm 12] A royal thanksgiving for a military victory, duplicated in 2 Sam 22. Thanksgiving psalm[...]
  2: [3] My saving horn: my strong savior. The horn referred to is the weapon of a bull and the symbol [...]
  3: [6] Cords: hunting imagery, the cords of a snare.
  4: [7] His temple: his heavenly abode.
  5: [8-16] God appears in the storm, which in Palestine comes from the west. The introduction to the t[...]
  6: [11] Cherub: a winged creature, derived from myth, in the service of the deity (Genesis 3:24; Exo[...]
  7: [15] Arrows: lightning.
  8: [35] Bow of bronze: hyperbole for a bow difficult to bend and therefore capable of propelling an a[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 19
  1: [Psalm 19] The heavenly elements of the world, now beautifully arranged, bespeak the power and wis[...]
  2: [4] No word or sound: the regular functioning of the heavens and the alternation of day and night [...]
  3: [5] The sun: in other religious literature the sun is a judge and lawgiver since it sees all in it[...]
  4: [12] Instructed: the Hebrew verb means both to shine and to teach. Cf Daniel 12:3.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 20
  1: [Psalm 20] The people pray for the king before battle. The people ask for divine help (Psalm 20:2[...]
  2: [4] Remember: God's remembering implies readiness to act. Cf Genesis 8:1; Exodus 2:24
  3: [6] Victory: the Hebrew root is often translated "salvation," "to save," but in military contexts[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] The first part of this royal psalm is a thanksgiving (Psalm 21:2-8), and the second is a prom[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 22
  1: [Psalm 22] A lament unusual in structure and in intensity of feeling. The psalmist's present distr[...]
  2: [1] The deer of the dawn: apparently the title of the melody.
  3: [7] I am a worm, hardly human: the psalmist's sense of isolation and dehumanization, an important [...]
  4: [13-14] Bulls: the enemies of the psalmist are also portrayed in less-than-human form, as wild ani[...]
  5: [16] The dust of death: the netherworld, the domain of the dead.
  6: [23] In the community I will praise you: the person who offered a thanksgiving sacrifice in the te[...]
  7: [25] Turn away: literally, "hides his face from me," an important metaphor for God withdrawing fro[...]
  8: [27] The poor: originally the poor, who were dependent on God; the term ('anawim) came to include [...]
  9: [30] Hebrew unclear. The translation assumes that all on earth (Psalm 22:27-28) and under the ear[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 23
  1: [Psalm 23] God's loving care for the psalmist is portrayed under the figures of a shepherd for the[...]
  2: [1] My shepherd: God as good shepherd is common in both the Old Testament and the New Testament ([...]
  3: [3] The right path: connotes "right way" and "way of righteousness."
  4: [4] A dark valley: a different division of the Hebrew consonants yields the translation "the valle[...]
  5: [5] You set a table before me: this expression occurs in an exodus context in Psalm 78:19. As my [...]
  6: [6] Goodness and love: the blessings of God's covenant with Israel.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 24
  1: [Psalm 24] The psalm apparently accompanied a ceremony of the entry of God (invisibly enthroned up[...]
  2: [4-5] Literally, "the one whose hands are clean." The singular is used for the entire class of wo[...]
  3: [7, 9] Lift up your heads, O gates . . . you ancient portals: the literal meaning is impossible si[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 25
  1: [Psalm 25] A lament. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Such acros[...]
  2: [5] Because of your goodness, LORD: these words have been transposed from the end of 7 to preserve[...]
  3: [22] A final verse beginning with the Hebrew letter pe is added to the normal 22-letter alphabet. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 26
  1: [Psalm 26] Like a priest washing before approaching the altar (Exodus 30:17-21), the psalmist see[...]
  2: [6] I will wash my hands: the washing of hands was a liturgical act (Exodus 30:19, 21; 40:31-32)[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 27
  1: [Psalm 27] Tradition has handed down the two sections of the psalm (Psalm 27:1-6; 7-14) as one ps[...]
  2: [2] To devour my flesh: the psalmist's enemies are rapacious beasts (Psalm 7:3; 17:12; 22:14, 17[...]
  3: [8] Seek God's face (literally: "to seek his face"): to commune with God in the temple. The idiom [...]
  4: [13] In the land of the living: or "in the land of life," an epithet of the Jerusalem temple (Psa[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 28
  1: [2] Your holy place: the innermost part of the temple, the holy of holies, containing the ark. Cf [...]
  2: [6] The psalmist shifts to fervent thanksgiving, probably responding to a priestly or prophetic or[...]
  3: [8] Your people . . . your anointed king: salvation is more than individual, affecting all the peo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 29
  1: [Psalm 29] The hymn invites the members of the heavenly court to acknowledge God's supremacy by as[...]
  2: [1] You heavenly beings: literally "sons of God," i.e., members of the heavenly court who served [...]
  3: [3] The voice of the LORD: the sevenfold repetition of the phrase imitates the sound of crashing t[...]
  4: [6] Sirion: the Phoenician name for Mount Hermon. Cf Deut 3:9.
  5: [8] The desert of Kadesh: probably north of Palestine in the neighborhood of Lebanon and Hermon. [...]
  6: [9b-10] Having witnessed God's supreme power (Psalm 29:3-9a), the gods acknowledge the glory that[...]
  7: [10] The flood: God defeated the primordial waters and made them part of the universe. Cf Psalm 8[...]
  8: [11] His people: God's people, Israel.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 30
  1: [Psalm 30] An individual thanksgiving in four parts: praise and thanks for deliverance and restora[...]
  2: [1] For the dedication of the temple: a later adaptation of the psalm to celebrate the purificatio[...]
  3: [3] Healed: for God as healer, see also Psalm 103:3; 107:20; Hosea 6:1; 7:1; 11:3; 14:5.
  4: [4] Sheol ... pit: the shadowy underworld residence of the spirits of the dead, here a metaphor fo[...]
  5: [7] Complacent: untroubled existence is often seen as a source of temptation to forget God. Cf De[...]
  6: [10] in the stillness of Sheol no one gives you praise; let me live and be among your worshipers. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 31
  1: [Psalm 31] A lament (Psalm 31:2-19) with a strong emphasis on trust (Psalm 31:4, 6, 15-16), endi[...]
  2: [6] Into your hands I commend my spirit: in Luke 23:46 Jesus breathes his last with this psalm ve[...]
  3: [13] Like a shattered dish: a common comparison for something ruined and useless. Cf Isaiah 30:14[...]
  4: [14] Terrors are all around: a cry used in inescapable danger. Cf Jeremiah 6:25; 20:10; 46:5; 49[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 32
  1: [Psalm 32] An individual thanksgiving and the second of the seven Penitential Psalms (cf Psalm 6).[...]
  2: [3] I kept silent: did not confess the sin before God.
  3: [6] Flood waters: the untamed waters surrounding the earth, a metaphor for danger.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 33
  1: [Psalm 33] A hymn in which the just are invited (Psalm 33:1-3) to praise God, who by a mere word [...]
  2: [6] All their host: the stars of the sky are commonly viewed as a vast army, e.g., Nehemiah 9:6; [...]
  3: [7] The waters . . . as in a bowl: ancients sometimes attributed the power keeping the seas from o[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 34
  1: [Psalm 34] A thanksgiving in acrostic form, each line beginning with a successive letter of the He[...]
  2: [1] Abimelech: a scribal error for Achish. In 1 Sam 21:13-16, David feigned madness before Achish[...]
  3: [11] The powerful: literally, "lions." Fierce animals were sometimes metaphors for influential pe[...]
  4: [12] Children: the customary term for students in Wisdom literature.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 35
  1: [Psalm 35] A lament of a person betrayed by friends. The psalmist prays that the evildoers be publ[...]
  2: [1-6] The mixture of judicial, martial, and hunting images shows that the language is figurative. [...]
  3: [13,15-17] The Hebrew is obscure.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 36
  1: [Psalm 36] A psalm with elements of wisdom (Psalm 36:2-5), the hymn (Psalm 36:6-10), and the lame[...]
  2: [3] Hated: punished by God.
  3: [6-7] Love . . . judgments: God actively controls the entire world.
  4: [8] The shadow of your wings: metaphor for divine protection. It probably refers to the winged che[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 37
  1: [Psalm 37] The psalm responds to the problem of evil, which the Old Testament often expresses as a[...]
  2: [3,9,11,22,27,29,34] The land: the promised land, Israel, which became for later interpreters a ty[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 38
  1: [Psalm 38] In this lament, one of the Penitential Psalms (cf Psalm 6), the psalmist acknowledges t[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 39
  1: [Psalm 39] The lament of a mortally ill person who at first had resolved to remain silently submis[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 40
  1: [Psalm 40] A thanksgiving (Psalm 40:2-13) has been combined with a lament (Psalm 40:14-17), that [...]
  2: [4] A new song: a song in response to the new action of God (cf Psalm 33:3; 96:1; 144:9; 149:1; [...]
  3: [7-9] Obedience is better than sacrifice (cf 1 Sam 15:22; Isaiah 1:10-20; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:22-2[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 41
  1: [Psalm 41] A thanksgiving for rescue from illness (Psalm 41:4, 5, 9). Many people, even friends,[...]
  2: [2] Happy those concerned for the lowly and poor: other psalms use the same formula ("Happy those"[...]
  3: [10] Even the friend . . . has scorned me: John 13:18 cites this verse to characterize Judas as a[...]
  4: [11] That I may repay them as they deserve: the healing itself is an act of judgment through which[...]
  5: [14] The doxology, not part of the psalm, marks the end of the first of the five books of the Psal[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 42
  1: [Psalms 42-43] Psalm 42-43 form a single lament of three sections, each section ending in an ident[...]
  2: [1] The Korahites: a major guild of temple singers (2 Chron 20:19) whose name appears in the supe[...]
  3: [3] See the face of God: "face" designates a personal presence (Genesis 33:10; Exodus 10:28-29; [...]
  4: [7] From the land of the Jordan: the sources of the Jordan are in the foothills of Mount Hermon in[...]
  5: [8] Here deep calls to deep: to the psalmist, the waters arising in the north are overwhelming and[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 43
  1: [3] Your light and fidelity: a pair of divine attributes personified as guides for the pilgrimage.[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 44
  1: [Psalm 44] In this lament the community reminds God of past favors which it has always acknowledge[...]
  2: [11] You make us retreat: the corollary of Psalm 44:3. Defeat, like victory, is God's doing; neit[...]
  3: [19] Our hearts have not turned back: Israel's defeat was not caused by its lack of fidelity.
  4: [20] A place of jackals: following Israel's defeat and exile (Psalm 44:11-12), the land lies deso[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 45
  1: [Psalm 45] A song for the Davidic king's marriage to a foreign princess from Tyre in Phoenicia. Th[...]
  2: [7] O god: the king, in courtly language, is called "god," i.e., more than human, representing God[...]
  3: [9] Ivory-paneled palaces: literally, "palaces of ivory." Ivory paneling and furniture decoration[...]
  4: [10] Ophir's gold: uncertain location, possibly a region on the coast of southern Arabia or easter[...]
  5: [11] Forget your people and your father's house: the bride should no longer consider herself a dau[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 46
  1: [Psalm 46] A song of confidence in God's protection of Zion with close parallels to Psalm 48. The [...]
  2: [1] Alamoth: the melody of the psalm, now lost.
  3: [3-4] Figurative ancient Near Eastern language to describe social and political upheavals.
  4: [4] The first line of the refrain is similar in structure and meaning to Isaiah's name for the roy[...]
  5: [5] Jerusalem is not situated on a river. This description derives from mythological descriptions [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 47
  1: [Psalm 47] A hymn calling on the nations to acknowledge the universal rule of Israel's God (Psalm[...]
  2: [5] Our heritage . . . the glory: the land of Israel (cf Isaiah 58:14), which God has given Israe[...]
  3: [6] God mounts the throne: "has gone up to the throne," according to the context (Psalm 47:9). Ch[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 48
  1: [Psalm 48] A Zion hymn, praising the holy city as the invincible dwelling place of God. Unconquera[...]
  2: [1] Korahites: Psalm 48: see note on Psalm 42:1.
  3: [3] The heights of Zaphon: the mountain abode of the Canaanite storm-god Baal in comparable texts.[...]
  4: [6] When they looked: the kings are stunned by the sight of Zion, touched by divine splendor. The [...]
  5: [8] The ships of Tarshish: large ships, named after the distant land or port of Tarshish, probably[...]
  6: [9] What we had heard we now see: the glorious things that new pilgrims had heard about the holy c[...]
  7: [15] So mighty is God: Israel's God is like Zion in being eternal and invincible. The holy city is[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 49
  1: [Psalm 49] The psalm affirms confidence in God (cf Psalm 23; 27:1-6; 62) in the face of the appar[...]
  2: [1] Korahites: see note on Psalm 42:1.
  3: [5] Problem: the psalmist's personal solution to the perennial biblical problem of the prosperity [...]
  4: [8] One cannot redeem oneself: an axiom. For the practice of redemption, cf Job 6:21-23. A play o[...]
  5: [16] Will take me: the same Hebrew verb is used of God "taking up" a favored servant: Enoch in Ge[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 50
  1: [Psalm 50] A covenant lawsuit stating that the sacrifice God really wants is the sacrifice of prai[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 51
  1: [Psalm 51] A lament, the most famous of the seven Penitential Psalms, prays for the removal of the[...]
  2: [7] A sinner, even as my mother conceived me: literally, "In iniquity was I conceived," an instanc[...]
  3: [9] Hyssop: a small bush whose many woody twigs make a natural sprinkler. It was prescribed in the[...]
  4: [18] For you do not desire sacrifice: the mere offering of the ritual sacrifice apart from good d[...]
  5: [19(20-21)] Most scholars think that these verses were added to the psalm some time after the dest[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 52
  1: [Psalm 52] A condemnation of the powerful and arrogant (Psalm 52:3-6), who bring down upon themse[...]
  2: [10] Like an olive tree: the righteous will flourish in the house of God like a well-watered olive[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 53
  1: [Psalm 53] A lament of an individual, duplicated in Psalm 14, except that "God" is used for "the [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 54
  1: [Psalm 54] A lament in which the person under attack calls directly upon God for help (Psalm 54:3[...]
  2: [3] By your name: one is present in one's name, hence God as revealed to humans.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 55
  1: [Psalm 55] The psalmist, betrayed by intimate friends (Psalm 55:14-15, 20-21), prays that God pun[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 56
  1: [Psalm 56] Beset physically (Psalm 56:2-3) and psychologically (Psalm 56:6-7), the psalmist maint[...]
  2: [1] Yonath elem rehoqim: Hebrew words probably designating the melody to which the psalm was to be[...]
  3: [9] Are my tears not stored in your vial: a unique saying in the Old Testament. The context sugges[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 57
  1: [Psalm 57] Each of the two equal strophes contains a prayer for rescue from enemies, accompanied b[...]
  2: [1] Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung.
  3: [2] The shadow of your wings: probably refers to the wings of the cherubim (powerful winged animal[...]
  4: [9] I will wake the dawn: by a bold figure the psalmist imagines the sound of music and singing wi[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 58
  1: [Psalm 58] A lament expressing trust in God's power to dethrone all powers obstructing divine rule[...]
  2: [1] Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung.
  3: [2] Gods: the Bible sometimes understands pagan gods to be lesser divine beings who are assigned b[...]
  4: [5-6] The image is that of a poisonous snake that is controlled by the voice or piping of its trai[...]
  5: [9] A snail that oozes away: empty shells suggested to ancients that snails melted away as they le[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 59
  1: [Psalm 59] A lament in two parts (Psalm 59:2-9, 11b-17), each ending in a refrain (Psalm 59:10, [...]
  2: [1] Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung.
  3: [8] Who is there to hear?: a sample of the enemies' godless reflection. The answer is that God hea[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 60
  1: [Psalm 60] The community complains that God has let the enemy win the battle (Psalm 60:3-5) and a[...]
  2: [7-12] These verses occur again as the second half of Psalm 108.
  3: [8] I will apportion . . . measure out: God lays claim to these places. The valley of Succoth: pro[...]
  4: [9] Judah, my own scepter: an allusion to the Testament of Jacob, Genesis 49:10.
  5: [10] Moab is my washbowl: Moab borders the Dead Sea, hence a metaphor for the country. Upon Edom I[...]
  6: [11] The fortified city: perhaps Bozrah, the fortified capital of Edom. Cf Isaiah 34:6; 63:1; Amo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 61
  1: [Psalm 61] A lament of the king who feels himself at the brink of death (Psalm 61:3) and cries ou[...]
  2: [3] Brink of Sheol: literally, "edge of the earth," "earth" being taken in its occasional meaning[...]
  3: [6] In prayer: added for sense. Psalm 61:7-8 express the plea of Psalm 61:6.
  4: [9] Then: Hebrew "just as," i.e., in accord with the vows referred to in Psalm 61:5.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • 62
  1: [Psalm 62] A song of trust displaying serenity from experiencing God's power (the refrains of Psa[...]
  2: [1] 'Al Jeduthun: apparently the Hebrew name for the melody.
  3: [10] On a balance they rise: precious objects were weighed by balancing two pans suspended from a [...]
  4: [12] One thing . . . two things: parallelism of numbers for the sake of variation, a common device[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 63
  1: [Psalm 63] A psalm expressing the intimate relationship between God and the worshiper. Separated f[...]
  2: [4] For your love is better than life: only here in the Old Testament is anything prized above lif[...]
  3: [12] All who swear by the Lord: to swear by a particular god meant that one was a worshiper of tha[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 64
  1: [Psalm 64] A lament of a person overwhelmed by the malice of the wicked who are depicted in the ps[...]
  2: [5] Catch them unawares: literally, "suddenly," i.e., "unexpectedly."



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 65
  1: [Psalm 65] The community, aware of its unworthiness (Psalm 65:3-4), gives thanks for divine bount[...]
  2: [2] Vows: the Israelites were accustomed to promising sacrifices in the temple if their prayers we[...]
  3: [3] To you all flesh must come: all must have recourse to God's mercy.
  4: [6] Awesome deeds: the acts of creating - installing mountains, taming seas, restraining nations [...]
  5: [9-13] Apparently a description of the agricultural year, beginning with the first fall rains that[...]
  6: [9] God's stream: the fertile waters of the earth derive from God's fertile waters in the heavenly[...]
  7: [12] Paths: probably the tracks of God's storm chariot dropping rain upon earth.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 66
  1: [Psalm 66] In the first part (Psalm 66:1-12), the community praises God for powerful acts for Isr[...]
  2: [5-6] Cf the events described in Exodus 14:1-15, 21; Joshua 3:11-4:24 and Psalm 114.
  3: [12] You let captors set foot on our neck: literally, "you let men mount our head." Conquerors pla[...]
  4: [13] Holocausts: wholly burnt offerings. Cf Lev 1:3-13; 6:1-4; 22:17-20.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 67
  1: [Psalm 67] A petition for a bountiful harvest (Psalm 67:7), made in the awareness that Israel's p[...]
  2: [2] May God be gracious to us: the people's petition echoes the blessing pronounced upon them by t[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 68
  1: [Psalm 68] The psalm is extremely difficult because the Hebrew text is badly preserved and the cer[...]
  2: [2] The opening line alluding to Numbers 10:35 makes clear that God's assistance in the period of[...]
  3: [5] Exalt the rider of the clouds: God's intervention is in the imagery of Canaanite myth in which[...]
  4: [7] While rebels live in the desert: rebels must live in the arid desert, whereas God's people wil[...]
  5: [12-15] The Hebrew text upon which the translation is based has apparently suffered dislocation an[...]
  6: [15] Zalmon: generally taken as the name of a mountain where snow is visible in winter, perhaps to[...]
  7: [17] The mountain: Mount Zion, the site of the temple.
  8: [23] Even from Bashan . . . from the depths of the sea: the heights and the depths, the farthest p[...]
  9: [25-28] Your procession: the procession renews God's original taking up of residence on Zion, desc[...]
  10: [31] The wild beast of the reeds: probably the Nile crocodile, a symbol for Egypt; see Psalm 68:3[...]
  11: [31] Psalm 68:32[29-30] Lower Egypt is the delta area north of Cairo. Upper Egypt is the Nile-Val[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 69
  1: [Psalm 69] A lament complaining of suffering in language both metaphorical (Psalm 69:2-3; 15-16 t[...]
  2: [1] "Lilies": apparently the name of the melody.
  3: [2] Waters: the waters of chaos from which God created the world are a common metaphor for extreme[...]
  4: [5] What I did not steal: the psalmist, falsely accused of theft, is being forced to make restitut[...]
  5: [10] Zeal for your house consumes me: the psalmist's commitment to God's cause brings only opposit[...]
  6: [31] That I may praise God's name in song: the actual song is cited in 33-35, the word "praise" in[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 70
  1: [Psalm 70] A lament of a poor and afflicted person (Psalm 70:6) who has no resource except God, a[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 71
  1: [Psalm 71] A lament of an old person (Psalm 71:9, 18) whose afflictions are interpreted by enemie[...]
  2: [7] A portent to many: the afflictions of the sufferer are taken as a manifestation of God's anger[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 72
  1: [Psalm 72] A royal psalm in which the Israelite king, as the representative of God, is the instrum[...]
  2: [2] The king . . . the son of kings: the crown prince is the king's son; the prayer envisages the [...]
  3: [8] From sea to sea . . . the ends of the earth: the boundaries of the civilized world known at th[...]
  4: [10] Tarshish and the islands: the far west (Psalm 48:6); Arabia and Seba: the far south (1 Kings[...]
  5: [14] Their blood: cf Psalm 116:15.
  6: [16] The translation of the difficult Hebrew is tentative.
  7: [17] May the tribes of the earth give blessing with his name: an echo of the promise to the ancest[...]
  8: [18-19] A doxology marking the end of Book II of the Psalter.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 73
  1: [Psalm 73] The opening verse of this probing poem (cf Psalm 37:49) is actually the psalmist's har[...]
  2: [9] They set their mouths against the heavens: in an image probably derived from mythic stories of[...]
  3: [10] The Hebrew is obscure.
  4: And came to understand their end: the psalmist receives a double revelation in the temple: 1) the [...]
  5: [24] And at the end receive me with honor: a perhaps deliberately enigmatic verse. It is understoo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 74
  1: [Psalm 74] A communal lament sung when the enemy invaded the temple; it would be especially approp[...]
  2: [1] Forever: the word implies that the disaster is already of long duration. Cf Psalm 74:9 and no[...]
  3: [9] Now we see no signs: ancients often asked prophets to say for how long a divine punishment was[...]
  4: [12-17] Comparable Canaanite literature describes the storm-god's victory over all-encompassing Se[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 75
  1: [Psalm 75] The psalmist gives thanks and rejoices (Psalm 75:2, 10) for the direct intervention of[...]
  2: [2] You said: supplied for clarity here and in Psalm 75:11. The translation assumes in both place[...]
  3: [5] Do not raise your horns!: the horn is the symbol of strength; to raise one's horn is to exalt [...]
  4: A cup: "the cup of God's wrath" is the punishment inflicted on the wicked. Cf Isaiah 51:17; Jere[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 76
  1: [Psalm 76] A song glorifying Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem where God destroyed Israel's enemie[...]
  2: [3] Salem: an ancient name for Jerusalem, used here perhaps on account of its allusion to the Hebr[...]
  3: [5] Ancient mountains: conjectural translation of a difficult Hebrew phrase on the basis of Genes[...]
  4: [11] Edom . . . Hamath: conjectural translation. Israel's neighbors to the southeast and north. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 77
  1: [Psalm 77] A community lament in which the speaker ("I") describes the anguish of Israel at God's [...]
  2: [11] I conclude: literally, "I said." The psalmist, after pondering the present distress and God's[...]
  3: [12] I will remember: the verb sometimes means to make present the great deeds of Israel's past by[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 78
  1: [Psalm 78] A recital of history to show that past generations did not respond to God's gracious de[...]
  2: [2] Story: Hebrew mashal literally means "comparison" and can signify a story with a hidden meanin[...]
  3: [9] Ephraimite archers: Ephraim was the most important tribe of the Northern Kingdom. Its military[...]
  4: [12,43] Zoan: a city on the arm of the Nile, a former capital of Egypt.
  5: [23-31] On the manna and the quail, see Exodus 16 and Numbers 11. Unlike Exodus 16, here both mann[...]
  6: [35] Remembered: invoked God publicly in worship. Their words were insincere (Psalm 78:36).
  7: [38] God is always ready to forgive and begin anew, as in choosing Zion and David (Psalm 78:65-72[...]
  8: [43-55] Exodus 7-12 records ten plagues. Here there are six divine attacks upon Egypt; the seventh[...]
  9: [60] Shiloh: an important shrine in the north prior to Jerusalem. Despite its holy status, it was [...]
  10: [68,70] God's ultimate offer of mercy to the sinful helpless people is Zion and the Davidic king. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 79
  1: [Psalm 79] A communal lament complaining that the nations have defiled the temple and murdered the[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 80
  1: [Psalm 80] A community lament in time of military defeat. Using the familiar image of Israel as a [...]
  2: [1] Lilies . . . . Eduth: the first term is probably the title of the melody to which the psalm wa[...]
  3: [9] A vine: a frequent metaphor for Israel. Cf Isaiah 5:1-7; 27:2-5; Jeremiah 2:21; Hosea 10:1; [...]
  4: [12] The sea: the Mediterranean. The river: the Euphrates. Cf Genesis 15:18; 1 Kings 5:1. The t[...]
  5: [18] The man at your right hand . . . the one: the Davidic king who will lead the army in battle. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 81
  1: [Psalm 81] At a pilgrimage feast, probably harvest in the fall, the people assemble in the temple [...]
  2: [1] Upon the gittith: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung or a musi[...]
  3: [4] New moon . . . full moon: the pilgrimage feast of harvest began with a great assembly (Lev 23[...]
  4: [6] I hear a new oracle: literally, "a tongue I do not know I hear." A temple official speaks the [...]
  5: [7] I relieved their shoulders of the burden: literally, "his [Israel's] shoulder," hence the plur[...]
  6: [8] Meribah: place of rebellion in the wilderness; cf Exodus 17:7; Numbers 20:13.
  7: [10] There must be no foreign god among you: as in Psalm 50 and 95, Israel is challenged to obey t[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 82
  1: [Psalm 82] As in Psalm 58, the pagan gods are seen as subordinate divine beings to whom Israel's G[...]
  2: [5] The gods are blind and unable to declare what is right. Their misrule shakes earth's foundatio[...]
  3: [6] I declare: "Gods though you be": in John 10:34 Jesus uses the verse to prove that those to wh[...]
  4: [8] Judge the earth: according to Deut 32:8-9, Israel's God had originally assigned jurisdiction [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 83
  1: [Psalm 83] The community lament complains to God of the nations' attempts to wipe out the name of [...]
  2: [7-9] Apart from the Assyrians, all the nations listed here were neighbors of Israel. The people o[...]
  3: [10-13] For the historical events, see Jdgs 4-8.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 84
  1: [Psalm 84] Israelites celebrated three pilgrimage feasts in Jerusalem annually. The psalm expresse[...]
  2: [4] The desire of a restless bird for a secure home is an image of the desire of a pilgrim for the[...]
  3: [7] Baca valley: Hebrew obscure; probably a valley on the way to Jerusalem.
  4: [10] Our shield . . . your anointed: the king had a role in the liturgical celebration. For the ki[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 85
  1: [Psalm 85] A national lament reminding God of past favors and forgiveness (Psalm 85:2-4) and begg[...]
  2: [9] The prophet listens to God's revelation. Cf Hebrews 2:1.
  3: [11-13] Divine activity is personified as pairs of virtues.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 86
  1: [Psalm 86] An individual lament. The psalmist, "poor and oppressed" (Psalm 86:1), "devoted" (Psal[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 87
  1: [Psalm 87] A song of Zion, like Psalms 46; 48; 76; 132. After the Exile of the sixth century B.C.,[...]
  2: [2] The gates: the city itself, a common Hebrew idiom.
  3: [5-6] The bond between the exile and the holy city was so strong as to override the exile's citize[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 88
  1: [Psalm 88] A lament in which the psalmist prays for rescue from the alienation of approaching deat[...]
  2: [4-8] In imagination the psalmist already experiences the alienation of Sheol.
  3: [11-13] The psalmist seeks to persuade God to act out of concern for divine honor: the shades give[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 89
  1: [Psalm 89] The community laments the defeat of the Davidic king, to whom God promised kingship as [...]
  2: [3-5] David's dynasty is to be as long-lasting as the heavens, a statement reinforced by using the[...]
  3: [7] The gods: literally, "the sons of gods," "the holy ones" and "courtiers" of Psalm 89:6, 8. Th[...]
  4: [11] Rahab: a mythological sea monster whose name is used in the Bible mainly as a personification[...]
  5: [13] Zaphon and Amanus: two sacred mountains in northern Syria. Tabor: a high hill in the valley o[...]
  6: [18,25] Horn: a concrete noun for an abstract quality; horn is a symbol of strength.
  7: [26] The sea . . . the rivers: geographically the limits of the Davidic Empire (the Mediterranean [...]
  8: [28] Most High: a divine title, which is here extended to David as God's own king. Cf Psalm 2:7-9[...]
  9: [37-38] Like the sun before me . . . like the sky: as enduring as the heavenly lights. Cf Psalm 8[...]
  10: [53] The doxology at the end of the third book of the Psalms; it is not part of Psalm 89.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 90
  1: [Psalm 90] A communal lament that describes only in general terms the cause of the community's dis[...]
  2: [4] The translation reverses the order of the difficult Hebrew verses Psalm 90:3 and 4 to get the[...]
  3: [3] Return: one word of God is enough to return mortals to the dust from which they were created. [...]
  4: [5] You have brought them to their end: an interpretation of the unclear Hebrew.
  5: [6] It is dry and withered: the transitory nature of the grass under the scorching sun was proverb[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 91
  1: [Psalm 91] A prayer of someone who has taken refuge in the security of the temple (Psalm 91:1-2).[...]
  2: [1] The shelter of the Most High: basically "hiding place" but in the psalms a designation for the[...]
  3: [11-12] The words are cited in Luke 4:10-11; Matthew 4:6, as Satan tempts Jesus in the desert. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 92
  1: [Psalm 92] A hymn of praise and thanks for God's faithful deeds (Psalm 92:2-5). The wicked, delud[...]
  2: [14] Planted: the just are likened to trees growing in the sacred precincts of the temple, which i[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 93
  1: [Psalm 93] A hymn celebrating the kingship of God, who created the world (Psalm 93:1-2) by defeat[...]
  2: [1] The LORD is king: literally, "the LORD reigns." This psalm, and Psalms 47; 96-99, are sometime[...]
  3: [3] The flood: the primordial sea was tamed by God in the act of creation. It is a figure of chaos[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 94
  1: [Psalm 94] A lament of an individual who is threatened by wicked people. The danger affects the wh[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 95
  1: [Psalm 95] Twice the psalm calls the people to praise and worship God (Psalm 95:1-2, 6), the king[...]
  2: [8] Meribah: literally, "contention"; the place where the Israelites quarreled with God. Massah: [...]
  3: [11] My rest: the promised land as in Deut 12:9. Hebrews 4 applies the verse to the eternal rest [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 96
  1: [Psalm 96] A hymn inviting all humanity to praise the glories of Israel's God (Psalm 96:1-3), who[...]
  2: [4] For references to other gods, see comments on Psalm 58 and 82.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 97
  1: [Psalm 97] The hymn begins with God appearing in a storm, a traditional picture of some ancient Ne[...]
  2: [7] All gods: divine beings thoroughly subordinate to Israel's God. The Greek translates "angels,"[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 98
  1: [Psalm 98] A hymn, similar to Psalm 96, extolling God for Israel's victory (Psalm 98:1-3). All na[...]
  2: [1] Marvelous deeds . . . victory: the conquest of all threats to the peaceful existence of Israel[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 99
  1: [Psalm 99] A hymn to God as the king whose grandeur is most clearly seen on Mount Zion (Psalm 99:[...]
  2: [1] Enthroned on the cherubim: cherubim were composite beings with animal and human features, comm[...]
  3: [5] Footstool: a reference to the ark. Cf 1 Chron 28:2; Psalm 132:7.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 100
  1: [Psalm 100] A hymn inviting the people to enter the temple courts with thank offerings for the God[...]
  2: [3] Although the people call on all the nations of the world to join in their hymn, they are consc[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 101
  1: [Psalm 101] The king, grateful at being God's chosen (Psalm 100:1), promises to be a ruler after [...]
  2: [2] Within my royal court: the king promises to make his own household a model for Israel, banning[...]
  3: [6] I look to the faithful of the land: the king seeks companions only among those faithful to God[...]
  4: [8] Each morning: the normal time for the administration of justice (2 Sam 15:2; Jeremiah 21:12) [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 102
  1: [Psalm 102] A lament, one of the Penitential Psalms. The psalmist, experiencing psychic and bodily[...]
  2: [9] They make my name a curse: enemies use the psalmist's name in phrases such as, "May you be as [...]
  3: [20-23] Both Psalm 102:20-21 and Psalm 102:22-23 depend on Psalm 102:19.
  4: [25] In the midst of my days: when the normal span of life is but half completed. Cf Isaiah 38:10[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 103
  1: [Psalm 103] The speaker in this hymn begins by praising God for personal benefits (Psalm 103:1-5)[...]
  2: [5] Your youth is renewed like the eagle's: because of the eagle's long life it was a symbol of pe[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 104
  1: [Psalm 104] A hymn praising God who easily and skillfully made rampaging waters and primordial nig[...]
  2: [3] Your palace upon the waters: God's heavenly dwelling above the upper waters of the sky. Cf Ge[...]
  3: [5-9] God places the gigantic disk of the earth securely on its foundation and then, as a warrior,[...]
  4: [16-18] Even the exotic flora and fauna of the high mountains of the Lebanon range receive adequat[...]
  5: [26] Leviathan: a sea monster symbolizing primeval chaos. Cf Psalm 74:14; Isaiah 27:1; Job 40:25.[...]
  6: [29-30] On one level, the spirit (or wind) of God is the fall and winter rains that provide food f[...]
  7: [35] Hallelujah: a frequent word in the last third of the Psalter. The word combines the plural im[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 105
  1: [Psalm 105] A hymn to God who promised the land of Canaan to the holy people. Cf Psalm 78; 106; 13[...]
  2: [14] Kings: Pharaoh and Abimelech of Gerar. Cf Genesis 12:17; 20:6-7.
  3: [15] My anointed . . . my prophets: the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were "anointed" [...]
  4: [23,27] The land of Ham: a synonym for Egypt. Cf Genesis 10:6.
  5: [27-38] This psalm and Psalm 78:43-51 have an account of the plagues differing in number or in or[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 106
  1: [Psalm 106] Israel is invited to praise the God whose mercy has always tempered judgment of Israel[...]
  2: [23] Withstood him in the breach: the image is that of Moses standing in a narrow break made in th[...]
  3: [32] Moses suffered because of them: Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of h[...]
  4: [37] The gods: Hebrew shedim, customarily translated "demons," occurs in parallelism with "gods" [...]
  5: [48] A doxology ending Book IV of the Psalter. It is not part of the psalm.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 107
  1: [Psalm 107] A hymn inviting those who have been rescued by God to give praise (Psalm 107:1-3). Fo[...]
  2: [33-41] God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18-19, which the psalm sees as the destruction[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 108
  1: [Psalm 108] A prayer compiled from two other psalms: Psalm 108:2-6 are virtually the same as Psal[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 109
  1: [Psalm 109] A lament notable for the length and vehemence of its prayer against evildoers (Psalm [...]
  2: [6] An accuser: Hebrew satan, a word occurring in Job 1-2 and Zechariah 3:1-2. In the latter pass[...]
  3: [20] May the LORD bring all this: the psalmist prays that God ratify the curses of 6-19 and bring [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 110
  1: [Psalm 110] A royal psalm in which a court singer recites three oracles in which God assures the k[...]
  2: [1] The LORD says to you, my lord: literally, "The LORD says to my lord," a polite form of address[...]
  3: [3] Like the dew I begot you: an adoption formula as in Psalm 2:7; 89:27-28. Before the daystar: [...]
  4: [4] Like Melchizedek: Melchizedek was the ancient king of Salem (Jerusalem) who blessed Abraham ([...]
  5: [7] Who drinks from the brook by the wayside: the meaning is uncertain. Some see an allusion to a [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 111
  1: [Psalm 111] A temple singer (Psalm 111:1) tells how God is revealed in Israel's history (Psalm 11[...]
  2: [1] In the assembled congregation of the upright: in the temple. Cf Psalm 149:1.
  3: [3] Your: the psalm refers to God in the third person throughout; the shift to the second person i[...]
  4: [5] Food to those who fear you: probably a reference to the manna in the desert, which elsewhere i[...]
  5: [6] Lands: literally, "inheritance, heritage."
  6: [10] The fear of the LORD: reverence for God, the Hebrew term for religion.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 112
  1: [Psalm 112] An acrostic poem detailing the blessings received by those who remain close to God by[...]
  2: [1] Happy are those: literally, "Happy the person." "Person" is used typically, hence the plural [...]
  3: [3] Prosperity: literally, "justice." In the Second Temple Period the word acquired the nuance of[...]
  4: [9] Their horn: the symbol for vitality and honor.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 113
  1: [Psalm 113] A hymn exhorting the congregation to praise God's name, i.e., the way in which God is [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 114
  1: [Psalm 114] A hymn celebrating Israel's escape from Egypt, journey through the wilderness, and ent[...]
  2: [3-4] Pairs of cosmic elements such as sea and rivers, mountains and hills, are sometimes mentione[...]
  3: [8] The miracles of giving drink to the people in the arid desert. Cf Exodus 17:1-7; Isaiah 41:17[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 115
  1: [Psalm 115] A response to the enemy taunt, "Where is your God?" This hymn to the glory of Israel's[...]
  2: [2] Where is their God?: implies that God cannot help them.
  3: [9-11] The house of Israel . . . the house of Aaron . . . those fear the LORD: the laity of Israel[...]
  4: [16] The heavens: literally "the heaven of heavens" or "the highest heavens," i.e., above the fir[...]
  5: [17] See note on Psalm 6:5.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 116
  1: [Psalm 116] A thanksgiving in which the psalmist responds to divine rescue from mortal danger (Psa[...]
  2: [3] The cords of death: death is personified here; it attempts to capture the psalmist with snares[...]
  3: [9] The land of the living: the phrase elsewhere is an epithet of the Jerusalem Temple (cf Psalm [...]
  4: [10] I kept faith, even when I said: even in the days of despair, the psalmist did not lose all ho[...]
  5: [13] The cup of salvation: probably the libation of wine poured out in gratitude for rescue. Cf E[...]
  6: [15] Too costly in the eyes of the LORD: the meaning is that the death of God's faithful is grievo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 117
  1: [Psalm 117] This shortest of hymns calls on the nations to acknowledge God's supremacy. The suprem[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 118
  1: [Psalm 118] A thanksgiving liturgy accompanying a victory procession of the king and the people in[...]
  2: [20] Where the victors enter: their victory has demonstrated that God favors them; they are "just"[...]
  3: [22] The stone the builders rejected: a proverb: what is insignificant to human beings has become [...]
  4: [25] Grant salvation: the Hebrew for this cry has come into English as "Hosanna." This cry and the[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 119
  1: [Psalm 119] This psalm, the longest by far in the psalter, praises God for giving such splendid la[...]
  2: [19] A sojourner in the land: like someone without the legal protection of a native inhabitant, th[...]
  3: [32] For you open my docile heart: literally, "you make broad my heart."
  4: [48] I lift up my hands to your commands: to lift up the hands was an ancient gesture of reverence[...]
  5: [89-91] God's word creates the world, which manifests that word by its permanence and reliability.[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 120
  1: [Psalm 120] A thanksgiving, reporting divine rescue (Psalm 120:10) yet with fervent prayer for fu[...]
  2: [1] Song of ascents: Psalm 120-134 all begin with this superscription. Most probably these fifteen[...]
  3: [3] More besides: a common curse formula in Hebrew was "May the Lord do such and such evils to you[...]
  4: [4] Coals of brushwood: coals made from the stalk of the broom plant burn with intense heat. The p[...]
  5: [5] Meshech was in the far north (Genesis 10:2) and Kedar was a tribe of the north Arabian desert[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 121
  1: [Psalm 121] A blessing given to someone embarking on a dangerous journey whether a soldier going o[...]
  2: [1] The mountains: possibly Mount Zion, the site of the temple and hence of safety, but more proba[...]
  3: [5-6] The image of shade, a symbol of protection, is apt: God as shade protects from the harmful e[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 122
  1: [Psalm 122] A song of Zion, sung by pilgrims obeying the law to visit Jerusalem three times on a j[...]
  2: [3] Walled round about: literally, "which is joined to it," probably referring both to the density[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 123
  1: [Psalm 123] A lament that begins as a prayer of an individual (Psalm 123:1), who expresses by a t[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 124
  1: [Psalm 124] A thanksgiving which teaches that Israel's very existence is owed to God who rescues t[...]
  2: [8] Our help is the name: for the idiom, see Exodus 18:4.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 125
  1: [Psalm 125] In response to exilic anxieties about the ancient promises of restoration, the psalm e[...]
  2: [3] The land given to the just: literally, "the lot of the just." The promised land was divided am[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 126
  1: [Psalm 126] A lament probably sung shortly after Israel's return from exile. The people rejoice th[...]
  2: [4] Like the dry stream beds of the Negeb: the psalmist prays for rain in such abundance that the [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 127
  1: [Psalm 127] The psalm puts together two proverbs (Psalm 127:1-2, 3-5) on God establishing "houses[...]
  2: [5] At the gate: the reference is not to enemies besieging the walls of a city but to adversaries [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 128
  1: [Psalm 128] A statement that the ever-reliable God will bless the reverent (Psalm 128:1). God's b[...]
  2: [1] All who fear the LORD: literally, singular: "the one fearing," is used in a typical sense and[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 129
  1: [Psalm 129] A psalm giving thanks for God's many rescues of Israel over the long course of their h[...]
  2: [4] The ropes of the yoke of the wicked: usually understood as the rope for yoking animals to the [...]
  3: [6] Like grass on the rooftops: after the spring rains, grass would sprout from the coat of mud wi[...]
  4: The blessing of the LORD be upon you: harvesters greeted one another with such blessings. Cf Ruth[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 130
  1: [Psalm 130] This lament, a Penitential Psalm, is the De profundis used in liturgical prayers for t[...]
  2: [1] The depths: Sheol here is a metaphor of total misery. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel "li[...]
  3: [4] And so you are revered: the experience of God's mercy leads one to a greater sense of God.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 131
  1: [Psalm 131] A song of trust, in which the psalmist gives up self-sufficiency (Psalm 131:1), like [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 132
  1: [Psalm 132] A song for a liturgical ceremony in which the ark, the throne of Israel's God, was car[...]
  2: [1] All his anxious care: to build the temple. Cf 2 Sam 7:1-17 and 1 Kings 8:17.
  3: [2,5] Mighty One of Jacob: one of the titles of Israel's God. Cf Genesis 49:24; Isaiah 49:26; 60[...]
  4: [6] Ephrathah: the homeland of David. Cf Ruth 4:11. The fields of Jaar: poetic for Kiriath-jearim[...]
  5: [17] A horn sprout for David's line: the image of the horn, a symbol of strength, is combined with[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 133
  1: [Psalm 133] A benediction over a peaceful community, most probably the people Israel, but appropri[...]
  2: [1] The people: literally, "brothers," i.e., male and female members of a kin group or people - m[...]
  3: [2] Ointment: oil was used at the consecration of the high priest (Exodus 30:22-33).
  4: [3] Dew: dew was an important source of moisture in the dry climate (Genesis 27:28; Hosea 14:6). [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 134
  1: [Psalm 134] A brief liturgy exhorting the temple singers to acknowledge the great deeds of God at [...]
  2: [1] Servants of the LORD: priests and Levites. Cf Deut 10:8; Psalm 113:1; 135:1; Azariah 1:62-63[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 135
  1: [Psalm 135] The hymn begins and ends with an invitation to praise God (Psalm 135:1-3, 19-20) for [...]
  2: [4] Though all nations are God's, Israel has a special status as God's "treasured" people: Exodus[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 136
  1: [Psalm 136] The hymn praises Israel's God ("the God of gods," Psalm 136:2), who has created the w[...]
  2: [22] A heritage for Israel: the land was given to Israel by God to be handed on to future generati[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 137
  1: [Psalm 137] A temple singer refuses to sing the people's sacred songs in an alien land despite dem[...]
  2: [2] Poplars: sometimes incorrectly translated "willow." The Euphrates poplar is a high tree common[...]
  3: [9] Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock: the infants represent the f[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 138
  1: [Psalm 138] A thanksgiving to God, who came to the rescue of the psalmist. Divine rescue was not t[...]
  2: [1] Before the gods: i.e., heavenly beings, who were completely subordinate to Israel's God. The e[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 139
  1: [Psalm 139] A hymnic meditation on God's omnipresence and omniscience. The psalmist is keenly awar[...]
  2: [2] When I sit and stand: in all my physical movement.
  3: [9] Fly with the wings of dawn: go to the extremities of the east. Beyond the sea: uttermost bound[...]
  4: [11] Night shall be my light: night to me is what day is to others.
  5: [15] The depths of the earth: figurative language for the womb, stressing the hidden and mysteriou[...]
  6: [24] My way . . . the ancient paths: the manner of living of our ancestors, who were faithful to G[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 140
  1: [Psalm 140] A lament seeking rescue from violent and treacherous foes (Psalm 140:2-6). The psalmi[...]
  2: [4] Similar metaphors for a wicked tongue are used in Psalm 52:2; 55:20; 58:3.
  3: [6] Have set a trap . . . have spread a net: the same figure, of hunters setting traps, occurs in [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 141
  1: [Psalm 141] A lament of an individual (Psalm 141:1-2) who is keenly aware that only the righteous[...]
  2: [2] Incense: literally, "smoke," i.e., the fragrant fumes arising from the altar at the burning of[...]
  3: [5-7] the Hebrew text is obscure.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 142
  1: [Psalm 142] In this lament imploring God for help (Psalm 142:2-4), the psalmist tells how enemies[...]
  2: [1] In the cave: cf 1 Sam 22:1; 24:1-3; Psalm 57:1.
  3: [8] Then the just shall gather around me: in the temple, when the psalmist offers a thanksgiving s[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 143
  1: [Psalm 143] One of the Church's seven Penitential Psalms, this lament is a prayer to be freed from[...]
  2: [Psalm 144] They have crushed: literally, "he crushed"; the singular is used typically, hence the [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 144
  1: [1] The psalm may reflect a ceremony in which the king, as leader of the army, asked God's help ([...]
  2: [1-2] Composed of phrases from Psalm 18:3, 35, 47-48.
  3: [3] Similar to Psalm 8:5.
  4: [4] Composed of phrases from Psalm 39:6; 102:12.
  5: [5-7] Adapted in large part from Psalm 18:10, 15, 17; 104:32.
  6: [8b,11b] Their right hands are raised in lying oaths: the psalmist's enemies give false testimony.[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 145
  1: [Psalm 145] A hymn in acrostic form; every verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alp[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 146
  1: [Psalm 146] A hymn of someone who has learned there is no other source of strength except the merc[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 147
  1: [Psalm 147] The hymn is divided into three sections by the calls to praise in Psalm 147:1; 7,12. [...]
  2: [8-9] God clothes the fields and feeds the birds. Cf Matthew 6:26, 30.
  3: [10-11] Acknowledging one's dependence upon God rather than claiming self-sufficiency pleases God.[...]
  4: [15-19] God speaks through the thunder of nature and the word of revealed law. Cf Isaiah 55:10-11[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 148
  1: [Psalm 148] A hymn inviting the beings of heaven (Psalm 148:1-6) and of earth (Psalm 148:7-14) to[...]
  2: [4] Highest heavens: literally, "the heavens of the heavens," i.e., the space above the firmament,[...]
  3: [14] The LORD has lifted high the horn of his people: horn = strength, the concrete noun for the a[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 149
  1: [Psalm 149] A hymn inviting the people of Israel to celebrate their God in song and festive dance [...]
  2: [3] Make music with tambourine and lyre: the verse recalls the great exodus hymn of Exodus 15:20.[...]
  3: [5] At their banquet: literally, "upon their couches." The people reclined to banquet.
  4: [9] The glory: what brings honor to the people is their readiness to carry out the divine will, he[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Psalms
      • Chapter 150
  1: [Psalm 150] The psalm is a closing doxology both for the fifth book of the Psalms (Psalm 150:107-1[...]
  2: [1] His holy sanctuary: God's temple on earth. The mighty dome of the heavens: literally, "[God's][...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1-6] This prologue explains the purpose of the book: to educate the inexperienced in knowledge an[...]
  2: [2] Discipline: education or formation which dispels ignorance and corrects vice.
  3: [4] Simple: immature and inexperienced, hence easily influenced for good or evil.
  4: [7] Fear of the LORD: reverential fear and respect for God on account of his sovereignty, goodness[...]
  5: [8-19] A warning against association with the greedy and the violent who seek to destroy the hones[...]
  6: [17] Instructed by the wise man, the youth (of Proverb 1:4) will recognize the invitation of the [...]
  7: [20-33] Wisdom is here personified; with divine authority she sets forth and proclaims the moral o[...]
  8: [28] Overtaken by doom, the foolish seek wisdom, but in vain because they do so too late. Cf John[...]
  9: [31] Sinners are punished by the bad fruits which their sins produce. Cf Wisdom 11:16.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 2
  1: [Chapters 2-7] These chapters form an ordered discourse in seven "columns" of twenty-two verses ea[...]
  2: [1-22] The search for wisdom (Proverb 2:1-4) leads to the protection of God (Proverb 2:5-8) and o[...]
  3: [2-3] Wisdom, understanding, intelligence: various names or aspects of the same gift.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-12] Many are the rewards for fidelity and trust in God, and for diffidence of self (Proverb 3:[...]
  2: [13-24] Wisdom, or understanding, is more valuable than silver and gold. Its fruit is long life, r[...]
  3: [15] Corals: some precious stone may be intended.
  4: [18] A tree of life: cf Proverb 11:30; 13:12; Genesis 2:9.
  5: [20] For the Hebrews, the depths enclosed the great subterranean ocean; the rain and dew descended[...]
  6: [25-34] Serving God with confidence in him (Proverb 3:25-26) requires serving one's neighbor thro[...]
  7: [25] The ruin of the wicked: i.e., the ruin that comes upon the wicked.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1-9] The sage speaks as a father admonishing his children to secure wisdom at any cost.
  2: [10-27] The way of wisdom leads directly to life (Proverb 4:10-13); it is a light that grows brig[...]
  3: [18] (18)Till perfect day: literally, "till the day is established"; this may refer to full dayli[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1-20] Understanding and discretion guard a man against the wiles of an adulteress, which lead ast[...]
  2: [9] Honor: the words "life" and "wealth" have also been read in this place. A merciless one: the [...]
  3: [19] Lovely hind . . . graceful doe: oriental symbols of feminine beauty and charm; cf Song 2:7, [...]
  4: [21-23] These verses are best read after Proverb 5:27.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-19] These verses interrupt the discourse of chapters Proverb 6:2-7, which should be read apart[...]
  2: [1] Given your hand in pledge: literally, "struck your hands"; this was probably the legal method [...]
  3: [10] This verse may be regarded as the sluggard's reply or as a continuation of the remonstrance. [...]
  4: [16-19] The seven vices symbolized for the most part by bodily organs are pride, lying, murder, in[...]
  5: [6:20-7:27] Parental training and the love of wisdom are an invaluable and constant help for the [...]
  6: [26] Some interpret the verse in a progressive sense, i.e., to satisfy the increasing demands of a[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 7
  1: [14] "Peace offerings . . . vows": a portion of the sacrifice reverted to the donor and had to be [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1-36] Wisdom is here personified as in Proverb 1:20-33, to confirm the words of the teacher of w[...]
  2: [5] Simple ones . . . fools: see note on Proverb 1:4.
  3: [7-8] The truth and sincerity of wisdom are absolute because they are divine. They can neither dec[...]
  4: [14] What is here predicated of wisdom is elsewhere attributed to God (Job 12:13-16).
  5: [22-31] Wisdom is of divine origin. It is here represented as a being which existed before all thi[...]
  6: [23] Poured forth: the exact meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; the expression must imply the equ[...]
  7: [24-26] The formless mass from which God created the heavens and the earth; cf Genesis 1:1-2; 2:4[...]
  8: [30] His craftsman: furnishing God with the plan, as it were, for the creation of all things; cf [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-6,13-18] Wisdom and folly are represented as matrons, each inviting people to her banquet. Wisd[...]
  2: [3] She calls: i.e., indirectly, through her maidens; but the text could also mean that wisdom her[...]
  3: [17] The secrecy implies wrongdoing.
  4: [18] The banquet chamber of folly is a tomb from which no one who enters it is released.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 10
  1: [10:1-22:16] The varied contents of this first collection of Solomon's proverbs apply mostly to [...]
  2: [12] Love covers all offenses: a favorite maxim of the Apostles; cf 1 Cor 13:7; James 5:20; 1 Pet[...]
  3: [15] The inspired author reflects upon the reality of the power of money and the defeat of poverty[...]
  4: [22] The blessing of God rather than our own industry crowns our efforts with success; cf Psalm 1[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 11
  1: [4] Wealth . . . death: not what a man is worth but what he is, counts before God.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 12
  1: [14] Cf Matthew 7:17; Gal 6:8.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 13
  1: [9] Light . . . lamp: symbols of life and prosperity; cf Proverb 4:18-19.
  2: [13] Word: advice, or God's law.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 15
  1: [11] Nether world . . . abyss: the abode of the dead, signifying the profound obscurity which is o[...]
  2: [16-17] Not the amount of temporal goods but the virtue of their possessor makes them a source of [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1] Words, like actions, often produce results different from those which were planned.
  2: [4] Even the wicked, in their punishment, cannot escape glorifying God's justice.
  3: [10] Decisions of supreme judicial authority were presumed disinterested and correct.
  4: [33] The favorable or unfavorable result of chance depends on God. Deciding strifes and doubts by [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 17
  1: [2] Intelligence and ability are esteemed more highly than nobility of blood.
  2: [4] To justify his own evil ways, a wicked man judges evil of others. Cf Matthew 7:1-5.
  3: [19] Builds . . . high: a symbol of arrogance.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 18
  1: [10-11] Religion is a strong support and sure refuge in the struggle of life. The rich foolishly r[...]
  2: [12] Compare the Savior's words: "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles him[...]
  3: [13] To speak without first listening is characteristic of a fool; cf Proverb 10:14; Sirach 11:8.[...]
  4: [18] See note on Proverb 16:33.
  5: [20-21] Everyone must accept the consequences, of benefit or harm to himself, which his words prod[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 19
  1: [17] Cf Matthew 25:34-40.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 20
  1: [9] Man can be free of sin only by the power of God. Cf 1 Kings 8:46-48; Job 4:17; 14:4; Psalm 5[...]
  2: [14] What one wishes to buy is valued cheaply in order that it may be obtained at a low price; onc[...]
  3: [16] Caution is again advised in the matter of becoming surety; cf Proverb 6:1-3.
  4: [20] His lamp will go out: misfortune, even death, awaits him; cf Proverb 13:9; Exodus 21:17.
  5: [24] Man is dependent upon God and cannot fully foresee his own course.
  6: [25] This verse cautions against making vows without proper reflection; cf Deut 23:22-25; Eccl 5:[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 21
  1: [3] External rites or sacrifices do not please God unless accompanied by internal worship and righ[...]
  2: [16] Assembly of the shades: cf note on Job 26:5.
  3: [18] Wicked . . . ransom for the just: exemplified in the history of God's chosen people whom he r[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 22
  1: [13] To avoid the effort required for doing good, the sluggard exaggerates the difficulties that m[...]
  2: [16] Money gained by exploiting the poor is in turn lost to those who are more wealthy.
  3: [22:17-24:22] This collection of proverbs, introduced as sayings of the wise, is given in the mor[...]
  4: [22:17-23:35] The maxims warn against: oppression of the poor and defenseless (Proverb 22:22-23),[...]
  5: [19-20] Amen-em-Ope:an Egyptian scribe to whom is attributed a collection of maxims in Thirty chap[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 23
  1: [2] Put a knife to your throat: a metaphor for self-restraint.
  2: [29-35] A vivid description of the evil effects, physical and psychological, of drunkenness.
  3: [35] Wine makes the drunkard insensible to bodily and moral harm. His one desire is to indulge aga[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-22] These verses continue an exhortation to wisdom (Proverb 24:3-7, 13-14), and against: viole[...]
  2: [7] At the gate: of the city, where justice was administered and public affairs discussed; see not[...]
  3: [10] Indifferent: to those who suffer unjustly.
  4: [11] Rescue . . . death: most probably refers to the legal rescue of those unjustly condemned to d[...]
  5: [16] The just man overcomes every misfortune which oppresses him. Seven times: i.e., an indefinite[...]
  6: [21-22] One owes obedience to God and to supreme civil authority (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-3; 1[...]
  7: [23-34] This collection of sayings continues in the same vein as the preceding: it instructs in fa[...]
  8: [26] He gives a kiss on the lips: shows himself a true friend.
  9: [27] This verse is commonly interpreted as advocating careful and practical preparation for marria[...]
  10: [29] This verse indicates great progress from the principle of the law of Talion (see note on Exo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 25
  1: The men of Hezekiah: literary men at the royal court of Hezekiah who are represented as transcrib[...]
  2: [6-7] Compare the lesson on humility which was taught by Christ (Luke 14:7-11).
  3: [21-22] Charity is invaluable in resolving enmities and restoring peace. Live coals: i.e., either [...]
  4: [27] Nor . . . honor after honor: the text is uncertain.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 26
  1: [1-28] Concrete images describe the vices of fools (Proverb 26:1-12), of sluggards (Proverb 26:13[...]
  2: [4-5] There is no contradiction between these two proverbs. In any answer the wise man gives he mu[...]
  3: [7-9] The fool abuses whatever knowledge he possesses.
  4: [25] Seven abominations: many evil intentions.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 27
  1: [13] See note on Proverb 20:16.
  2: [14] The loud voice suggests hypocrisy in the greeting.
  3: [23-27] The land of Palestine was very suitable for flocks and herds, which formed the principal s[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 28
  1: [2] The meaning of this poorly preserved verse seems to be that frequent changes of rulers often r[...]
  2: [4] The law: religious and moral teaching.
  3: [8] Interest and overcharge were strictly forbidden in the old law among Israelites because it was[...]
  4: [9] Prayers offered in bad faith are displeasing to God.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 29
  1: [13] God gives life to all classes of people; cf Proverb 22:2.
  2: [24] Is his own enemy: because he not only incurs guilt as an accomplice but, by his silence, brin[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 30
  1: [1-3] Agur wishes to stress man's insignificance when he is compared to God; cf Job 38-39.
  2: [1] Agur: an unknown person. Massaite: from Massa in northern Arabia, elsewhere referred to as an [...]
  3: [11-14] Perverted people are here classified as unfilial (Proverb 30:11), self-righteous (Proverb[...]
  4: [15-17] The two daughters . . . "Give, Give": the text is obscure but the sense seems to be that t[...]
  5: [18-19] The soaring flight of the eagle, the mysterious movement upon a rock of the serpent which [...]
  6: [20] This verse portrays the indifference of an adulterous woman who thinks there is no trace of h[...]
  7: [26] Rock-badgers: cf note to Psalm 104:18.
  8: [32-33] The anger aroused by overweening pride threatens an awesome punishment.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Proverbs
      • Chapter 31
  1: [12] Good, and not evil: i.e., prosperity, not adversity.
  2: [14] Merchant: literally, "Canaanite" (cf Proverb 31:24), probably because the merchant class had[...]
  3: [18] Her lamp is undimmed: indicates abundance of productive work and its accompanying prosperity;[...]
  4: [25] Laughs at the days to come: anticipates the future with gladness free from anxiety.
  5: [30] The true charm of the ideal wife is her religious spirit, for she fears the LORD; cf note on [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Qoheleth: see .
  2: [2] Vanity of vanities: a Hebrew superlative expressing the supreme degree of futility and emptine[...]
  3: [3] Under the sun: used throughout this book to signify "on the earth."
  4: [8] All speech . . . man can say: or "All things are wearisome beyond man's power to tell."
  5: [11] Men remember nothing long, God never forgets.
  6: [14] Chase after wind: futility, like an attempt to corral the winds. Cf Hosea 12:2. The ancient [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-11] The author here assumes the role of Solomon.
  2: [3] Though my mind . . . wisdom: while indulging in pleasure the author hopes to discover wherein [...]
  3: [24] Unrestrained indulgence is not advocated here, but legitimate pleasure and the cheerfulness i[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 3
  1: [15] God restores: the meaning is probably that God allows no part of his creation to drop out of [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 4
  1: [5] Consumes his own flesh: refuses to work for the necessities of life and consequently suffers h[...]
  2: [14] Prison house: probably his mother's womb, from which the king issues without possessions. Cf [...]
  3: [15] The king is no sooner dead than the people transfer their allegiance to his successor.
  4: [17] The fools' . . . sacrifice: unacceptable to God because of their disobedience; cf 1 Sam 15:2[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 5
  1: [2] Nightmares: literally, "dreams."
  2: [8] The wording of this verse has perhaps never been adequately explained.
  3: [19] The meaning is that the joys of life, though temporary, keep a man from dwelling on the ills [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 6
  1: [3] A large family, a long life, an honorable burial, all were highly esteemed by the Hebrews, and[...]
  2: [6] Same place: the grave.
  3: [7] Mouth: appetite, and therefore, body.
  4: [9] Better . . . wander after: the good that is present to us is better than that which is absent [...]
  5: [10] The one who is stronger than man is God.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] Ointment: applied to the child at birth; a good name remains even after death.
  2: [16] St. Jerome explains the warning against excessive justice in reference to the self-righteous [...]
  3: [17] Untimely death was traditionally recognized as a divine punishment of the wicked; cf 1 Sam 2[...]
  4: [18] This rule . . . that one: the sayings cited in Eccl 7:16-17. Others refer this and that to r[...]
  5: [20] This is to be understood in the sense of Romans 5:12. See note there.
  6: [28] The author found sincerity rare among men, but among women still more rare.
  7: [29] Calculations: the many vain attempts and schemes of men to attain happiness by their own effo[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 8
  1: [10] The text is obscure. The Latin has "wicked men buried, who, while still alive, were in the ho[...]
  2: [13] Shadowy: perhaps an addition here; cf Eccl 6:12.
  3: [15] See notes on Eccl 2:24; 5:19.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-10] These statement are based on a very imperfect concept of life beyond the grave. With Christ[...]
  2: [1] Love from hatred: divine favor or disfavor.
  3: [12] His own time: the time of death or sudden disaster.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 10
  1: [2] It is doubtful whether the author is endorsing either direction; cf Proverb 4:25-27.
  2: [15] He who . . . city: perhaps a proverbial expression for supreme stupidity.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] This may refer to a spirit of adventure in business or to generosity in almsgiving. Waters: of[...]
  2: [2] This verse refers either to almsgiving or to the wisdom of not putting all one's cargo into a [...]
  3: [10] Dawn . . . fleeting: literally, "youth and the dawn [of life] are vanity."



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Ecclesiastes
      • Chapter 12
  1: [2] The sun . . . return: the cloudy and rainy Palestinian winter, a natural symbol of old age. [...]
  2: [3] Guardians: the arms; strong men: the legs; grinders: the teeth; they who . . . windows: the ey[...]
  3: [4] Doors: the tightly compressed lips; sound of the mill: perhaps the sound of mastication; daugh[...]
  4: [5] The almond tree blooms: resembling the white hair of age. The locust . . . sluggish: an image [...]
  5: [6] The golden bowl suspended by the silver cord was a symbol of life; the snapping of the cord an[...]
  6: [11] Goads . . . one collector: the sayings were stimulants to thought and also spikes or centers [...]
  7: [13] Man's all: St. Jerome explains: "Unto this is every man born that, knowing his Maker, he may [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] This title is actually the first verse of chapter 1.
  2: [1:2-8:14] The marginal letters indicate the speaker of the verses: B-Bride; D-Daughters of Jeru[...]
  3: [5] Daughters of Jerusalem: the chorus whom the bride addresses and who ask her questions (Song 5[...]
  4: [6] Swarthy: tanned by the sun from working in her brothers' vineyards. My own vineyard: the bride[...]
  5: [7] Here and elsewhere in the Song (Song 3:1; 5:8; 6:1), the bride expresses her desire to be in [...]
  6: [9-11] The bridegroom compares the girl's beauty to the rich adornment of the royal chariot of Pha[...]
  7: [12] Nard: a precious perfume, a figure of the bride; cf Song 4:14.
  8: [13] Myrrh: produced from aromatic resin of balsam or roses.
  9: [14] Henna: a plant which bears white scented flowers.
  10: [15] Doves: suggesting innocence and charm.
  11: [16-17] Though the meeting place of the lovers is but a shepherd's hut of green branches, it becom[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Flower of Sharon: probably the narcissus, which grows in the fertile Plain of Sharon lying bet[...]
  2: [4-6] The banquet hall: the sweet things of the table, the embrace of the bride and bridegroom, ex[...]
  3: [7] By the gazelles and hinds: the swiftness of these animals and the luster and soft expression o[...]
  4: [8-13] In this sudden change of scene, the bride pictures her lover hastening toward her dwelling [...]
  5: [14] The bride is addressed as though she were a dove in a mountain fastness out of sight and reac[...]
  6: [15] A snatch of song in answer to the request of Song 2:14; cf Song 8:13, 14. Foxes: all who th[...]
  7: [17] Breathes cool: in the evening when the sun is going down. Cf Genesis 3:8. Bether: a very obs[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-5] See the parallel in Song 5:2-8.
  2: [6-11] The lover is portrayed as King Solomon, escorted by sixty armed men, coming in royal proces[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 4
  1: [2] Teeth: praised for whiteness and regularity.
  2: [3] Pomegranate: a fruit somewhat like an orange, with a firm skin and deep red color. The girl's [...]
  3: [4] The ornaments about her neck are compared to the trophies on the city walls. Cf 1 Kings 10:10[...]
  4: [6] Mountain of myrrh. . . hill of incense: spoken figuratively of the bride; cf Song 8:14.
  5: [7] Cf St. Paul's description of the Church in Eph 5:27. This verse is also applied to Our Lady, [...]
  6: [8] Amana . . . Senir and Hermon: these rugged heights symbolize obstacles that would separate the[...]
  7: [9] Sister: a term of endearment; it forms part of the conventional language of love used in this [...]
  8: [11] Honey: sweet words. Cf Proverb 5:3.
  9: [12] Enclosed garden . . . fountain sealed: reserved for the bridegroom alone. The bride's fidelit[...]
  10: [14] These plants are all known for their sweet scent.
  11: [16] The last two lines of the verse are spoken by the girl, inviting her lover to herself, the ga[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] Eat, friends; drink!: the lovers are encouraged to enjoy the delights of their love, symbol of[...]
  2: [2-8] A trial similar to that in Song 3:1-5.
  3: [3-4] The bride's hesitation is due, not to levity, but to strong emotion.
  4: [6] The disappearance of the lover seems to be a deliberate trial and test inflicted on the girl. [...]
  5: [7] The watchmen do not know the reason for the girl's appearance in the city streets; cf Song 3:[...]
  6: [10-11] In answer to the question of Song 5:9 the girl sings her lover's praises (Song 5:10-16). [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] The daughters of Jerusalem are won by this description of the lover and offer their aid in see[...]
  2: [2-3] Determined to share her lover with no one, the girl refuses the aid offered by the daughters[...]
  3: [4-9] The lover again celebrates her beauty. Tirzah: probably meaning "pleasant"; it was the early[...]
  4: [12] The text is obscure in Hebrew and in the ancient versions. The Vulgate reads: "I did not know[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] Shulammite: so called either because the girl is considered to be from Shulam in the plain of [...]
  2: [2-6] A flattering description of the girl's charms. Rounded . . . jewels: the meaning of these He[...]
  3: [5] The comparison emphasizes the stateliness and whiteness of the neck, and the limpidity of the [...]
  4: [8-9] Palm tree: a figure of stateliness. The bridegroom is eager to enjoy the possession of his b[...]
  5: [10] The bride delicately turns his compliment into an expression of the love and tenderness she f[...]
  6: [11-13(14)] The girl's answer assures him of her affection and invites him to return with her to t[...]
  7: [13(14)] Mandrakes: herbs believed to have power to arouse love and promote fertility; cf Genesis[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Song of Songs
      • Chapter 8
  1: [5] The lovers are pictured walking homeward, enjoying the fulfillment of the desire which the gir[...]
  2: [6-7] Seal: this could be worn bound to the arm, as here, or suspended at the neck, or as a ring [...]
  3: [8-10] The bride affirms her chastity. In Song 8:9 she quotes the course of action which her elde[...]
  4: [11-12] These enigmatic verses have been variously interpreted. In Song 8:11 the girl alludes to [...]
  5: [13-14] As in Song 2:14, 15 her lover asks for a word or a song and she replies in words similar [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Justice: not merely the cardinal virtue of that name (cf Wisdom 8:7), but the universal moral[...]
  2: [5] Discipline: here and elsewhere, another name for Wisdom; injustice: the opposite of the virtue[...]
  3: [7] This verse is applied to the Holy Spirit in the liturgy at Pentecost.
  4: [11] Calumny: speech against God and his providence is meant.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 2
  1: [9] Let no meadow . . . wantonness: the extant Greek Mss have "Let none of us be without part in o[...]
  2: [12-20] Often applied to the Passion of our Lord; many have understood these verses as a direct pr[...]
  3: [12] Law: the law of Moses; training has the same meaning.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-8] Verses frequently applied to the martyrs.
  2: [6] Offerings: the image is that of the holocaust, in which the victim is completely consumed by f[...]
  3: [7] Visitation: God's loving judgment of those who have been faithful to him; the same word is use[...]
  4: [10] To match their thoughts: a fate as empty as that which they describe; cf Wisdom 2:1-5.
  5: [13] Visitation of souls: that is, the last judgment. Cf Wisdom 3:7-9.
  6: [14] Fidelity's choice reward: cf Isaiah 56:1-8. More gratifying: better than sons and daughters;[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] The Latin form of this line, "Oh, how fair is the chaste generation in its glory!" is a later [...]
  2: [10-11] There are allusions here to Enoch (Genesis 5:21-24), who was young by patriarchal standar[...]
  3: [15] The verse here omitted repeats the last two lines of Wisdom 3:9.
  4: [20] Counting up: the last judgment.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 6
  1: [4] Law: that of Moses; cf Wisdom 6:10; 2:12.
  2: [10] Response: a suitable plea before the great Judge. Cf Proverb 22:21; Job 31:14; Hebrews 2:1;[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] First man formed on earth: Adam. The author omits throughout the book the proper names of the [...]
  2: [2] In a ten-months' period: thus the ancients were accustomed to reckon the period of pregnancy. [...]
  3: [14] Discipline: cf note on Wisdom 1:5.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1] End to end: from one end of the heavens to the other.
  2: [7] Moderation . . . fortitude: what are now known as the cardinal virtues.
  3: [12] Hands upon their mouths: an oft-mentioned sign of respect among the ancients for unanswerable[...]
  4: [19-20] Here the sacred writer mentions first bodily, then spiritual, excellence. To make it plain[...]
  5: [21] Possess her: in the Latin, "be continent." Though this verse has often been cited in connecti[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1-21] This chapter prepares for the following section (Wisdom 11:2-19:22) on the history of Isra[...]
  2: [1-2] Adam.
  3: [3] Cain.
  4: [4] Noah.
  5: [5] Abraham.
  6: [6] Lot. Pentapolis: the five cities, including Sodom; cf Genesis 14:2.
  7: [7] Disbelieving soul: Lot's wife; cf Genesis 19:26.
  8: [10-12] Jacob.
  9: [12] Devotion to God: in the Greek this signifies "piety" or "religion," and is the equivalent of[...]
  10: [13-14] Joseph.
  11: [16] Moses.
  12: [19] Cast them up: their bodies, on the shore.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 11
  1: [2-4] Few verses in these later chapters can be fully understood without consulting the passages i[...]
  2: [6-8] The perennial river: the Nile; the contrast is between the first plague of Egypt (Exodus 7:[...]
  3: [15] Dumb: that is, irrational.
  4: [22] Grain from a balance: a tiny particle used for weighing on sensitive scales.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 12
  1: [5] And of blood, from the midst of . . .: this line is obscure in the current Greek text and in a[...]
  2: [17] The brunt of God's anger and vindictive justice is borne by those who know him and yet defy h[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] Him who is: the Hebrew sacred name of God; cf Exodus 3:14.
  2: [2] Luminaries of heaven: the Latin interprets, "sun and moon"; governors: cf Genesis 1:16.
  3: [6] The blame is less: the greater blame is incurred by those mentioned in Wisdom 13:10; 15:14-16[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 14
  1: [6] Noah.
  2: [7] Often applied to the Cross of our Lord.
  3: [30] Piety: the sanctity of oaths.
  4: [31] Perjury is a form of deceit which calls for punishment even though it be practiced in the nam[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 15
  1: [18-20] The author here returns to the main theme of Wisdom 10-19 which was interrupted by the dig[...]
  2: [18] For . . . rest: this may mean that the creatures worshiped by the Egyptians (e.g., crocodiles[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1] They: the Egyptian idolaters.
  2: [6] Sign: the brazen serpent; cf Numbers 21:9.
  3: [14] Confined: in the nether world, in limbo.
  4: [22] Snow and ice: the manna; cf Wisdom 16:27; 19:21.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 17
  1: [6] Fires: that is, lightnings.
  2: [14] Powerless: the nether world, the home of darkness, has no power against God, nor even against[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 18
  1: [2] The difference between them: God's distinctive manner of treating the Israelites and the Egypt[...]
  2: [5] Single boy: Moses.
  3: [9] Praises of the fathers: cf Sirach 44-50; Wisdom 10.
  4: [13] People: the Hebrews.
  5: [21] Blameless man: Aaron, acting according to his office of high priest and intercessor.
  6: [22] Smiter: the destroying angel; cf Wisdom 18:25.
  7: [24] Glories . . . grandeur: the name of God and the names of the tribes were inscribed on the hig[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • The Book of Wisdom
      • Chapter 19
  1: [1] He: i.e., God.
  2: [2] Them: the Hebrews.
  3: [3] They: the Egyptians.
  4: [5] Glorious: more precisely, "wondrous," but the word reflects glorified in 18:8; 19:22.
  5: [13] More grievous: than that of the people of Sodom; cf Genesis 19.
  6: [15] Theirs: the people of Sodom.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Foreword
  1: The law, the prophets, and the rest of the books: the Sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament writt[...]
  2: Thirty-eighth . . . Euregetes: 132 B.C. The reference is to Ptolemy VII, Physkon Euergetes II (170[...]
  3: Reproduction . . . teaching: may refer to the Septuagint (Greek) translation of Hebrew wisdom writ[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1-8] The Lord is the source and preserver of wisdom (Sirach 1:1); he created her from eternity, [...]
  2: [1] Wisdom: here the author speaks of true wisdom, namely God's external revelation of himself. Th[...]
  3: [9-18] Here are described the spiritual and temporal blessings that come during the lifetime of hi[...]
  4: [9] Fear of the LORD: see note on Psalm 111:10.
  5: [19-22] The disciple of wisdom shuns unjust anger which brings downfall. By patience and self-cont[...]
  6: [25-29] Infidelity to religion, or the use of it for any but the single purpose of serving God, is[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-11] Serving God is not without its trials (Sirach 2:1); moreover, it must be done with sinceri[...]
  2: [12-17] A warning to those who compromise their religion in time of affliction; they fail in coura[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-16] Besides the virtues that must characterize our conduct toward God, special duties toward ou[...]
  2: [17-27] Humility gives a true estimate of self (Sirach 3:17-19). Through it a man performs duty, [...]
  3: [19] An alternate or additional line would read: "For though many have been great in the course of[...]
  4: [29-[ETML-C:=.Sir.4.10]4:10[ETML-C:/]] Mercy and kindness toward those in misfortune atone for sin[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] Eyes of the needy: when they look for help; cf Sirach 18:17.
  2: [11-19] The Hebrew text presents wisdom speaking in the first person, as in Sirach 24. The preciou[...]
  3: [20-31] Besides the interior trials of discipline and precept, the disciple of wisdom is warned ag[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1-10] The vices of the rich are pride and independence (Sirach 5:1-2), presumption (Sirach 5:3),[...]
  2: [11] A proverbial expression condemning inconstancy and advocating sincerity and honesty.
  3: [5:12-6:1] Proper use of the tongue requires constancy in speech (Sirach 5:12), prudence (Sirach [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] "That . . . double tongue!": people will say this against the man whose deceitful tongue has [...]
  2: [5-17] True friends are discerned not by prosperity (Sirach 6:11), but through the trials of adve[...]
  3: [18-37] The various figures in each of the three strophes urge the search for wisdom through patie[...]
  4: [23] Discipline (musar, in the sense of wisdom) is a perfect homonym for musar, "removed, withdraw[...]
  5: [31] Some forms of the text speak also of the "yoke" of wisdom under the imagery of golden ornamen[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-17] In the conduct of social relations wisdom forbids evil and injustice (Sirach 7:1-3), pride[...]
  2: [11] Him who exalts and humbles: God; cf 1 Sam 2:7; Psalm 75:8; Luke 1:52.
  3: [14] Repeat not . . . prayer: brevity of speech in dealings with superiors and more especially wit[...]
  4: [18-36] The duties of respect and appreciation, justice and kindness should characterize relations[...]
  5: [18] Ophir was the port, at present unidentified, to which the ships of Solomon sailed and from wh[...]
  6: [21] After six years of service a Hebrew slave was entitled to freedom, cf Exodus 21:2; Deut 15:1[...]
  7: [23] Bend their necks: keep them from rebellious pride; so with the Greek. Cf Sirach 30:12. The p[...]
  8: [31] First fruits . . . holy offerings: cf Exodus 29:27; Lev 7:31-34; Numbers 18:8-20; Deut 18:1[...]
  9: [33] This seems to refer to the observances ordained toward the dead, that is, proper mourning and[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1-19] A prudent man will be circumspect, avoiding conflict with the powerful, the rich and insole[...]
  2: [5] We all are guilty: cf 1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chron 6:36; Eccl 7:20; Romans 3:9-10; 1 John 1:8.
  3: [11] To give in to the wicked in one instance becomes an occasion of sin for the future.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-9] Prudence and reserve in dealing with women are the best defense of morality. To preserve the[...]
  2: [1] Unjust suspicions often engender hatred between husband and wife and may prompt a wife to comm[...]
  3: [5] Cf Exodus 22:15-16: Deut 22:28-29; Job 31:1.
  4: [10-16:] In social relations, adherence to the law of the Lord should serve as a guide (Sirach 9:[...]
  5: [9:17-10:5] Public office as conducted justly or unjustly benefits or destroys the people, accord[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 10
  1: [6-18] Glory displayed through arrogance and pride is false and displeasing to God and men, becaus[...]
  2: [9-10] The text is uncertain. Its general implication is that man deteriorates physically even whi[...]
  3: [19-[ETML-C:=.Sir.11.6]11:6[ETML-C:/]] Regardless of social barriers, genuine honor among men com[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 11
  1: [5] Cf 1 Sam 2:8; Psalm 105:17-22; Luke 1:52.
  2: [7-25] Discretion regulates a man's conduct toward others and their affairs (Sirach 11:7-9); as r[...]
  3: [14] Divine Providence ultimately governs the lives of men. Evil: misfortune and calamity sent by [...]
  4: [15-16] Some ancient witnesses omit these two verses.
  5: [19] Cf the parable of the rich man, Luke 12:16-21.
  6: [26-28] Sirach, writing before Christian revelation, did not go beyond the hour of death to find f[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-7] The limitations to the practice of charity here reflected were removed by Christ, who requir[...]
  2: [3-5] The author advises against generosity to those who would abuse it.
  3: [8-18] Through adversity friends are distinguished from enemies; to trust the latter or permit the[...]
  4: [11] Brazen mirror: see note on Exodus 38:8.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Sir.14.2]14:2[ETML-C:/]] By means of various figures Sirach indicates the practical [...]
  2: [17] The hostility between the dogs which guard the flocks at night and the rapacious hyenas is pr[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 14
  1: [3-16] The miser does no good even to himself (Sirach 14:3-10); wealth should be wisely used duri[...]
  2: [14:20-15:20] From his social teaching the sage now turns to consider individual responsibility. [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1-21] Sinful offspring are a great misfortune (16:1-4), for history and experience show how God [...]
  2: [6] For Korah and his band (Sirach 16:6, 7), see Numbers 16:35; Psalm 106:18; for the disgruntle[...]
  3: [7] The leaders of old: the "mighty men of old" who were destroyed by the flood: Genesis 6:4; Wis[...]
  4: [8] The people of Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 19:24-25; Ezekiel 16:49- 50.
  5: [9] The Canaanites: Exodus 23:23-24, 27-31; 33:2; Deut 7:1; Wisdom 12:3.
  6: [10] The Israelites who murmured against Moses: Numbers 11:20; 14:12, 22-24.
  7: [16:22-17:18] In harmony with Genesis 1-2, the author describes God's wisdom in creating the uni[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 17
  1: [10] An everlasting covenant . . . his commandments: the various covenants which God entered into [...]
  2: [14] Ruler: this may refer to civil authority or to angels placed over nations as guardians; see n[...]
  3: [19-27] Exhorting the sinner to return to God (Sirach 17:19-21, 24-26) the author implies that th[...]
  4: [26] Obscure: literally, evil; compare Genesis 6:5. Though moral fault is not excluded, the thoug[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 18
  1: [1-13] Not only are God's justice and power beyond man's understanding (Sirach 18:1-5), his mercy[...]
  2: [14-27] The practice of charity is an art which avoids every offense to the recipient (Sirach 18:[...]
  3: [19] Merit . . . ransom: almsgiving is often portrayed in the Bible as a means of approach to the [...]
  4: [22-23] The usual object of a vow in Old Testament times was the offering of a bloody sacrifice. [...]
  5: [28-29] A general statement on the teaching of wisdom, serving either as a conclusion to the prece[...]
  6: [18:30-19:4] Inordinate gratification of the senses makes a man unreasonable, the slave of passi[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 19
  1: [5-16] An excellent commentary on the eighth commandment of the Decalogue, forbidding intemperance[...]
  2: [17-26] True and false wisdom as here described are synonymous with virtue and vice, with the fulf[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1-7] Wisdom indicates the proper times for speech and silence, that is, the occasions when the mo[...]
  2: [3] The sense is that violence or force against a person can prevent an external act of sin or com[...]
  3: [8-16] In a series of paradoxes the author indicates how much true and lasting values differ from [...]
  4: [9] And some . . . double: or perhaps, "but some are doubly precious."
  5: [17-25] The ill-timed speech of the wicked, the unruly and a fool is repulsive (Sirach 20:17-19);[...]
  6: [26-30] Unlike the fool who invites disaster through misuse of his tongue, the sage through pruden[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1-10] Under various figures, the consequences of sin are described as destructive of wealth, and [...]
  2: [10] The path of sinners . . . nether world: eternal retribution is not yet proposed in this refer[...]
  3: [11-28] The mind of the wise man is a fountain of knowledge (Sirach 21:13, 15); his will is train[...]
  4: [27] Adversary: this can be understood in the sense that, if a man curses one who led him into sin[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1-15] To Sirach, a lazy person and an unruly child are a cause of shame and disgrace; everyone wi[...]
  2: [6] Like a song . . . is . . . talk: some understand talk in the sense of a rebuke unheeded by the[...]
  3: [16-18] A prudent mind firmly resolved is undisturbed by violent and conflicting thoughts, whereas[...]
  4: [19-26] As disputes and violence weaken friendship, and disloyalty and abuse of confidence destroy[...]
  5: [22:27-23:6] The sage implores the divine assistance to preserve him through stern discipline fr[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 23
  1: [1] LORD, Father and Master of my life: these words express the tender personal relationship betwe[...]
  2: [7-15] A warning against sins of the tongue through misuse of the Holy Name, thoughtless swearing [...]
  3: [10] As a slave . . . under scrutiny, so is he who calls on God to witness the truth of what he sa[...]
  4: [16-27] From sins of the tongue the author proceeds to treat of sins of the flesh and their dire c[...]
  5: [16] Two types . . . a third: three kinds of sins of impurity, with increasing degrees of gravity:[...]
  6: [21] Cf Lev 20:19; Deut 22:22.
  7: [23] The detailed evil of adultery includes disobedience to God's law (Exodus 20:14), injustice t[...]
  8: [24-25] The judgment of the assembly determined the illegitimacy of children born of adultery or i[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-27] In this chapter Wisdom speaks in the first person, describing her origin, her dwelling plac[...]
  2: [15] These substances were associated with worship, being mentioned in Exodus 30:22, 23, 34 as t[...]
  3: [18] Compare the words of the Savior in Matthew 11:28-30.
  4: [20] So pleasing is wisdom to man that, far from being satiated, he will always desire more.
  5: [22] Here the author begins to speak once more, Wisdom having ended her discourse in the preceding[...]
  6: [25] Gihon: understood by some to have been a name for the Nile: cf Genesis 2:13.
  7: [28-31] Spoken by the author. He had at first drawn a small portion of the water of wisdom for his[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1-11] While praising brotherly love, love of neighbor, and conjugal love, the sage condemns their[...]
  2: [8] Like a donkey yoked with an ox: incompatibility between husband and wife.
  3: [12-25] Wickedness in a woman is most grievous, painful and bitter to her husband. Through it she [...]
  4: [23] According to the account in Genesis 3 to which Ben Sirach refers, sin, the cause of death, or[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 26
  1: [1-4, 13-18] A good wife is as a gift from God, bringing joy and peace, happiness and contentment [...]
  2: [2] Worthy: gifted spiritually, mentally and physically. Cf Proverb 31:10.
  3: [6-12] A repetition of the thought expressed in 25:12-25.
  4: [17-18] The holy lampstand and the golden columns stood in the holy place of the ancient Tabernacl[...]
  5: [18] Among the additions found here in some manuscripts are the following lines: "My son, take car[...]
  6: [26:20-27:15] From proper conduct in family life, the author proceeds to social morality, warning[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 27
  1: [27:16-28:11] Betrayal of confidence through indiscretion destroys friendship and does irreparab[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 28
  1: [12-26] Further treatment of sins of the tongue and their havoc; cf Sirach 5:12-6:1; 19:5-16; 20[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 29
  1: [1-20] Some practical maxims concerning the use of wealth. Give to a poor man (Sirach 29:8, 9), l[...]
  2: [21-28] The man who provides his own basic needs of food, clothing and dwelling, and is content wi[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 30
  1: [1-13] Sound discipline and careful education of children correct frivolity and stubbornness, prev[...]
  2: [14-25] Health of mind and body and joy of heart are judged more precious than wealth (Sirach 30:[...]
  3: [17] Preferable is death . . . constant illness: the true value of human suffering was revealed th[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 31
  1: [1-11] Solicitude for acquiring wealth and anxiety over preserving it disturb repose and easily le[...]
  2: [2] The Hebrew adds a verse that seems out of place here: "A faithful comrade drives away reproach[...]
  3: [8-10] The Church in her liturgy applies this passage to holy confessors of the Faith.
  4: [31:12-32:13] A man observing etiquette at table avoids greed and selfishness (Sirach 31:12-13),[...]
  5: [21] Emptied your stomach: the practice of induced vomiting, well-known among pagan Romans, and le[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 32
  1: [32:14-33:4] God is shown to reveal himself through the discipline of his law, a clear and safe [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 33
  1: [3] Oracle: as the answer given through the Urim and Thummim to the high priest is true, so the la[...]
  2: [5-15] Contrasts observable in the physical universe as well as in the moral order serve the purpo[...]
  3: [16-18] Here the author refers to himself as the most recent of the writers who have endeavored to[...]
  4: [19-33] Public officials should reject every influence that would restrict their freedom in the ma[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 34
  1: [1-17] Confidence placed in dreams, divinations and omens is false because these are devoid of rea[...]
  2: [18-26] To be acts of true religion, sacrifice and penance must be accompanied by the proper moral[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 35
  1: [1-24] Keeping the commandments of the law and avoiding injustice constitute sacrifice pleasing an[...]
  2: [2] Fine flour, together with oil and frankincense, was a prescribed offering to God; cf Lev 2:1-[...]
  3: [13] Cf Lev 19:15.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 36
  1: [1-17] Making an act of faith and hope in the supreme Lord of the universe, the author begs God to[...]
  2: [36:18-37:15] In the choice of wife, friend or associate, experience is a discerner of character [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 37
  1: [16-25] Thoughts determine action. Wisdom is the source of good and life; folly, of evil and death[...]
  2: [26-30] Temperance and self-control should govern a man's appetite for food, which is intended not[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 38
  1: [1-15] The profession of medicine comes from God, who makes the earth yield healing herbs and give[...]
  2: [16-23] A period of mourning for the deceased and care for their burial is becoming (Sirach 38:16[...]
  3: [38:24-39:11] More excellent than the useful service of craftsmen-farmer, engraver, smith, potter[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 39
  1: [12-35] The sage invites his disciples to join him in joyfully proclaiming his favorite theme: The[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 40
  1: [1-16] The former idyllic description of the universe is contrasted with the picture of the evils [...]
  2: [1] Mother of all the living: the earth from which man was taken. Cf Genesis 2:7; 3:19-20; Job 1:[...]
  3: [11] All that is of earth . . . returns above: a reference to bodily mortality and to the divine o[...]
  4: [17-27] Of the many treasures making life sweet, such as health, children, friends, music, vigor, [...]
  5: [28-30] Among the Jews, beggary was considered degrading to human dignity; it was agreeable only t[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 41
  1: [1-13] Whether death seems bitter to one who enjoys peace, success and pleasure, or welcome to one[...]
  2: [13] After this verse many texts repeat Sirach 20:29-30.
  3: [41:14-42:8] The author illustrates the subject of true and false shame with numerous and detail[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 42
  1: [9-14] The author considers a daughter to be a source of anxiety to her father, lest she fail to m[...]
  2: [42:15-43:35] These verses comprise a new section. In them the author contemplates God's power, [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 43
  1: [28] All in all: the perfections reflected in creation are found in a transcendent way in God, who[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 44
  1: [44:1-50:24] As in the previous section God's wisdom shone forth in the works of nature, so in t[...]
  2: [1-15] The reader is here introduced to those men of Israel, later mentioned by name, who through [...]
  3: [16] Enoch: because of his friendship with God and also by reason of his unusual disappearance fro[...]
  4: [20] In his own flesh . . . ordinance: the covenant of circumcision; cf Genesis 17:10-14. And whe[...]
  5: [21] The River: the Euphrates; cf Genesis 2:14.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 45
  1: [1-5] Moses manifested God's power through miracles (Sirach 45:1-3), God's authority through the [...]
  2: [2] God's honor devolved upon him: Moses was actually God's substitute in dealing with Pharaoh, he[...]
  3: [5] Face to face: on God's intimacy with Moses, see Exodus 33:11; Numbers 12:8. St. Paul alluded [...]
  4: [6-21] The author here expresses his reverence and esteem for the priesthood of the old covenant. [...]
  5: [7] The priesthood of Aaron was superseded by the priesthood of Christ; cf Hebrews 7:18-28.



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 46
  1: [1-6] Joshua, whose name means "the Lord is savior" (Sirach 46:1), was the instrument through whi[...]
  2: [3] The battles of the LORD: cf Joshua 6-10.
  3: [7-10] Caleb, who with Joshua advised Moses and the people in the desert to conquer Canaan, despit[...]
  4: [11-20] Of the Judges praised and blessed for their fidelity to God in opposing idolatry, Samuel, [...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 47
  1: [1-11] David, a youthful and fearless warrior, the favorite of all Israel, by defeating Goliath, t[...]
  2: [12-24] Solomon, son and successor of David, inherited peace through his father's conquests. He bu[...]
  3: [18] Cf 2 Sam 12:25 where Solomon is called Jedidiah, "beloved of the Lord." The same term is use[...]
  4: [23] Expansive: the name Rehoboam means "the people is expansive," that is, widespread. The sinner[...]
  5: [47:25-48:11] The prophetic ministry of Elijah amid widespread idolatry is here described as a j[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 48
  1: [12-16] Elisha fearlessly continued the work of his predecessor by numerous miracles (Sirach 48:1[...]
  2: [17-25] The fidelity, trust and courage of King Hezekiah (Sirach 48:17, 22), the zeal of the prop[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 49
  1: [1-10] The author's praise of King Josiah (Sirach 49:1-3), of the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel a[...]
  2: [11-13] Zerubbabel and Jeshua, in rebuilding the temple, and Nehemiah, the governor, in repairing [...]
  3: [14-16] The patriarchs here mentioned were glorious because of their spirit of religion, i.e., the[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 50
  1: [1-21] The son of Jochanan here mentioned was Simon II, in whose time as high priest (219-196 B.C.[...]
  2: [22-24] Praise and thanksgiving are given to God for his wondrous works, and a blessing is invoked[...]
  3: [25-26] The author's abhorrence of the pagan Edomites (Idumeans), Philistines and Samaritans can b[...]
  4: [25] Not even a people: the Samaritans.
  5: [26] Seir: Mount Seir in the territory of the Edomites. Shechem: a city in Samaria.
  6: [27-29] These verses contain the subscription of the author, Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach,[...]



  • The Wisdom Books
    • Sirach
      • Chapter 51
  1: [1-12] A canticle of praise and thanks to God for delivering the author from slander, dangers, des[...]
  2: [12] After this verse the Hebrew text gives the litany of praise contained below. It is similar to[...]
  3: [13-30] An alphabetic canticle describing: a) the approach to wisdom through prayer, persistent st[...]
  4: [13] In the Greek of 13f there is an expansion introducing Solomon as the speaker. This deviates f[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The title of the book: an editorial addition. Isaiah: meaning "the salvation of the LORD," or [...]
  2: [3] Israel: not the northern kingdom, as in Isaiah 9:11 exclusively, which Isaiah usually calls "[...]
  3: [4] Holy One of Israel: a title used frequently by Isaiah, rarely by other writers.
  4: [5-8] Sufferings inflicted upon God's people for their sins.
  5: [8] Daughter Zion: Jerusalem. Hut . . . shed: for the shelter of watchmen and laborers.
  6: [9] LORD of hosts: God, who is the Creator and Ruler of the heavenly armies of the angels, stars, [...]
  7: [11] The number of your sacrifices: however numerous, they are not acceptable without the right di[...]
  8: [13] Octaves with wickedness: the solemnity of the feasts marred by evil deeds.
  9: [15] Spread out your hands: in prayer.
  10: [21] A picture of Jerusalem, once so faithful to God. Apostasy from the covenant is often likened [...]
  11: [27] This verse is the key to the whole Book of Isaiah. Zion's defiant persistence in sin has dema[...]
  12: [29] Terebinths which you prized . . . groves which you chose: as popular shrines for idolatrous w[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] An editorial addition introducing Isaiah 2-5.
  2: [2-4] The messianic destiny which ensures Judah's later restoration. In the messianic kingdom the [...]
  3: [3] Zion . . . Jerusalem: types of the earthly center of the messianic kingdom.
  4: [6] Fortune-tellers and soothsayers: divination was strictly forbidden; cf Deut 18:9-14.
  5: [11] That day: the day of the Lord, a day of retribution, often referred to, especially by the min[...]
  6: [13] Lebanon: Mount Lebanon in Syria, famed for its cedars. Bashan: the wooded uplands east of the[...]
  7: [16] Tarshish: cf note on Psalm 48:8.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-12] Anarchy will reign in Jerusalem and Judah. In the prevailing desperation, even the most unw[...]
  2: [17] Bare their heads: a mark of social disgrace; cf Numbers 5:18.
  3: [21] Nose rings: of gold, a feminine ornament in the East; cf note on Genesis 24:22.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] Seven women . . . one man: the disproportion of the sexes due to war leaves the female populat[...]
  2: [2] Branch of the LORD: divine blessings in general, which later culminated in the Messiah; cf Je[...]
  3: [3] Marked down for life: in God's list of his elect; cf Exodus 32:32.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] My friend had a vineyard: the Lord and his chosen people.
  2: [7] Judgment . . . bloodshed . . . justice . . . outcry: in Hebrew, these adversative terms consti[...]
  3: [8-10] Land-grabbers who unjustly acquire property will be impoverished instead of enriched.
  4: [10] Ten acres: a field requiring ten days of plowing by a yoke of oxen. Liquid measure: in Hebrew[...]
  5: [14] (14) Nether world: cf note on Psalm 6:5.
  6: [26-30] A description of the invading Assyrian army, God's instrument for punishing his people. [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-3] Temple: the holy place, just in front of the holy of holies. Seraphim: literally "the burnin[...]
  2: [1] In the year King Uzziah died: 742 B.C.
  3: [4] Smoke: reminiscent of the clouds which surrounded God at Mount Sinai; cf Exodus 19:16-19; Deu[...]
  4: [5] Doomed: it was popularly believed that to see God would lead to one's death; cf Genesis 32:31[...]
  5: [7] Touched your lips: Isaiah is thus symbolically purified to be worthy of his vocation as God's [...]
  6: [9-10] The truth that the nation will remain impenitent is vividly foretold, as if its obstinacy w[...]
  7: [12] Several limited deportations in the time of Isaiah would later culminate in the Babylonian ex[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] Days of Ahaz: who ruled from 735 to 715 B.C. This attack against Jerusalem by the kings of Ara[...]
  2: [3] Shear-jashub: this name means "a remnant will return."
  3: [6] Son of Tabeel: an adherent of Jerusalem's enemies. His appointment would interrupt the lawful [...]
  4: [9] Within sixty years and five: if the text is correct, its reference is unknown.
  5: [11] Deep . . . sky: an extraordinary or miraculous sign that would prove God's firm will to save [...]
  6: [12] Tempt the LORD: Ahaz expresses in this hypocritical way his preference for depending upon the[...]
  7: [14] The sign proposed by Isaiah was concerned with the preservation of Judah in the midst of dist[...]
  8: [15] Curds and honey: the restricted diet of those who remain after devastation has changed the on[...]
  9: [20] God will use the Assyrians from across the River (the Euphrates) as his instrument (razor) to[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1] Ordinary letters: easily read by all. Maher-shalal-hash-baz: a symbolic name to be given to an[...]
  2: [2] Reliable witnesses: who would testify that Isaiah had indeed prophesied the future destruction[...]
  3: [3] The prophetess: wife of Isaiah.
  4: [6-8] This people: Judah. Waters of Shiloah: the stream that flows into the pool of Shiloah in Jer[...]
  5: [10] The plan of Israel's enemies will be thwarted because, as the name "Immanuel" signifies, With[...]
  6: [16] Kept among my disciples: for preservation and transmission.
  7: [18] Signs: Isaiah and his sons had symbolic names.
  8: [19] Chirp and mutter: a mocking reference to the sounds uttered by necromancers, as if the dead w[...]
  9: [21,22] These verses have been transposed and placed within Isaiah 14:25 which affords the contex[...]
  10: [23] (23)Zebulun . . . Naphtali: northern Palestine, which was first to be attacked by the Assyria[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 9
  1: [5] A child: the Immanuel of Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 8:8; cf Isaiah 11:1, 2, 9. In Christian trad[...]
  2: [11] Aram: the Syrian kingdom, with its capital at Damascus.
  3: [20] Manasseh . . . Ephraim: two of the leading tribes of the northern kindgom.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 10
  1: [6-7] Impious nation: Israel. It was God's intention to use Assyria merely to punish, not to destr[...]
  2: [9] Calno . . . Damascus: cities captured by the Assyrians.
  3: [16] His fat ones: the strong men of the king of Assyria.
  4: [21] A remnant will return: in Hebrew, shear-jashub, an allusion to the name of Isaiah's son, Shea[...]
  5: [27-32] A poetic description of the progress of the Assyrian army, advancing from the north throug[...]
  6: [32-34] Just when the enemy is about to capture Jerusalem, God intervenes and destroys the hostile[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] Jesse: David's father. Shoot . . . stump: after the Babylonian Exile only a stump of the David[...]
  2: [2-3] The source of the traditional names of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Septuagint and the [...]
  3: [6-9] This picture of the idyllic harmony of paradise is a dramatic symbol of the universal peace [...]
  4: [11] Pathros . . . sea: where God's people lived in exile. Pathros: upper Egypt. Elam: east of Bab[...]
  5: [14] Kedemites: tribes in the Arabian Desert.
  6: [15] Tongue . . . Egypt: the body of water between Egypt and Palestine.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-6] Israel's thanksgiving to the Lord, expressed in language like that of the Psalms.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 13
  1: [2] To them: the Medes (Isaiah 13:17) and Persians, who would destroy Babylon. Gates of the volun[...]
  2: [3] Dedicated soldiers: in the sense that they will wage a "holy war" and carry out God's plan. [...]
  3: [6-8] Day of the LORD: described often in prophetical writings, it generally signified the coming [...]
  4: [12] Ophir: cf note to Psalm 45:9.
  5: [21] Satyrs: in the popular mind, demons of goatlike form dwelling in ruins, symbols of immorality[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 14
  1: [4-21] This taunt-song, or satire, is one of the finest in the Bible.
  2: [12] Morning star: the king of Babylon. The Vulgate has "Lucifer," a name applied by the Church F[...]
  3: [13] Recesses of the North: see note on Psalm 48:3.
  4: [8:21-22] He . . . clouds: The two verses have been transposed from Isaiah 8.
  5: [28] The year that King Ahaz died: 715 B.C.
  6: [29] Rod: an Assyrian oppressor whose identity is uncertain. Flying saraph: a poisonous serpent, d[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 15
  1: [2] Every head . . . sheared off: traditional signs of grief.
  2: [9] There is in the Hebrew a play on words: Dimon and dam, the latter signifying "blood."



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 16
  1: [2] The Arnon: principal river of Moab.
  2: [3-5] Directed to Jerusalem, which should receive the suffering Moabites with mercy, as befits the[...]
  3: [7-14] Moab had been prosperous; now it has become a desert.
  4: [7] Raisin cakes: masses of dried compressed grapes used as food (cf 2 Sam 6:19; 1 Chron 16:3; So[...]
  5: [8] Desert: to the east. Sea: the Dead Sea.
  6: [12] In vain do the Moabites appeal to their god Chemosh.
  7: [13-14] A prose application of the preceding poetic oracle against Moab (Isaiah 15:1-16:12); cf [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 17
  1: [1] Damascus: capital of Syria, destroyed in 732 B.C.
  2: [3] Ephraim: Israel, leagued with Syria against Assyria and Judah; destroyed in 721 B.C. Aram: Syr[...]
  3: [5] Valley of Rephaim: a fertile plain to the southwest of Jerusalem; cf Joshua 15:8; 2 Sam 5:18.[...]
  4: [6] Olives not easily picked by hand were knocked from the tree by means of a long stick; cf Isai[...]
  5: [8] Sacred poles: see note on Exodus 34:13. Incense stands: small altars on which incense was bur[...]
  6: [10] Pagan plants: literally "plants of delights," understood by some as planted in honor of the [...]
  7: [12-13] Many peoples: the hordes that accompanied the invading Assyrians, whom God repels just as [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 18
  1: [1-2] Papyrus boats: light and serviceable vessels made of bundles of papyrus stalks and sealed wi[...]
  2: [1] Land of buzzing insects: the region of the Upper Nile where these multiplied with great rapidi[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 19
  1: [4] Cruel master: the king of Assyria.
  2: [11,13] Zoan, later known as Tanis, and Memphis (in Hebrew, Noph) were the key cities of the Nile [...]
  3: [15] Head or tail, palm branch or reed: the leaders or the people; cf Isaiah 9:13, 14.
  4: [18] Five cities: colonies of Jews living together and speaking their languages, Hebrew and Aramai[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 20
  1: [2-6] The symbolic act of the prophet conveyed the idea that Assyria would lead captive the Egypti[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] Wastelands by the sea: Babylonia. Negeb: the desert south of Judah.
  2: [2] Elam . . . Media: nations which, under the leadership of Cyrus, captured Babylon in 538 B.C. E[...]
  3: [5] Babylon is destroyed while its leaders are feasting; cf Daniel 5. Oil the shield: shields were[...]
  4: [11-12] Seir: another name for Edom. The Edomites ask the prophet how much longer they must suffer[...]
  5: [13-14] Arabia: that is, the nomad country. Dedanites: an Arab tribe associated with Edom and Tema[...]
  6: [16] Year . . . of a hireling: see note on 16:14. Kedar: a nomad tribe in Arabia; cf Isaiah 42:11[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1-8] Valley of Vision: while the people live in revelry and disorder, the prophet foresees the im[...]
  2: [6] Elam, Aram, Kir: all allies of Assyria. Kir: perhaps the same people referred to in Amos 1:5.[...]
  3: [8-11] Defense measures, in which the inhabitants of Jerusalem placed their trust instead of relyi[...]
  4: [15] Shebna: referred to as the scribe in Isaiah 36:3.
  5: [20] Eliakim: also referred to in Isaiah 36:3; he is described as loyal to God.
  6: [22] Key: symbol of authority; cf Matthew 16:19; Rev 3:7.
  7: [24-25] If Eliakim should anger God, he and his family (compared here to dishes, bowls and jugs) w[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 23
  1: [1-4,12-14] These verses refer to Sidon, Isaiah 23:5-11 to Tyre.
  2: [1] Kittim: Cyprus.
  3: [3] Shihor: a synonym for the Nile.
  4: [4] The sea: brings to distant coasts the news that Sidon must disown her children; her people are[...]
  5: [11] Canaan's strongholds: the fortresses of Phoenicia.
  6: [13] The gloss here identifies she whom the impious founded with the land of the Chaldeans.
  7: [15] Seventy years: a conventional period of time indicating simply a long disaster; cf Jeremiah [...]
  8: [18] Describes the conversion of Tyre.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Isa.27.13]27:13[ETML-C:/]] This section, probably composed at a later date, contains[...]
  2: [5] Ancient covenant: God's commandments to all mankind.
  3: [10] City of chaos: a symbol of godlessness as opposed to Jerusalem, the city of God.
  4: [14] These: the saved.
  5: [21] Host of the heavens: the stars, which were regarded by the pagans as gods; cf Deut 4:19; Jer[...]
  6: [23] His elders: the heavenly courtiers surrounding the throne of God.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1-8] Victory in messianic times.
  2: [6] This mountain: Zion, symbol of the heavenly Jerusalem.
  3: [10] Moab: symbol of God's enemies.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 26
  1: [19] This verse refers to the restoration of Israel in messianic times under the figure of the res[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 27
  1: [1] Leviathan . . . dragon: symbols of the forces of evil which God vanquishes even as he overcame[...]
  2: [7] God's people will not be treated as sternly as were their enemies.
  3: [8-9] Israel will make peace with God and destroy all signs of idolatrous worship.
  4: [10-11] The fortified city: symbol of the powers of evil; see note on Isaiah 24:10.
  5: [12] The Euphrates and the Wadi of Egypt: the ideal borders of Israel; cf Genesis 15:18; 2 Kings [...]
  6: [13] The triumph of God's people is described in eschatological language; they will gather in Jeru[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 28
  1: [1] Ephraim: the northern kingdom. Its capital, Samaria, was built upon a hill, suggestive of a ma[...]
  2: [2] A strong one and a mighty: Assyria.
  3: [9-10] The words of those who ridicule Isaiah. The Hebrew of Isaiah 28:10 by its very sound, conv[...]
  4: [11] God will answer the mockers and defend Isaiah. Strange language: spoken by the invading army.[...]
  5: [15,18] A covenant with death, and with the nether world: an alliance with foreign powers, such as[...]
  6: [16] A stone in Zion: the true and sure foundation of salvation promised by God to the Davidic dyn[...]
  7: [21] Mount Perazim . . . Valley of Gibeon: where David defeated the Philistines; cf 2 Sam 5:20, 2[...]
  8: [23-29] The practical variation of the farmer's work taught him by God reflects God's dealing with[...]
  9: [25] Gith . . . cumin: herbs used in seasoning food. Spelt: a variety of wheat.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 29
  1: [1-2] Ariel: variously interpreted to mean "lion of God" or "hearth (altar) of God," a poetic nam[...]
  2: Chirping: see note on Isaiah 8:19.
  3: [7-8] Just when the Assyrians think their capture of Jerusalem to be certain, the Lord will snatch[...]
  4: [9-12] Jerusalem in her blindness refuses to believe God's revelation that she will be saved.
  5: [17-24] The prophet presents God's plan of redemption in terms of unheard-of natural phenomena as [...]
  6: [22] Who redeemed Abraham: by freeing him from the idolatry of his native land.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 30
  1: [6] Flying saraph: see note on Numbers 21:6.
  2: [7] Rahab: Egypt, here as elsewhere (cf Psalm 87:4), is compared to the stormy, impetuous sea mon[...]
  3: [8] Isaiah will write down his condemnation of the people so that (Isaiah 30:12-18) its fulfillme[...]
  4: [20] Teacher: God, who in the past taught in a veiled manner through his prophets, will in future [...]
  5: [27-33] God's punishment of Assyria. The name of the LORD: God himself; cf Psalm 20:2.
  6: [29-33] Pyre: on which the corpse of the king of Assyria is burned. This is the occasion of festal[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 31
  1: [8] Crag: the king as the rallying point of the princes.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 32
  1: [14-15] Thd castle8 the citadel of Jerusaldm. Hill. and toter: the fortifidd hill, in Hebrew Ophel[...]
  2: [16-20] Extraordinary peace and prosperity will come to Israel under just rulers.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 33
  1: [7] Ariel . . . Shalem: Jerusalem; cf Isaiah 29:1; Genesis 14:18.
  2: [9] Sharon: the fertile plain near the Mediterranean.
  3: [17] King: the messianic king, or God; cf Isaiah 33:22.
  4: [22-23] Boat . . . majestic ship: of a foreign oppressor.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 34
  1: [11] Satyrs: see note on Isaiah 13:21; cf Isaiah 34:14.
  2: [14] Lilith: a female demon thought to roam about the desert.
  3: [16] Book of the LORD: God's list of all his creatures; cf Psalm 69:29 "the book of the living"; [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 35
  1: [1-10] Similar to the description of the return from the exile, as found in Isaiah 40-55.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 36
  1: [36:1-39:8] Except for 38:9-20 this historical appendix describing the siege, etc., is parallele[...]
  2: [7] The Assyrians pretend that Hezekiah's removal of the high places and altars (illegal sanctuari[...]
  3: [11] The Jewish emissaries ask that the conversation be carried on in Aramaic, not in Judean, for [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 37
  1: [3] A proverbial expression. In the Bible the pangs of childbirth often typify extreme anguish; cf[...]
  2: [9] Tirhakah: may have been general of the Egyptian army in 701 B.C.; later he became king, one of[...]
  3: [16] In contrast to the empty boasting of the Assyrians, Hezekiah proclaims the Lord as God over a[...]
  4: [30] You: Hezekiah. A sign: it is difficult to know the nature of this sign. Either it is merely a[...]
  5: [36] The destruction of Sennacherib's army is also recorded by Herodotus, a Greek historian of the[...]
  6: [38] The violent death of Sennacherib (681 B.C.) is also mentioned in non-biblical sources. It occ[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 38
  1: [38:1-39:8] The events of this section-sickness and recovery of Hezekiah, embassy of Merodach-ba[...]
  2: [1] In those days: a time prior to the siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C.
  3: [5] Since Hezekiah died in 687 B.C., this sickness of his seems to have been in 702 B.C., that is,[...]
  4: [8] Stairway to the terrace of Ahaz: this interpretation is based on a reading of the Hebrew text [...]
  5: [10] In the noontime of life: long before the end of a full span of life; cf Psalm 55:23; 102:24.[...]
  6: [11] See the LORD: go to the Temple and take part in its service.
  7: [12] These two metaphors emphasize the suddenness and finality of death.
  8: [15] What am I to say or tell him?: a rhetorical question, as if the poet were at a loss in giving[...]
  9: [16] Yours . . . the life of my spirit: the current Hebrew text is corrupt. The revised Latin psal[...]
  10: [17] You cast behind your back all my sins: figurative language to express the divine forgiveness [...]
  11: [18-19] See note on Psalm 6:5.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 39
  1: [1] Merodach-baladan: twice king of Babylon, probably from 721 to 710 B.C., and again for nine mon[...]
  2: [6] Because Judah preferred to follow a pro-Babylonian policy, instead of trusting in God, it woul[...]
  3: [8] Favorable: for the exile would not occur in his lifetime.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 40
  1: [2] Service: servitude and exile.
  2: [3-5] The figurative language here describes the actual return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerus[...]
  3: [12] Span: the distance between the extended little finger and the thumb. Measure: literally, "thi[...]
  4: [16] Lebanon . . . fuel: the famed cedars would not be enough to keep the fires of sacrifice burni[...]
  5: [6] (41:6-7)These two verses have been transposed from Isaiah 40.
  6: [26] Created: see note on Genesis 1:1. By name: for he is their Creator.
  7: [27-28] God's people, here called Jacob and Israel, must not give way to discouragement: their Lor[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 41
  1: [1-4] It is generally agreed that these verses describe the vocation and victory of Cyrus, whom th[...]
  2: [2] Cyrus is the champion of justice and God's attendant.
  3: [14] Redeemer: in Hebrew, goel, one who frees another from slavery and avenges his sufferings; cf [...]
  4: [21-24] An indictment of idols.
  5: [25] I summon him: Cyrus.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 42
  1: [1-4] Servant: there are three other "Servant-of-the-Lord" oracles, 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12[...]
  2: [3] A reference to the mercy of Christ.
  3: [4] Coastlands: the lands of the Mediterranean. In the Old Testament the word often refers to the [...]
  4: [11] Kedar: cf footnote to Isaiah 21:16. Sela: Petra, the capital of Edom.
  5: [18-20] Because of their unbelief, the Lord rebukes his people, whom he calls his servant, his mes[...]
  6: [22] A people: Israel in exile.
  7: [24] Despoilers: the Assyrians and Babylonians.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 43
  1: [3-4] Egypt . . . Ethiopia and Seba: countries which God permitted the Persians to conquer in retu[...]
  2: [9] Only God can know and predict future events; cf Isaiah 41:1-5, 21-29.
  3: [14-17] The destruction of Babylon.
  4: [18] No need to think solely of the past wonders of the exodus from Egypt; equally great is the ex[...]
  5: [22-28] The reason for the liberation of the Israelites is not their fidelity but rather God's mer[...]
  6: [24] Sweet cane: a fragrant substance used in making incense and the sacred anointing oil; cf Exo[...]
  7: [27] First father: Adam or Jacob, or collectively "early ancestors." Spokesmen: leaders, priests, [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 44
  1: [2] The darling: see note on Deut 32:15; cf also Deut 33:5, 26.
  2: [5] Write on his hand: an allusion to the Babylonian custom of tatooing the owner's name on the ha[...]
  3: [8] Rock: place of refuge; said of God in Deut 32:4, 18; 1 Sam 2:2; etc.
  4: [9-20] Satire on the makers and worshipers of idols.
  5: [20] Chasing ashes: exerting efforts in vain; cf Hosea 12:2; Eccl 1:14; 2:11, 17.
  6: [28] Cyrus: king of Persia (559-529 B.C.) and conqueror of Babylon (538 B.C.), who liberated the J[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 45
  1: [1] Anointed: in Hebrew, meshiah, from which the word "Messiah" is derived; from its Greek transla[...]
  2: [2] Bronze doors: of Babylon.
  3: [6] The Gentiles will come to know the true God; cf also 45:20-25.
  4: [7] Create woe: God permits evil for the sake of a greater good.
  5: [8] The Vulgate rendering gives a more precise messianic sense to this verse, using "just one" and[...]
  6: [9] No one may challenge God's freedom of action, exemplified here by the selection of Cyrus as hi[...]
  7: [13] One: Cyrus, called by God for the deliverance and restoration of Israel.
  8: [14] Egypt . . . Ethiopia . . . Sabeans: the Egyptians and their allies who, when conquered by Cyr[...]
  9: [15] God is hidden: he dwells invisibly in the holy of holies.
  10: [18] Waste: an allusion to the beginning of creation, when the earth was waste and void (Genesis [...]
  11: [20] Who bear wooden idols: in their religious processions. The gods of the pagans have feet but c[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 46
  1: [1] Bel . . . Nebo: gods of Babylon; their complete helplessness is here contrasted with God's omn[...]
  2: [11] From the east a bird of prey: Cyrus; cf Isaiah 41:2-4.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 47
  1: [1-15] A taunt-song, mocking Babylon, once queen of the nations, now made a slave girl.
  2: [9-13,15] Babylon was known for its sorcery and astrology.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 48
  1: [14] The LORD's friend: Cyrus, who carries out God's plans.
  2: [16] "Now the Lord . . . spirit": said by Cyrus; cf Isaiah 48:14.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 49
  1: [1-7] The second of the four "Servant-of-the-Lord" oracles.
  2: [1] Gave me my name: designated me for a special office (cf Jeremiah 1:5), or perhaps, made me re[...]
  3: [2] The Servant was made ready and fit for the preaching of God's word.
  4: [3] Israel: the Servant is identified with the people of Israel as their ideal representative; how[...]
  5: [6] The Servant's vocation will be not only the restoration of Israel but the conversion of the wo[...]
  6: [12] Syene: now called Aswan, at the first cataract of the Nile in southern Egypt.
  7: [16] Upon the palms . . . name: for continual remembrance; cf Exodus 13:9, 16; Deut 6:6-9.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 50
  1: [1] Responding to the people's complaint of utter abandonment by God, the prophet shows that their[...]
  2: [2] Israel's faith in God is weak; she does not answer his call, nor believe in his promises of de[...]
  3: [4-11] The third of the four "Servant-of-the-Lord" oracles; in Isaiah 50:4-9 the Servant speaks; [...]
  4: [5] The Servant does not refuse the divine vocation.
  5: [6] He willingly submits to insults and beatings. Plucked my beard: a grave insult.
  6: [10-11] Instead of trusting in the Lord and his Servant, the people rely on their own devices, to [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 51
  1: [1] Rock . . . pit: your glorious ancestry.
  2: [4-5] The conversion of the Gentiles.
  3: [6] God's salvation and justice are eternal, in contrast to the impermanence of the heavens and th[...]
  4: [9] Rahab: see note on Isaiah 30:7. The dragon: see notes on Isaiah 27:1; Psalm 74:13.
  5: [10] Great deep: another reference to the primeval chaos of Genesis 1:2.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 52
  1: [7-10] God leads his people back from Babylon to Zion, from whose ruined walls watchmen . . . shou[...]
  2: [11] From there: from Babylon. Vessels of the LORD: taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, now carrie[...]
  3: [52:13-53:12] The last of the four "Servant-of-the-Lord" oracles. An extraordinary description o[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 53
  1: [2] Only God appreciated his Servant's true greatness.
  2: [3] Because he suffered, he was regarded as a sinner and therefore as one to be spurned.
  3: [4-6] He did indeed suffer but it was for the sins of mankind, and through his sufferings men are [...]
  4: [10-12] Because he fulfilled the divine will by suffering for the sins of others, the Servant will[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 54
  1: [1] Jerusalem, pictured as a wife who had been barren and deserted, now suddenly finds herself wit[...]
  2: [5] Redeemer: cf note on Isaiah 41:14.
  3: [11-12] Cf Rev 21. Afflicted one: Jerusalem; carnelians: reddish quartz, hard and durable, carbunc[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 55
  1: [1-3] God's salvation is freely extended to his people and to all nations; through him will the be[...]
  2: [13] Thornbush . . . nettles: suggestive of the desert and therefore symbolic of suffering and har[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 56
  1: [1-8] Participation in the future messianic salvation is offered to all who believe in the Lord an[...]
  2: [3] Eunuchs had originally been excluded from the community of the Lord; cf Deut 23:2; Wisdom 3:1[...]
  3: [5] A monument and a name: a memorial inscription to prevent oblivion for one who had no children;[...]
  4: [56:9-57:13] This section is apparently preexilic, written in the manner of the older prophets wh[...]
  5: [9] Wild beasts: foreign nations, which are invited to come and ravage Israel.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 57
  1: [6] Smooth stones: the Hebrew word for this expression has the same consonants as the word for "p[...]
  2: [9] The king: the pagan god Moloch. Ambassadors: children sent to him through a sacrificial death.[...]
  3: [12] Justice: here used ironically.
  4: [13] All these: the wicked mentioned in 57:3-10.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 58
  1: [1] This command is directed to the prophet.
  2: [2-14] Merely external worship does not avail with God; it must be joined to internal sincerity. [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 59
  1: [4] Emptiness: things having no value.
  2: [5-6] A proverb signifying evil works-adders' eggs - and useless devices-spiders' webs; the former[...]
  3: [9-15] Spoken by the people through the mouth of the prophet.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 60
  1: [1-6] The Church makes use of these verses for the first reading of the Mass on the feast of Epiph[...]
  2: [8-9] Like clouds, like doves: the white sails of the ships of Tarshish; cf note on Psalm 48:8. [...]
  3: [13] Glory of Lebanon: the cedars, together with the cypress, the plane and the pine, all precious[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 61
  1: [1-2] This was spoken by the prophet in regard to the restoration of Zion, but quoted by Christ as[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 62
  1: [2] New name: figurative expression for a new state of happiness; cf Rev 2:17; 3:12.
  2: [6-7] Remind the LORD . . . give no rest to him: figuratively, as though to make certain that the [...]
  3: [10] The command is given to the workmen to begin the reconstruction of the city.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 63
  1: [1-6] In a dramatic dialogue between God and the prophet, the Lord is portrayed as the sole avenge[...]
  2: [63:7-64:11] A prayer probably composed toward the end of the exile, in which the prophet, after [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 65
  1: [5] I am too sacred for you: the uncleanness of pork, obvious to a Semite, is what these people cl[...]
  2: [11-12] Destiny: the Hebrew also has a play on the words: Destiny and destine; menî and manîthî. [...]
  3: [25] See note on Isaiah 11:6-9.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Isaiah
      • Chapter 66
  1: [4-5] Worship which is merely external is as evil as though it were idolatry.
  2: [7-9] The absence of labor in Zion's childbearing is a symbol of the joyful begetting of the new p[...]
  3: [18-21] God summons the neighboring nations to Zion and from among them will send some to far dist[...]
  4: [24] God's enemies lie dead outside the walls of the New Jerusalem; just as in the past, corpses, [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Anathoth: a village about three miles northeast of Jerusalem, where Solomon exiled Abiathar ([...]
  2: [3] Until the downfall: these words were originally prefixed as a title to a collection of Jeremia[...]
  3: [5] Jeremiah was destined to the office of prophet before his birth; cf Isaiah 49:1, 5; Luke 1:1[...]
  4: [6] I am too young: Jeremiah's youth (he was less than thirty years old) must not be an obstacle t[...]
  5: [11] The watching-tree: the almond tree, which is the first to blossom in the springtime as though[...]
  6: [13] Boiling cauldron . . . the north: symbol of an invasion from the north; cf Jeremiah 1:14-15.[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-3, 5] These verses probably contain the earliest of Jeremiah's preachings. The covenant relatio[...]
  2: [2] Devotion: Israel's gratitude, fidelity, and love for God.
  3: [3] First fruits: an offering to God which became his exclusive property, and could therefore not [...]
  4: [8] Those who dealt with the law: the priests. The shepherds: the kings and nobles.
  5: [10] Kittim: a Phoenician colony in Cyprus. Kedar: a nomad tribe of the Syrian desert. These two n[...]
  6: [14] Bondman by birth: a perpetual slave, different from the debt-slave, who was to be freed after[...]
  7: [16] Memphis: the capital of Lower Egypt. Tahpanhes: A frontier city of Egypt, east of the Delta. [...]
  8: [18] Egypt and Assyria were the protecting foreign powers favored by rival parties within Judah. T[...]
  9: [20] Harlotry: idolatry (because Israel is the bride of God).
  10: [23] The Valley: of Ben-hinnom, south of Jerusalem, site of the infamous sanctuary of Topheth whe[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] Such remarriage of divorced spouses was forbidden by Deut 24:1-4. Under this figure the proph[...]
  2: [2] An Arab: a marauding nomad who lay in wait for caravans.
  3: [14-18] A remnant of Israel (Jeremiah 3:14) will reunite with Judah (18). The elementary cult of [...]
  4: [24] Shame-god: literally, shame, a term commonly substituted for Baal, the Canaanite god with man[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 4
  1: [2] As the LORD lives: this oath, made sincerely, implies Israel's return to God and loyal adheren[...]
  2: [4] The mere external rite of circumcision avails nothing unless accompanied by the removal of bli[...]
  3: [10] You only deceived us: the false prophets blame their deception on God; cf Jeremiah 14:13-16.[...]
  4: [19-21] Probably the prophet's own anguish at the coming destruction of Judah.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 5
  1: [12] They denied the LORD: the people act as though God does not exist and will not interfere. [...]
  2: [24] Rain early and late: autumn and spring rains respectively. Appointed weeks of harvest: the se[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 6
  1: [3] Shepherds . . . with their flocks: foreign invaders with their armies.
  2: [14] As though it were nought: the false assurance of well-being given by priest and prophet canno[...]
  3: [16] Earliest roads . . . pathways of old: history and the lessons to be learned from it.
  4: [17] Watchmen: the prophets who, like Jeremiah, had upheld God's moral law.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-15] The temple of the LORD will not serve as a place of refuge for the Jews against their enemi[...]
  2: [6] The resident alien: specially protected by law; cf Exodus 20:10; Numbers 9:14; 15:14; Deut 5[...]
  3: [12] Shiloh: original place of worship from the time of Joshua to that of Samuel. The sanctuary wa[...]
  4: [18] Queen of heaven: the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar, goddess of fertility, whose worship was introd[...]
  5: [22] I gave them no command: right conduct rather than mere external cult was God's will concernin[...]
  6: [29] Dedicated hair: the unshorn hair of the nazirite, regarded as sacred because of a vow, tempor[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 8
  1: [2] Army of heaven: the stars, worshiped by the pagan nations and even by the inhabitants of Jerus[...]
  2: [8-9] Lying pen of the scribes: because the interpretations and ordinances of the scribes ran coun[...]
  3: [11] Daughter of my people: the people itself personified as a woman.
  4: [22] Gilead: noted for its healing balm but unable to heal the moral wound of the people.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 9
  1: [3] Jacob, the supplanter: in Hebrew, a play on words. Jacob, as his name indicates ("he supplant[...]
  2: [25] Desert dwellers . . . temples: Arab tribesmen who cut off their hair and shaved their temples[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 10
  1: [2] Signs of the heavens: phenomena in the sky superstitiously regarded by the pagans as dire omen[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 12
  1: [3] Jeremiah does not seek private vengeance but the punishment of the wicked by the Lord; cf Jer[...]
  2: [19] (11:19-23) These verses have been transposed from Jer 11.
  3: [14] My evil neighbors: nations surrounding Israel, the land belonging to the Lord; cf Isaiah 8:8[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1-11] This is probably a vision of the prophet symbolizing the religious corruption of Judah at t[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 15
  1: [12-14] These verses are omitted in the text because Jeremiah 15:12 in the Hebrew is a dittograph[...]
  2: [18] A treacherous brook: that dries up when its waters are needed. The prophet complains that he [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 16
  1: [6-7] These verses refer to popular mourning practices, sometimes connected with pagan superstitio[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 17
  1: [19] The Gate of Benjamin: probably the northern gate of the temple area and city wall of Jerusale[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 18
  1: [1-12] The lesson of the potter is not that God deals arbitrarily with his people, but that he is [...]
  2: [14] Lebanon: here apparently including Mount Hermon, whose snow-capped peak can be seen from part[...]
  3: [21] In the Old Testament a man's family was regarded as part of his personality, to be rewarded o[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 19
  1: [2] Potsherd Gate: in the south wall of Jerusalem, through which potsherds and other refuse were c[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1] Chief officer in the house of the LORD: head of the temple police; cf Jeremiah 29:26. By ente[...]
  2: [3] Terror on every side: Pashhur will share the fate of doomed Jerusalem and will experience pers[...]
  3: [4] Babylon: mentioned here for the first time as the land of exile. The prophecy probably dates f[...]
  4: [7] You duped me: to be understood in the light of Jeremiah's intimate dealings with God; cf Jere[...]
  5: [14-18] Deception, sorrow and terror have brought the prophet close to the point of despair; never[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1] Zedekiah: brother of Jehoiakim, appointed king by Nebuchadnezzar after he had carried Jehoiach[...]
  2: [10] Jeremiah consistently pointed out the uselessness of resistance to Babylon, since the Lord ha[...]
  3: [21:11-23:8] This section contains an editor's collection of Jeremiah's oracles against the kings[...]
  4: [13] Valley-site, Rock of the Plain: Mount Zion, surrounded by valleys, was regarded by the royal [...]
  5: [14] Its forest: probably the royal palace, built of cedar wood; cf Jeremiah 22:14; in 1 Kings 7:[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 22
  1: [6] Gilead . . . Lebanon: both were known for their trees; cf Jeremiah 22:7.
  2: [10] Him who is dead: Josiah. His successor, Jehoahaz, who is going away, was deported by Pharaoh [...]
  3: [11] Shallum: Jehoahaz is called this only here. Presumably it was his name at birth, while Jehoah[...]
  4: [13] Without pay: either by forced labor in public works, or inasmuch as workers were defrauded of[...]
  5: [15-16] Josiah, the reforming king, prospered materially without oppressing his people; he embodie[...]
  6: [18] "Alas! my brother"; "Alas! sister": customary cries of mourning.
  7: [19] The burial of an ass: no burial at all, except to be cast outside the city as refuse. This pr[...]
  8: [20-23] The prophet first apostrophizes Jerusalem, which is bidden to scale Lebanon, Bashan, and A[...]
  9: [24] Coniah: a shortened form of Jeconiah, the name which Jeremiah gives the king called elsewhere[...]
  10: [26] You and the mother who bore you: the queen mother held a special position in the monarchy of [...]
  11: [30] Childless: Jehoiachin is so considered because none of his descendants will be king. From the[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 23
  1: [1-8] With the false rulers who have governed his people the Lord contrasts himself, the good shep[...]
  2: [9-40] After the collection of oracles against the kings, the editor of the book placed this colle[...]
  3: [17-20] Not only are the false prophets personally immoral, but they encourage immorality by proph[...]
  4: [23] Near at hand only . . . far off: God knows not merely the present but also the future.
  5: [28-29] Straw . . . wheat: such is the contrast between false and true prophecy. True prophecy is [...]
  6: [33-40] A wordplay on massa', which means both oracle (usually of woe) and burden. In Jeremiah 23[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-10] Jeremiah, like Ezekiel, saw that no good could be expected from the people who had been lef[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1-14] The fourth year of Jehoiakim: 605 B.C. Officially, the first year of Nebuchadnezzar began t[...]
  2: [15-17] Jeremiah is a prophet to the nations (cf Jeremiah 1:5) as well as to his own people. All [...]
  3: [20] Uz: the homeland of Job, in Edomite or Arabian territory.
  4: [22] The shores beyond the sea: Phoenician commercial colonies planted throughout the Mediterranea[...]
  5: [23] Dedan and Tema and Buz: North Arabian tribes.
  6: [26] Sheshach: Babylon. The word is formed from babel by substituting letters of the Hebrew alphab[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 26
  1: [1] The beginning of the reign: a technical expression for the time between a king's accession to [...]
  2: [18] Micah of Moresheth: the prophet Micah, who appears among the canonical minor prophets (cf Mi[...]
  3: [24] Ahikam, son of Shaphan: one of Josiah's officials (2 Kings 22:12) and father of Gedaliah, Je[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 27
  1: [1-29, 32] A special collection of Jeremiah's prophecies dealing with false prophets. From stylist[...]
  2: [1] [In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim . . . Judah]: this gloss cannot be correct because[...]
  3: [9] Your prophets: seers and diviners served the Gentile kings as the professional prophets served[...]
  4: [19-22] This prophecy was fulfilled after Zedekiah's disastrous defeat; cf 2 Kings 25:13-15.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 29
  1: [3] Elasah: possibly the brother of Ahikam (cf Jeremiah 26:24). Gemariah: perhaps the son of the [...]
  2: [26-29] The words of Jeremiah to the false prophet Shemaiah are not fully preserved in the current[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 30
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Jer.31.40]31:40[ETML-C:/]] These two chapters do not belong chronologically to those[...]
  2: [9] David, their king: the messianic King of the Davidic line, often called David by the prophets;[...]
  3: [21] His leader: probably not the messianic King, but simply any one of the rulers of the restored[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 31
  1: [2] The people that escaped the sword: the exiles who were not killed but deported; they have foun[...]
  2: [15] Ramah: a village about five miles north of Jerusalem, where Rachel was buried (1 Sam 10:2). [...]
  3: [22] The woman must encompass the man: the words "with devotion," not in the Hebrew, are added for[...]
  4: [26] I awoke . . . sweet to me: probably said by the prophet himself.
  5: [29] "The fathers . . . on edge": a proverb used in Israel, expressing the idea that children suff[...]
  6: [31-34] The new covenant to be made with Israel is a common theme of the prophets, beginning with [...]
  7: [38] From the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate: from the northeast to the northwest.
  8: [40] Valley of corpses and ashes: the Valley of Ben-hinnom, which joins the Kidron at the southea[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 32
  1: [1-44] This chapter recounts a prophecy "in action." At the Lord's command, Jeremiah fulfills his [...]
  2: [1] The tenth year of Zedekiah: 588 B.C. The eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar: dating his reign f[...]
  3: [6-9] Jeremiah's imprisonment by the weak-willed Zedekiah was a technical custody that did not dep[...]
  4: [7] The first right of purchase: the obligation of the closest relative to redeem the property of [...]
  5: [11] The sealed copy . . . and the open one: the legal deed of sale was written on a scroll, which[...]
  6: [14] In an earthen jar: the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in such a jar.
  7: [35] Molech: the god to whom human sacrifice was offered in the Valley of Ben-hinnom. Here, as in[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 33
  1: [14-26] This is the longest continuous passage in the Book of Jeremiah that is lacking in the Gree[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 34
  1: [7] Lachish and Azekah: fortress towns to the southwest of Jerusalem which Nebuchadnezzar besieged[...]
  2: [8-22] While the Chaldean siege of Jerusalem was in progress, the citizens of Jerusalem made a cov[...]
  3: [18-19] As the Bible (Genesis 15:10-17) and also contemporary inscriptions make clear, agreements[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 35
  1: [2] The Rechabites: reactionaries who believed that the Lord could not be well served except by ma[...]
  2: [4] The sons of Hanan: probably the disciples of this man of God or prophet. Maaseiah: possibly th[...]
  3: [6] Jonadab: a contemporary of King Jehu; cf 2 Kings 10:15-17.
  4: [11] The army of Aram: Nebuchadnezzar enlisted the help of Judah's foreign neighbors in his assaul[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 36
  1: [5] I am prevented: probably because of his temple sermon (Jeremiah 7:1-15), or because of tempor[...]
  2: [10] Gemariah: member of a family friendly to Jeremiah, which had rights to a room in the fortress[...]
  3: [12] The scribe's chamber: the office of the royal secretary.
  4: [23] A scribe's knife: used to sharpen the reeds which were employed as pens.
  5: [30] Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin was named king, but reigned only three months; he was known better[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 37
  1: [4] Put into prison: as described in Jeremiah 32:1-3. Chronologically, the present episode follow[...]
  2: [5] Pharaoh's army: the force sent by Pharaoh Hophra which caused the Chaldeans momentarily to lif[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 38
  1: [1] Jeremiah enjoyed sufficient liberty in the quarters of the guard (Jeremiah 37:21) to speak to[...]
  2: [4] He demoralizes the soldiers: literally, "he weakens their hands." One of the Lachish ostraca ([...]
  3: [7] A Cushite: an Ethiopian. Ebed-melech evidently held a position of some authority at court.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 39
  1: [1] The tenth month of the ninth year: the month Tebet (mid-December to mid-January) of the year 5[...]
  2: [2] The ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year: in July of 587 B.C.
  3: [4] The Royal Garden Road: along the southeast side of the city; the royal garden was in the Kidro[...]
  4: [5] Riblah: Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters in Syria, which had also been used by Pharaoh Neco (2 K[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 40
  1: [1] This word: actually, no further word of the Lord is recorded until 42:7-9. This is a title af[...]
  2: [6] Mizpah: some five miles northwest of Jerusalem, where Israel chose its first king (1 Sam 10:1[...]
  3: [8] Jezaniah: the seal ring of a high official of this name was discovered in 1932 at the site usu[...]
  4: [14] The Ammonites: they resented the survival of their ancient enemy, Judah. Ishmael: their willi[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 41
  1: [10] The princesses: of the royal house of Judah. They had not been deported to Babylon with the m[...]
  2: [12] Gibeon: today called El-Jib; it is northwest of Jerusalem. The most recent excavations have r[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 43
  1: [9] The royal building: residence of the Egyptian governor.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 44
  1: [2-30] Chronologically, this is the last of Jeremiah's prophecies to his countrymen. The narrative[...]
  2: [30] Hophra: killed by his own people. The ruler of Egypt at the time of its conquest by Nebuchadn[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 45
  1: [1-5] At the conclusion of his narrative, Baruch appends a prophecy given him personally by Jeremi[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 46
  1: [46-51] In these chapters most of Jeremiah's oracles against the foreign nations have been gathere[...]
  2: [2] Carchemish on the Euphrates: the western terminus of the Mesopotamian trade route, where Nebuc[...]
  3: [13] In 601 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar advanced against Egypt and even entered the country, but finally h[...]
  4: [15] Apis: the chief god of Memphis, venerated in the form of a black bull.
  5: [17] "The noise . . . go by": in Hebrew there is wordplay here on the name Hophra, who still made [...]
  6: [18] Tabor . . . Carmel: outstanding mountains of Palestine, symbols of strength, to which Nebuch[...]
  7: [25] Amon: the sun-god worshiped at Thebes, in Upper Egypt.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 47
  1: [2-7] This prophecy was fulfilled in 605/4 B.C.
  2: [4] Tyre and Sidon: Phoenician cities associated commercially with the Philistines, and enemies of[...]
  3: [5] Of the ancient Philistine cities, neither Gath nor Ekron (Jeremiah 25:20) is mentioned in thi[...]
  4: [6] Words of the Philistines.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 48
  1: [1-47] Moab was one of the Israelites' bitterest enemies. According to Flavius Josephus, Moab and [...]
  2: [7] Chemosh: chief god of the Moabites.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 49
  1: [1] Milcom: chief god of the Ammonites. The Transjordan tribe of Gad bordered on Ammon, and after [...]
  2: [2] Rabbah of the Ammonites: or Rabbath-Ammon, capital of the Ammonite kingdom. The modern Amman i[...]
  3: [7-22] Edom: this implacable enemy from ancient times profited from Judah's downfall; cf Ob 11f. [...]
  4: [7] Teman: a district of Edom, used here for the whole country; it was famous for its wise men; cf[...]
  5: [8] Esau: Jacob's brother, the traditional ancestor of the Edomites; cf Genesis 36.
  6: [13] Bozrah: capital of Edom, southeast of the Dead Sea.
  7: [23] Hamath and Arpad: independent Aramean states to the north of Damascus; the invasion is concei[...]
  8: [27] The palaces of Ben-hadad: the royal palaces in Damascus where at least three kings bore this [...]
  9: [34] Elam: the ancient kingdom to the east of Babylonia.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 50
  1: [1-51, 58] a collection of miscellaneous prophecies against Babylon which now stands as the introd[...]
  2: [2] Bel: originally the name of the god of Nippur in Mesopotamia, then identified with Merodach (M[...]
  3: [15] Her walls are torn down: the prophet is not predicting the details of Babylon's downfall, but[...]
  4: [21] Merathaim, "twice bitter," and Pekod, "punishment," are here symbolic terms for Babylonia, t[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 51
  1: [11] Media's kings: the Medes dwelt with the Persians in the land now known as Iran. At the time t[...]
  2: [27] Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: regions or people in what is now Armenia, subject at this time t[...]
  3: [34] Me, my: refers to Jerusalem.
  4: [59] Seraiah: the brother of Baruch; cf Jeremiah 32:12. The king: Zedekiah. Perhaps Seraiah went [...]
  5: [60] Jeremiah prophesied against Babylon, even as he foretold Judah's release from Babylon's power[...]
  6: [64] To "weary themselves" are the words of Jeremiah: an editorial remark concerning the end of J[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jeremiah
      • Chapter 52
  1: [1-34] This supplement to the Book of Jeremiah was taken by the final editor from 2 Kings 24:18-2[...]
  2: [4] In the tenth month of the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the month: January 15, [...]
  3: [12] On the tenth day of the fifth month . . . nineteenth year: the tenth of Ab-July/August in 587[...]
  4: [28-30] These verses are missing in the Greek text and have not been taken from 2 Kings 25 but fro[...]
  5: [31-34] In the year 561/0 B.C., Jehoiachin was released from prison by Nebuchadnezzar's successor [...]
  6: [32] The other kings: who had also been brought as captives to Babylon.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Lamentations
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1-22] In this poem the poet first describes Jerusalem's miserable state after the destruction wro[...]
  2: [14] They have been plaited . . . my neck: the sins of the people have been bound together and lai[...]
  3: [19] My lovers: Zion's foreign allies, who failed to help her, as the prophets had warned.
  4: [22] Zion fully acknowledges her guilt and the justness of divine punishment; nevertheless, she pl[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Lamentations
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] The glory of Israel: the temple. His footstool: the ark of the covenant (1 Chron 28:2; Psalm [...]
  2: [3] Horn: symbol of power and strength; cf Lam 2:17; 1 Sam 2:10; Luke 1:69; etc.
  3: [8] The measuring line: used not only in building, but in deciding what must be destroyed; cf Isa[...]
  4: [10] They strew dust: as a sign of penance; cf Job 2:12.
  5: [11] My gall is poured out on the ground: I am afflicted with bitter sorrow; cf Job 16:13.
  6: [20] Must women eat their offspring: extreme famine in a besieged city sometimes led to this form [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Lamentations
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-21] The author identifies Zion's sufferings with his own.
  2: [27] To bear the yoke: to do God's will; cf Jeremiah 2:20.
  3: [29] Let him put his mouth to the dust: in humble submission; cf Psalm 72:9.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Lamentations
      • Chapter 4
  1: [3] Cruel as the ostrich: see note on Job 39:14-16. Jerusalem, in her distress, has abandoned her[...]
  2: [13-15] The priests and the false prophets lulled the people into an illusory security (Jeremiah [...]
  3: [17] A nation: Egypt, which failed to give effective aid against Babylon.
  4: [20] Our breath of life: the king. This is a royal epithet borrowed from Egyptian usage, while the[...]
  5: [21] Uz: see note on Jeremiah 25:20.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Lamentations
      • Chapter 5
  1: [6] In its state of abjection, Judah was forced to depend on its traditional enemies to the west a[...]
  2: [7] Our fathers: collective responsibility, for good and for evil, was recognized in the Old Testa[...]
  3: [8] Administrations imposed by foreign powers were notoriously corrupt and inept. The Hebrew word [...]
  4: [14] The gate: the place of assembly, where city decisions were made and judgment given by the eld[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Baruch
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2] In the fifth year on the seventh day of the month: Jerusalem fell on the seventh day of the fi[...]
  2: [4] The river Sud: one of the Babylonian canals, not otherwise identified. In ancient non-Biblical[...]
  3: [8-9] He: possibly Baruch; less likely Jehoiakim . . . the priest (Baruch 1:7), a member of the h[...]
  4: [11] Nebuchadnezzar . . . Belshazzar, his son: as in Daniel 5:1-2. Later Jewish tradition seems to[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Baruch
      • Chapter 2
  1: [3] One after another of us should eat: see note on Lam 2:20.
  2: [25] They lie exposed: probably an allusion to Jeremiah 36:30; see note on Jeremiah 22:19.
  3: [26] The house which bears your name: the temple of Jerusalem. What it is today: during the exile [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Baruch
      • Chapter 3
  1: [22-23] Despite the renown for wisdom of the peoples of Canaan or Phoenicia (Ezekiel 28:3-4), of [...]
  2: [24] The house of God: here, the created universe.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Baruch
      • Chapter 4
  1: [25] Trample upon their necks: love of enemies was not an Old Testament ideal. The Babylonians are[...]
  2: [35] Deserts and desolate places were looked upon as the special habitations of demons; Tobit 8:3[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The thirtieth year, which corresponds to the fifth year of exile (Ezekiel 1:2), has never bee[...]
  2: [2] The fifth day of the fourth month, the fifth year: July 31, 593 B.C.; cf Ezekiel 1:1.
  3: [4] The North: the abode of God; see notes on Job 37:22; Psalm 48:3. Electrum: an alloy of gold a[...]
  4: [5] Four living creatures: identified as cherubim in Ezekiel 10:1-2(20-21).
  5: [8-22] Note the changed order of the verses and the omission of the textually uncertain Ezekiel 1[...]
  6: [22-23,26] This symbolic description of God's throne is similar to that in Exodus 24:9-10.
  7: [26] One who had the appearance of a man: God appearing in human form (Ezekiel 1:28); cf Exodus 3[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Son of man: a formal way of saying simply "man"; God's habitual way of addressing the prophet [...]
  2: [2] Spirit: vital power, coming from God, which enables the prophet to hear the word of God; cf E[...]
  3: [6] When you sit on scorpions: the prophet must be prepared for the bitterest opposition.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 3
  1: [3] As sweet as honey: though the prophet must foretell terrible things, the word of God is sweet [...]
  2: [12] The glory of the LORD: the divine presence, manifested here in visible form.
  3: [15] Tel-abib: one of the sites where the exiles were settled, probably near Nippur.
  4: [17-21] This passage refers to one of the prophet's most characteristic qualities. It was placed h[...]
  5: [22-27] This passage also belongs to a later period, with Ezekiel 24:25-27; 33:21-22, during the [...]
  6: [26] Dumb: unwilling to speak to the people in exile while Jerusalem was being besieged; Ezekiel [...]
  7: [16] (3:16) At the end of seven days . . . : the incomplete sentence probably contained some such[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 4
  1: [5-6] Three hundred and ninety days . . . forty days: symbolically representing the respective len[...]
  2: [7] Bared arm: a symbol of unrestrained power.
  3: [9-13] This action represents the scarcity of food during the siege of Jerusalem, and the conseque[...]
  4: [16] (16) Breaking the staff of bread: reducing the supply of bread which sustains the life of man[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 5
  1: [2] The city: the one drawn on the tablet.
  2: [8] I am coming at you: an expression borrowed from the language of warfare in which enemies attac[...]
  3: [10] Fathers . . . shall eat sons, and sons . . . fathers: see note on Lam 2:20.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 6
  1: [3] High places: the sanctuaries on the mountaintops where illegal worship, whether of the Lord or[...]
  2: [5] Scatter their bones . . . altars: dead men's bones defiled a place; cf 2 Kings 23:14.
  3: [11] Clap your hands, stamp your feet: here evidently signs of mourning; in Ezekiel 25:6, signs o[...]
  4: [13] Every green tree and leafy oak: sacred groves had a long history in Palestine as places of wo[...]
  5: [14] From the desert to Riblah: the whole land, from the far south to the far north.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 7
  1: [12-13] Mundane affairs will cease to have any meaning in view of the disaster that is to come. [...]
  2: [18] Baldness: shaving the head was a sign of mourning.
  3: [22] My treasure: the temple of Jerusalem.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 8
  1: [3] The statue of jealousy which stirs up jealousy: the statue which provokes the Lord's jealousy [...]
  2: [5] He: an angel accompanies Ezekiel in these visions and represents the voice of the Lord; cf Ez[...]
  3: [10] Creeping things and loathsome beasts: probably Egyptian deities, which were represented in an[...]
  4: [14] Weeping for Tammuz: the withering of trees and plants in autumn was thought to be due to the [...]
  5: [16] Bowing down to the sun: sun worship had been made an important part of Judahite idolatry by t[...]
  6: [17] Put the branch to my nose: the meaning is uncertain. Perhaps it refers to an Egyptian practic[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 9
  1: [4] Ezekiel is pre-eminently the prophet of personal retribution; the innocent inhabitants of Jeru[...]
  2: [24] (11:24, 25) These verses have been transposed from chapter 11 and placed after Ezekiel 9:11[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 10
  1: [10:1-11:25] In these chapters of the current Hebrew text, several visions involving the temple [...]
  2: [2] The dots suppose the omission of some words describing the prophet's being transported in his [...]
  3: [2] (2)The burning coals within the wheelwork under God's throne, a sign of the divine presence (c[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 11
  1: [22-23] These verses have been transposed from Ezekial 11.
  2: [3] These words reflect the false confidence of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the face of the Ch[...]
  3: [15-21] Like Jeremiah (cf Ezekial 29), Ezekiel knows that no reform is to be expected from the men[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 12
  1: [5] Dig a hole in the wall: the exiles are to leave Jerusalem through the broken walls of the ruin[...]
  2: [13] But he shall not see it: Zedekiah was blinded by Nebuchadnezzar before being deported to Baby[...]
  3: [22,27] These words were used against Ezekiel because of the apparent failure of his prophecies; c[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 13
  1: [10] (10) To the confidence which the people had in their defenses against the Chaldeans, the fals[...]
  2: [18] (18) Sew bands . . . make veils: magical practices believed to give to the sorceresses power [...]
  3: [19] (19) Handfuls of barley and crumbs of bread: used in divination and forecasting the future. [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 14
  1: [9] I, the LORD, shall have beguiled that prophet: the ancient Israelites attributed to God every [...]
  2: [12-23] The doctrine of personal responsibility before God was not new (cf Ezekiel 3:16-21; 18; 3[...]
  3: [14] Noah, Daniel, and Job: proverbially virtuous men. The Daniel named here may be the traditiona[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 16
  1: [3-4] By origin and birth . . . Canaan . . . Amorite . . . Hittite: the inhabitants of Jerusalem a[...]
  2: [8] I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness: and also to signify the inte[...]
  3: [16] Fine robes were used to cover a couch for harlotry; cf Proverb 7:16-17. In the allegory of t[...]
  4: [20-21] Human sacrifice was introduced under Judah's impious kings; cf 2 Kings 16:3; 17:17; Jerem[...]
  5: [24] A platform and a dais: associated with ritual prostitution, which the Israelites borrowed fro[...]
  6: [45] True daughter of the mother: Jerusalem has followed in the footsteps of its heathen forebears[...]
  7: [46] Your elder sister was Samaria: Samaria can be called an elder sister in view of the relativel[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 17
  1: [11-21] These verses explain the foregoing allegory. In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar removed King Jeho[...]
  2: [22-23] I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar . . . plant it: the Lord will restore Israel[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 18
  1: [2] Fathers . . . on edge: a proverb by which the people claimed that they were being punished for[...]
  2: [6] Eat on the mountains: partake of ritual meals at the heathen high places.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 19
  1: [2-9] The meaning of this allegory is uncertain. Probably the two young lions are Jehoahaz and Zed[...]
  2: [10-14] A vine: Judah. One strong branch: the Davidic king.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1] The seventh year, on the tenth day of the fifth month: August 14, 591 B.C.
  2: [25-26] I gave them statutes that were not good: the Lord permitted them to adopt pagan practices,[...]
  3: [35-38] Exile in the pagan lands will serve the same purpose as the desert journey after the Exodu[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 21
  1: [2-4] The southern kingdom, Judah, is likened to a forest about to be burned; cf Jeremiah 21:14. [...]
  2: [8] Cut off from you the virtuous and the wicked: a more complete devastation of Jerusalem than th[...]
  3: [12] A report: the news of the fall of Jerusalem; cf Ezekiel 33:21- 22.
  4: [17] Slap your thigh: a gesture signifying grief and dread.
  5: [22] Brush one hand against the other: a gesture signifying the rejection of responsibility; cf E[...]
  6: [26] Three forms of divination are mentioned: arrow divination, consisting in the use of different[...]
  7: [27-28] An arrow marked "Jerusalem" is picked out, which marks the guilt of the city's inhabitant[...]
  8: [33] (33-37) In the preceding section Nebuchadnezzar is represented as deciding whether to attack [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 23
  1: [4] Oholah . . . Oholibah: symbolic names. The first, standing for Samaria, may be read to mean "h[...]
  2: [23] Pekod, Shoa and Koa: peoples living about the Tigris, part of "greater Babylonia."
  3: [40] Men who had to come from afar: ambassadors from Assyria and Babylon. Alliances with these cou[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1] The tenth day of the tenth month, in the ninth year: January 15, 588 B.C. The same date is giv[...]
  2: [3-5] This present comparison of the inhabitants of Jerusalem to meat boiled in a pot symbolizes t[...]
  3: [7] Blood . . . to be covered with dust: since blood was sacred to God, it had to be covered with [...]
  4: [17] The customary bread: eaten as a mourning observance; cf Jeremiah 16:7. The other gestures he[...]
  5: [23-24] (22,23) The fall of the city will be so sudden and final that the exiles will have no time[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 25
  1: [4] The Easterners: nomadic tribes to the east of Ammon and Moab.
  2: [9] The shoulder of Moab: the edge of the Moabite plateau.
  3: [16] Cherethites: a people forming part of the Philistine nation; cf Zephaniah 2:5.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 26
  1: [4-5] A bare rock: the Tyre of Ezekiel's time was situated on a rocky island just off the Phoenici[...]
  2: [6] Her daughters: tributary towns and villages on the mainland.
  3: [16] The princes of the sea: the rulers of the islands and coastal cities leagued commercially wit[...]
  4: [20] Those who descend into the pit: the dead, pictured as dwelling in a place or cave of darkness[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 27
  1: [5] Senir: another name for Mount Hermon; cf Deut 3:9.
  2: [6] Bashan: northern Transjordan, which, like Lebanon, was noted for its great forests. Kittim: pr[...]
  3: [7] Elishah: probably another term for Cyprus.
  4: [8-9] Sidon . . . Arvad . . . Zemer . . . Gebal: Phoenician cities in Tyre's orbit of influence; t[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 28
  1: [3] Wiser than Daniel: see note on Ezekiel 14:14.
  2: [12-19] This picture of Tyre and its fall recalls images of the earthly paradise portraying the cr[...]
  3: [14] The holy mountain of God: the residence of God was sometimes designated as a mountain; cf Is[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 29
  1: [1] The twelfth day of the tenth month in the tenth year: January 7, 587 B.C. The siege of Jerusal[...]
  2: [2] Egypt was allied with Judah against the Chaldeans.
  3: [3] Niles: the many rivulets of the Nile as it branches out into the Delta.
  4: [10] From Migdol to Syene: from the northern to the southern extremity of Egypt. Syene is the mode[...]
  5: [14] Pathros, the land of their origin: upper Egypt, that is, southern Egypt, where the Egyptians [...]
  6: [17] The first day of the first month in the twenty-seventh year: April 26, 571 B.C. This is the l[...]
  7: [18-19] The fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy against Tyre (Ezekial 26-28) was a thirteen-year sie[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 30
  1: [20] The seventh day of the first month in the eleventh year: April 29, 587 B.C.
  2: [21-26] This oracle was uttered during the siege of Jerusalem, which had now lasted more than a ye[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 31
  1: [1] The first day of the third month in the eleventh year: June 21, 587 B.C.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 32
  1: [1] The first day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year: March 3, 585 B.C.
  2: [27] The mighty men fallen of old: the semilegendary heroes of the prehistoric past, who were thou[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 33
  1: [21-22] January 8, 585 B.C. According to Jeremiah (Ezekiel 39:2), Jerusalem was taken in July, 58[...]
  2: [23-29] News brought by the fugitive furnished the occasion of this prophecy. Like Jeremiah, Ezeki[...]
  3: [30] The fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecies about Jerusalem was responsible for this temporary en[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 34
  1: [2] The shepherds of Israel: the leaders of the people.
  2: [23] One shepherd . . . my servant David: a messianic Davidic King who will rule over the restored[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 35
  1: [1-15] After the fall of Jerusalem, Edom assisted the Chaldeans in devastating the land and subdui[...]
  2: [10] The two nations and the two lands: the superseded kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their terr[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 36
  1: [13] A land that devours men: destroys its own population, as could be seen in its disastrous poli[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 37
  1: [1-14] This vision is a prediction of the restoration of Israel under the figure of a resurrection[...]
  2: [15-22] The symbolic action of joining two sticks into one signifies the future union of Israel an[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 38
  1: [38:1-39:20] These three oracles against Gog may refer either to a specific foreign invasion in [...]
  2: [2] Gog: the name is almost certainly a symbolic one taken from that of Gyges, king of Lydia, whet[...]
  3: [12] Who dwell at the navel of the earth: the people of Israel (cf Ezekiel 38:15(18); Ezekiel 5:5[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 39
  1: [11] The Valley of Abarim: in the Abarim mountains, east of the Jordan. Hamon-gog: means "the hord[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 40
  1: [40:1-48:35] This lengthy vision of the new Israel is dated (Ezekiel 40:1) April 28, 573 B.C. It [...]
  2: [5] A cubit and a handbreadth: the ordinary cubit consisted of six handbreadths; the great cubit, [...]
  3: [6-16] The east gate, leading into the outer court of the temple, is described more fully than the[...]
  4: [17] The outer court: the court outside the temple area proper, which had its own inner court (Ez[...]
  5: [28-37] The gates leading into the inner court of the temple area correspond to the gates leading [...]
  6: [46] The Zadokites: descendants of the priestly line of Zadok; cf 2 Sam 15:24-29; 1 Kings 1:32-34[...]
  7: [40:48-41:15] The description of Ezekiel's visionary temple closely follows the description of t[...]
  8: [40:49-41:4] Vestibule . . . nave . . . holy of holies: the three divisions of the temple buildi[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 41
  1: [12] The building: the function of this structure lying behind the temple is never specified.
  2: [22] A wooden altar: the altar of incense, standing in the nave at the entrance to the holy of hol[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 42
  1: [5-6] The three rows of identical chambers, since they rested on different ground levels, necessar[...]
  2: [13] The function of these chambers is explained again in Ezekiel 46:19-20.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 43
  1: [8] They placed their threshold against my threshold: the preexilic temple and the royal palace be[...]
  2: [13] The altar: of holocausts, standing in the inner court of the temple area; cf Ezekiel 40:47. [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 44
  1: [3] The prince stands at the eastern gate of the inner court while his sacrifice is offered up (Ez[...]
  2: [7-9] In the preexilic temple various menial services had been performed by foreigners; cf Joshua[...]
  3: [10-14] Levites other than the Zadokite priesthood of Jerusalem had performed priestly functions a[...]
  4: [19] Thus they will not transmit holiness to the people: holiness was thought of as something phys[...]
  5: [29] Under the ban: dedicated to the Lord, withdrawn from profane use.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 45
  1: [9-12] Besides the land monopoly fostered by royal greed and collusion with the wealthy (Micah 2:[...]
  2: [14] Kor: both a liquid and a dry measure, corresponding to the homer.
  3: [24] Hin: a sixth part of the liquid measure called a bath.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 46
  1: [17] The year of release: the jubilee year; cf Lev 25:23-55.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 47
  1: [1-12] The wonderful and superabundant stream flowing from the temple, restoring to fertility tra[...]
  2: [10] From En-gedi to En-eglaim: the former was about halfway down the western shore of the Dead Se[...]
  3: [13-20] These boundaries of the restored Israel correspond to those of the Davidic kingdom at its [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Ezekiel
      • Chapter 48
  1: [1-29] This distribution of the land among the tribes does not correspond to the geographical real[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2] Shinar: ancient name for Babylonia, a deliberate archaism in this text; cf Genesis 10:10; 11:[...]
  2: [7] The young men are given Babylonian names as a sign of their adoption by the king.
  3: [8] This defilement: the bread, meat, and wine of the Gentiles, which were unclean (Hosea 9:3; To[...]
  4: [21] The first year of King Cyrus: the year of this Persian king's conquest of Babylon, 539/8 B.C.[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-49] The chronology of Daniel 2:1 is in conflict with that of Daniel 1:5, 18 and in Daniel 1:2[...]
  2: [2] Chaldeans: here probably astrologers, who were so associated with the Chaldeans in the Hebrew [...]
  3: [4] Aramaic: from Daniel 2:4-7:28 the text of Daniel is in Aramaic, not Hebrew, as indicated by t[...]
  4: [33] Partly tile: terra cotta tile was much in use among the Babylonians for decoration and for ac[...]
  5: [36-45] The four successive kingdoms in this apocalyptic perspective are the Babylonian (gold), th[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] Dura: several places in Babylonia bore this name. Probably the present reference is to one a f[...]
  2: [2] Satraps: the Persian major governors.
  3: [4] Psaltery: a harplike instrument.
  4: [6] Death by fire was not unknown as a punishment in Babylonia; cf Jeremiah 29:22.
  5: [17] If our God . . . can save us: the youths do not question the efficacy of the divine power, bu[...]
  6: [24] 3,24-90: These verses are inspired additions to the Aramaic text of Daniel, translated from t[...]
  7: [92] A son of God: an angel; cf Job 1:6.
  8: [3:98-4:34] This section has the form of a letter written by Nebuchadnezzar to his subjects.
  9: [3:30(99)] The most high God: the Jews, especially in the diaspora, used this title to distinguis[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 4
  1: [5] After the name of my god: Belteshazzar, the Babylonian name given to Daniel at the king's orde[...]
  2: [10] A holy sentinel: an angel. This term is found in the Bible only in this chapter of Daniel, bu[...]
  3: [11-13] As the tree is Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:19), the description passes from metaphor to the [...]
  4: [17] "This dream . . . for your foes": Daniel speaks as a courtier.
  5: [22] The description is of a form of insanity called lycanthropy, in which the patient acts like a[...]
  6: [24] A classic Scriptural text for the efficacy of good works.
  7: [27] The words attributed to the king are similar to the boastings in the royal inscriptions by wh[...]
  8: [30-32] There is no certainty of any such thing happening to Nebuchadnezzar as is described here. [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] King Belshazzar: Belshazzar was actually the crown prince, but he had been given royal authori[...]
  2: [2] Nebuchadnezzar, his father: several kings of Babylon intervened between Nebuchadnezzar and Bel[...]
  3: [25] Mene, Tekel, and Peres: these seem to be the Aramaic names of weights and monetary values: th[...]
  4: [26-28] Daniel interprets these three terms by a play on the words: Mene, connected with the verb [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] Darius the Mede: unknown in profane history. The Median kingdom had already been conquered by [...]
  2: [9] Immutable and irrevocable: the passages in Esther 1:19 and 8:8 also refer to the immutability[...]
  3: [17] The lions' den: a pit too deep to be easily scaled; its opening was blocked with a stone (v 1[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-27] The significance of this vision is the same as that of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2; [...]
  2: [2] The great sea: the primordial ocean beneath the earth, according to primitive cosmology (Gene[...]
  3: [4] The representation of the Babylonian empire as a winged lion, a common motif in Babylonian art[...]
  4: [5] A bear: represents the Median empire, its three tusks symbolizing its destructive nature; henc[...]
  5: [6] A leopard: used to symbolize the swiftness with which Cyrus the Persian established his kingdo[...]
  6: [7-8] Alexander's empire was different from all the others in that it was Western rather than Orie[...]
  7: [9-10] A vision of the heavenly throne of God (the Ancient One), who sits in judgment (symbolized [...]
  8: [13-14] One like a son of man: in contrast to the worldly kingdoms opposed to God, which appear as[...]
  9: [25] The reference is to the persecutions of Antiochus IV and his attempt to force the Jews to giv[...]
  10: [28] This verse ends the Aramaic part of the Book of Daniel.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1-27] This vision repeats the major part of the preceding one, though in a more explicit fashion.[...]
  2: [2] The fortress of Susa: the royal palace of the Persian kings in the ancient territory of Elam, [...]
  3: [9] A little horn, as in Daniel 7 is Antiochus IV. The glorious country: Palestine.
  4: [10-12] The host of heaven: ordinarily meaning the stars, here refers to the people of God; cf Da[...]
  5: [13] The desolating sin: the Hebrew contains a wordplay (shomem) on the name Baal Shamem ("lord of[...]
  6: [16] The angel Gabriel is mentioned here for the first time in the Bible. There is wordplay in the[...]
  7: [17] The end time: the day of the Lord, when God sits in judgment on his enemies (Daniel 8:19). [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1] Darius: see the note on Daniel 6:1.
  2: [2] Seventy years: the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10) prophesied a Babylonian captivity[...]
  3: [13] As it is written: the first time that this formula of Scriptural citation is used in the Bibl[...]
  4: [21] At the time of the evening sacrifice: between three and four in the afternoon.
  5: [24] Seventy weeks: i.e., of years. Just as Jeremiah's seventy years was an approximation (see not[...]
  6: [25] From the utterance . . . to be rebuilt: from the time of Jeremiah's prophecy. One . . . anoin[...]
  7: [26] An anointed: doubtless the high priest Onias III, murdered in 171 B.C., from which the author[...]
  8: [27] One week: the final phase of the period in view, the time of Antiochus' persecution; he is An[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 10
  1: [10:1-12:13] This final vision repeats some of the material contained in the others. It is conce[...]
  2: [2] Mourned: perhaps the author intends to recall the interruption in the rebuilding of the temple[...]
  3: [4] The first month: the month Nisan (mid-March to mid-April).
  4: [5-6] The heavenly person of the vision is probably the angel Gabriel, as in Daniel 9:21. Chrysol[...]
  5: [13] The prince of the kingdom of Persia: the guardian angel of Persia. The later Judaism ascribed[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] Standing . . . truth: these are the first two verses of Daniel 11.
  2: [2-4] The three kings of Persia who follow Cyrus are uncertain, since there were more than three P[...]
  3: [5-45] These verses describe the dynastic histories of the Ptolemies in Egypt (the king of the sou[...]
  4: [30] Kittim: originally this word meant Cypriots or other island dwellers. Here it means the Roman[...]
  5: [36-39] Instead of venerating Apollo, one of the gods of his ancestors, Antiochus venerated, and e[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1] Written in the book: the book of God's predestination.
  2: [2] The first Israelites who have fallen (Daniel 11:33-35) shall awake, that is, rise to live for[...]
  3: [7] A year, two years, a half-year: see note on Daniel 7:25. The author's perspective is the end [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] 13, 1-14, 42: The short stories in these two chapters may have originally been about some othe[...]
  2: [55] 13, 55-59: The contrast between the mastic tree, which is small, and the majestic oak emphasi[...]
  3: [57] 13, 57: Besides the evident moral intent of this story, it appears to have served the purpose[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Daniel
      • Chapter 14
  1: 14, 1: King Astyages: the last of the Median kings, defeated by Cyrus in 550 B.C. This story prese[...]
  2: [2] 14, 2: This verse in the Septuagint Greek text reads: "There was once a priest, Daniel by name[...]
  3: [3] 14, 3: Bel: see the note on 4, 5.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 1
  1: [Hosea 1-3] This section is ordinarily thought to be biographical, the prophet's personal tragedy [...]
  2: [2] A harlot wife: this does not necessarily mean that Gomer was a harlot when Hosea married her; [...]
  3: [4] Jezreel: the strategic valley in northern Israel where Jehu brought the dynasty of Omri to an [...]
  4: [6] Lo-ruhama: "she is not pitied." The "pity" that is here withheld from Israel is God's gratuit[...]
  5: [7] The terrible punishments announced by the prophets were so fully realized that later generatio[...]
  6: [9] Lo-ammi: "not my people."



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] The Lord speaks of Israel, still using the example of Hosea's wife.
  2: [2] I will strip her naked: contemporary documents indicate that this was a conventional punishmen[...]
  3: [4] My lovers: the local fertility deities to whom, rather than to the Lord (Hosea 2:8(10)), the [...]
  4: [10] (15)The days of the Baals: ritual observances held in various local shrines in honor of Baal.[...]
  5: [14,15 (8,9)] The crop failures, blight, etc., sent by the Lord (Hosea 2:9-12(11-14)) have as the[...]
  6: [16-17] Israel's journey in the desert represents for Hosea the time of Israel's fidelity, before [...]
  7: [15] My baal: the word means "lord, master." It was commonly used by women of their husbands, but [...]
  8: [21-22] The Lord will once more espouse Israel; the qualities ascribed to the renewed people are t[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-5] Hosea is instructed to take Gomer back, redeeming her from her paramours. On condition of he[...]
  2: [1] Raisin cakes: offerings to the fertility goddess Ashera, the female counterpart of Baal; cf J[...]
  3: [2] Homer: about ten bushels. Lethech: a half-homer.
  4: [4] Sacred pillar: the stone massebah, originally perhaps a phallic symbol, representing Baal. The[...]
  5: [5] David, their king: the messianic King of the Davidic line who will restore the kingdom of God'[...]
  6: [1-3] These verses (The number . . . Ruhama) (transposed from Hosea 2) continue the conditional pr[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 4
  1: [4-6] Hosea is particularly severe with the priests in the northern kingdom, who had led the way i[...]
  2: [12] Wood . . . wand: an idol used in divination.
  3: [14] With prostitutes you offer sacrifice: the ritual prostitution practiced at the Canaanite shri[...]
  4: [15] Gilgal: not the Gilgal of the south (Joshua 4:19-20), but a sanctuary north of Bethel where [...]
  5: [17] Ephraim: the heartland of the northern kingdom. During the latter part of Hosea's prophetic c[...]
  6: [19] The Israelites shall be carried from their country as by a whirlwind. To this their idolatry [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] Mizpah: probably the Mizpah in Transjordan is meant; cf Joshua 11:8. Tabor: the mountain that[...]
  2: [8-14] This passage refers to the Syro-Ephraimite war of 735-734 B.C., when a coalition of Aramean[...]
  3: [8] A vision of invasion, from Gibeah and Ramah in northern Judah, into Israel.
  4: [10] Like those that move a boundary line: comparison of the invaders to a classic case of social [...]
  5: [11] Gone after filth: by allying himself with Aram.
  6: [12] Moth . . . maggots: internal corruption will work the Lord's punishment on both Israel and Ju[...]
  7: [13] Ephraim went . . . the great king: in 738 B.C. the Israelite King Manahem had to pay tribute [...]
  8: [15] The Lord withdraws himself from Israel, hoping for its repentance.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] In . . . me: this is the last line of Hosea 5.
  2: [2] After two days; on the third day: after a short lapse of time.
  3: [4] Piety: the word is translated "love" in Hosea 2:21 and in Hosea 6:6.
  4: [11] Harvest: when the land will reap the consequences of its sins.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 7
  1: [3-7] This passage refers to the dynastic upheavals of Israel's declining days. Between the death [...]
  2: [8] A hearth cake unturned: burnt on one side, half baked on the other, and therefore useless. Isr[...]
  3: [14] They lacerated themselves: a common oriental practice in prayers of earnest impetration (1 K[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 8
  1: [4-6] Israel's monarchy and separate sanctuary are here associated, as in 1 Kings 12:20-33; both [...]
  2: [11] The very multiplicity of sanctuaries throughout the land was a danger to the purity of worshi[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-2] Upon every threshing floor: an allusion to harvest festivals in honor of Baal, to whom the I[...]
  2: [4] Mourners' bread: bread eaten at funeral rites; cf Deut 26:13-14. Contact with a corpse made a[...]
  3: [5] The LORD'S feast: doubtless the autumn feast of Booths, the most important of the Israelite pu[...]
  4: [9] The days of Gibeah: a reference to the outrage committed at Gibeah in the days of the Judges [...]
  5: [10] At Baal-peor (Numbers 25:1-5) the Israelites consecrated themselves to Baal, here called the[...]
  6: [14] An unfruitful womb: this appears to be a reversal of the ancient blessing of Joseph contained[...]
  7: [15] Gilgal: see note on Hosea 4:15.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 10
  1: [1] Sacred pillars: see note on Hosea 3:4.
  2: [4] Justice . . . like wormwood: the administration of justice, which should have been the mainsta[...]
  3: [5] The calf of Beth-aven: see notes on Hosea 4:15; 8:4-6.
  4: [10] Their two crimes: possibly the outrage described in Jdgs 19 is conceived as a double crime, o[...]
  5: [14] As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel: allusion to an invasion not otherwise mentioned in the Bible. S[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] Out of Egypt: Hosea, like most of the prophets, dates the real beginning of Israel from the ti[...]
  2: [4] I drew them . . . with bands of love: not forcing them like draft animals, but drawing them wi[...]
  3: [8] Admah . . . Zeboiim: cities destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah (Deut 29:22).



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 12
  1: [2] He comes . . . Egypt: allusion to the commercial and military pacts with the great powers, con[...]
  2: [3-7] Contemporary Israel and the Israel represented by its ancestor Jacob (Israel) are here alter[...]
  3: [14] A prophet: Moses.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 13
  1: [11] I give you a king . . . in my wrath: the Lord punishes the people of the northern kingdom by [...]
  2: [13] Israel's sin is such as to warrant its destruction (Hosea 13:12), because it refuses to do p[...]
  3: [14] Shall . . . nether world: a vigorous affirmation of the Lord's determination to destroy Israe[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Hosea
      • Chapter 14
  1: [10] (10)A later addition in the style of the wisdom literature.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Joel
      • Chapter 1
  1: [4] Cutter . . . locust . . . grasshopper . . . devourer: these names refer to various species of [...]
  2: [6] A people: the locusts compared to an invading army.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Joel
      • Chapter 2
  1: [17] The priests stood in the open space between the outdoor altar of holocausts and the temple bu[...]
  2: [20] The northerner: the locusts, that are compared to an invading army, which in Palestine came f[...]
  3: [23] The teacher of justice: the rain sent by God to show his fidelity to his promises, and to tea[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Joel
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] (Joel 3:1-5)I will pour out my spirit: In the Old Testament the spirit is the gift of God bes[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Joel
      • Chapter 4
  1: [2] Valley of Jehoshaphat: a symbolic name of the place of final judgment (Joel 4:14). The name J[...]
  2: [8] Sabeans: a south Arabian people known for their commerce.
  3: [10] This imagery is used in the reverse sense in Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3. Here the warlike weapons[...]
  4: [11] Warriors: the angels; cf Zechariah 14:5.
  5: [13] Because of their numerous crimes, the nations are ripe for punishment. The use of warlike wea[...]
  6: [18] The Valley of Shittim, or "the ravine of the acacia trees": perhaps a part of the Kidron Vall[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The earthquake: which according to Hebrew tradition marked the crime of Uzziah when he attempt[...]
  2: [3] For three crimes . . . four: crime after crime, an indefinite number; cf Amos 1:6. The series[...]
  3: [4] Fire: devastation caused by the Assyrians (Amos 1:7, 10, 12, 14; 2:2, 5); cf 1 Sam 15:18. [...]
  4: [5] Bar of Damascus: the beam securing the main gate of the city against invaders, symbol of its d[...]
  5: [9] Pact of brotherhood: Hiram of Tyre had made a pact with Solomon and called him brother (1 Kin[...]
  6: [11] Pursued his brother: the Edomites were descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob (Genesis 25-[...]
  7: [12] Teman and Bozrah: two of the chief cities of Edom; cf Jeremiah 49:20.
  8: [14] Rabbah: now called Amman, the modern capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Here the prophet stresses the gravity of Moab's violation of the Semitic custom of providing h[...]
  2: [4] The lies: false gods, who exist only in the minds of their worshipers. The crimes of Judah are[...]
  3: [6-13] The detailed crimes of Israel are placed in strong contrast with the benefits with which th[...]
  4: [6] A pair of sandals: indicating how cheaply the rich regarded the poor.
  5: [8] Upon garments . . . any altar: usurers kept the garments taken as pledges from the poor; but i[...]
  6: [11] Nazirites: see note on Numbers 6:1-3.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 3
  1: [2] God's choice of Israel brought its own responsibility.
  2: [6] The sufferings which sinful man experiences through the permissive will of God are presented h[...]
  3: [9] Israel's southern neighbors, beyond Judah, are invited by the prophetic orator to witness the [...]
  4: [15] Ivory apartments: rooms containing furniture inlaid in ivory, similar to the pieces discovere[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] Bashan: the region east of the Sea of Galilee, famous for its rich pasture and fattened herds,[...]
  2: [4-5] This invitation to the sanctuaries of the northern kingdom is ironical. Pilgrimages to the s[...]
  3: [10] Pestilence like that of Egypt: plagues were well known in Egypt; cf Deut 7:15; 28:27, 60. St[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 5
  1: [6] House of Joseph: the kingdom of Israel or northern kingdom, the chief tribes of which were des[...]
  2: [10] At the gate: see note on Psalm 127:5.
  3: [18] Day ot the LORD: a technical expression which in earliest times referred to God's special int[...]
  4: [21-27] The Lord condemns, not ritual worship in itself, but the cult whose exterior rites and sol[...]
  5: [25] The meaning is not certain; according to some, the idea is that during the forty years' wande[...]
  6: [26] Sakkuth . . . star god: although the text is uncertain, it seems quite probable that referenc[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-7] The luxury of the people in Samaria will be punished by exile. They failed to learn the less[...]
  2: [1] The complacent in Zion . . . the overconfident . . . of Samaria: the proud and self-interested[...]
  3: [12] Can horses . . . oxen?: one cannot change the course of nature, as the Israelites attempted t[...]
  4: [13] Lodebar . . . Karnaim: in Transjordan; they had been captured by the Israelites. Perhaps it i[...]
  5: [14] A nation: Assyria.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] The king's mowing: the first mowing, a portion of which was payable to the king as a tax.
  2: [4] Fire: understood by many as a burning drought.
  3: [7] Plummet in hand: signifying that God is about to withdraw his mercy from his people and that t[...]
  4: [14-15] Amos denies that he belonged to the class of professional prophets; his vocation is due to[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 8
  1: [5] Ephah: a standard of measure; a little more than a bushel.
  2: [7] The pride of Jacob: the sinful pride detested by God (Amos 6:8), in contrast to God himself, [...]
  3: [8] The figure is based on the annual flooding of the river Nile.
  4: [14] Dan and Beer-sheba: the extreme northern and southern limits of the country, where idolatrous[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Amos
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-8] There will be no escape from God's punishment, symbolized here by the destruction of a build[...]
  2: [3] Serpent: the sea monster of familiar legend, subdued by God at the time of creation and lurkin[...]
  3: [7] The Ethiopians . . . the Philistines . . . the Arameans: by nature Israel is not different fro[...]
  4: [11-12] In Acts 15:15-17 St. James interprets this passage in a messianic sense. Fallen hut: the [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Obadiah
  1: [5] Something of value may escape the robber, and the vintager always leaves something for the gle[...]
  2: [7] There is no understanding in him: Edom's faithless allies assure one another that he does not [...]
  3: [8] The wise men: Edom was proverbial for its wise men; cf Jeremiah 49:7.
  4: [9] Teman: one of the names used for the land southeast of Palestine, here synonymous with Edom. E[...]
  5: [10] Your brother Jacob: Esau, also called Edom, and Jacob, the father of Judah, were the sons of [...]
  6: [11] After the devastation of Judah, Edom occupied the southern part of its territory. Edomites al[...]
  7: [16] As you have drunk: the Lord addresses the people of Judah. As the people of Jerusalem have dr[...]
  8: [17-19] The Israelites shall be restored and shall occupy the lands of those who oppressed them. T[...]
  9: [20] Zarephath: a town in Phoenicia, north of Tyre; cf 1 Kings 17:10. Ezekiel's ideal boundaries [...]
  10: [21] Saviors:the victorious Israelites who will rule over their enemies after the fashion of the a[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jonah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] Jonah, son of Amittai: a prophet of this name lived at the time of Jeroboam II (786-746 B.C.).[...]
  2: [3] Tarshish: identified by many with Tartessus, an ancient Phoenician colony in southwest Spain; [...]
  3: [14] Since it has pleased the Lord to punish Jonah, the mariners ask that in ridding themselves of[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jonah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [4] Shall be destroyed: the Hebrew expression reminds the reader of the "overthrowing" of the wick[...]
  2: [8] Beast . . . sackcloth: the animals carried the signs of this repentance, as on occasions of jo[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jonah
      • Chapter 3
  1: [4] Shall be destroyed: the Hebrew expression reminds the reader of the "overthrowing" of the wick[...]
  2: [8] Beast . . . sackcloth: the animals carried the signs of this repentance, as on occasions of jo[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Jonah
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1] He became angry: because of his narrowly nationalistic vindictiveness, Jonah did not wish the [...]
  2: [6] Gourd plant: the Hebrew word, kikayon means here a wide-leafed plant of the cucumber or castor[...]
  3: [10-11] Jonah is selfish in bemoaning his personal loss of a shady gourd plant without any concern[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2] His holy temple: God's heavenly temple; the prophet pictures a theophany (Micah 1:3-4).
  2: [7] The comparison of the unfaithful people with a prostitute, first found in Hosea, is frequent w[...]
  3: [10-15] The Judean cities here named were in the vicinity of Moresheth, the region with which Mica[...]
  4: [16] Shaving the head was a sign of mourning; cf Isaiah 3:24; Amos 8:10.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [2] Land monopoly, also denounced by Isaiah, was a chronic vice in Judah. To protect the poor agai[...]
  2: [5] To mark our boundaries by lot: an allusion to the initial distribution of the land of Palestin[...]
  3: [6-7] The words in quotation marks are the protestations of the people against the prophet's predi[...]
  4: [9] The honor I gave them: their dignity as free Israelites.
  5: [10] A crippling pledge: Israelite law forbade exacting pledges for loans that would work hardship[...]
  6: [12-13] The messianic passage concerning the restoration after the Babylonian exile seems out of p[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 3
  1: [5-8] Almost all the prophetic books contain oracles against the false prophets. Here Micah accuse[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1-3] See note on Isaiah 2:2-4.
  2: [8] Magdal-eder: "tower of the flock," an ancient place name (cf Genesis 35:21), here used symbol[...]
  3: [10] For now . . . your enemies: probably a later addition to the text, when the prediction of exi[...]
  4: [14] Bat-gader: "fenced-in maiden," another symbolic name for Jerusalem, then under siege from the[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] In contrast to Bat-gader (Micah 4:13(14)), where the ruler of Israel, the reigning king, is i[...]
  2: [2] She who is to give birth: the mother of the Messiah; cf Isaiah 7:14.
  3: [4-5] This passage, expressing confidence in Judah's ability to deliver itself from Assyria, is in[...]
  4: [5] Nimrod: the legendary ancestor of the Mesopotamians; cf Genesis 10:10-12.
  5: [9-13] Part of the messianic restoration will consist in the removal of everything that has drawn [...]
  6: [12-14] Sacred pillars . . . sacred poles: see note on Exodus 34; 13.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 6
  1: [5] From Shittim to Gilgal: from the east to the west side of the Jordan; the events described in [...]
  2: [6-8] The people ask how they shall worship the Lord, proposing the various forms of sacrifice. Th[...]
  3: [7] Shall I give my first-born: through Canaanite influence the abominable practice of human sacri[...]
  4: [9] The city: Jerusalem as the embodiment of the crimes of the entire land.
  5: [16] Judah has followed the example of the northern kingdom epitomized in the semipaganism of Omri[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Micah
      • Chapter 7
  1: [5-6] Corresponding to the widespread civil corruption and apostasy from religion is the breakdown[...]
  2: [8-10] The unnamed enemy of Judah mentioned in these verses may be Assyria or one of the neighbori[...]
  3: [11-13] This prophecy of restoration and repopulation of the promised land by the Jews now in exil[...]
  4: [14-17] This prayer appears to be from the time after the return from exile (537 B.C.), when the p[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Nahum
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2-8] A poem written in the style of the alphabetic psalms; cf Psalm 9A;25;111;119. Here, however,[...]
  2: [2] A jealous . . .God: see note on Exodus 20:5.
  3: [4] Bashan, Carmel and Lebanon were famous for their forests.
  4: [6-7] The coming of God in judgment has two aspects: to those who oppose him it will be unbearable[...]
  5: [9] What are you imputing to the LORD?: the people of Judah are asked what they think God has in m[...]
  6: [12] (12,13)They: the enemies of Judah. You: Judah. His yoke: the dominion of the Assyrian king ov[...]
  7: [11] (11)From you . . . the scoundrel planner: addressed to Nineveh, the capital city of Sennacher[...]
  8: [14] You: the king of Assyria.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Nahum
      • Chapter 2
  1: [2] (2)The hammer comes up against you: the enemy is about to crush Nineveh.
  2: [6] Mantelet: a movable shelter protecting the besiegers.
  3: [8] Mistress . . . and her handmaids: either the queen of Nineveh with the ladies of her court, or[...]
  4: [12] The lion: the king of Assyria.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Nahum
      • Chapter 3
  1: [5-6] The punishment of adulteresses.
  2: [8] No-amon: No was the Egyptian name of the capital of Upper Egypt, called Thebes by the Greeks; [...]
  3: [14] An ironic exhortation to prepare the city for a futile defense. Go down . . . brick mold: mak[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Habakkuk
      • Chapter 1
  1: [2-4] Traditionally, these verses have been taken as the prophet's complaint against the internal [...]
  2: [5] Look over the nations and see: after Nebuchadnezzar's defeat of Egypt in 605 B.C., there could[...]
  3: [8] Wolves at evening: the wolf is apparently thought of as more rabid and vicious in the evening [...]
  4: [11] Veers like the wind: the conquests of the ancient Near East were mainly raiding expeditions t[...]
  5: [1:12-2:1] It is generally thought that this complaint is directed against the Chaldeans and thei[...]
  6: [12] O Rock: an ancient title celebrating the Lord's power; cf Psalm 18:32.
  7: [15] The he of this and the following verses, to whom is attributed such extensive evil and the de[...]
  8: [16] He sacrifices to his net: in Habakkuk 1:15 the wicked ruler in question is represented as ca[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Habakkuk
      • Chapter 2
  1: [4] The just man, because of his faith, shall live: the faith which here enables the virtuous man [...]
  2: [11-12] The palaces, built at the expense of gross injustice (Habakkuk 2:6-10), call down vengean[...]
  3: [13] Peoples toil for the flames: they build only to have fire consume their work, when they build[...]
  4: [17] The violence done to Lebanon: the spoliation of the cedar forests of Lebanon, used in lavish [...]
  5: [18-20] Idolatrous worship is here shown to be folly by contrasting man-made idols with the majest[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Habakkuk
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] A later liturgical rubric. So also the end of Habakkuk 3:19.
  2: [2] In the course of the years revive it: renew today your wondrous deeds of the past.
  3: [3-15] Cf the theophanies in Deut 33:2-3; Judges 5:4-5; Psalm 18:8-16; 68:8, 9; 77:17-21; 97:1-[...]
  4: [3] Teman: a region in Edom. Mount Paran: in the territory of Edom: or the northern part of the Si[...]
  5: [13] Your anointed one: the theocratic king, the head of God's people.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zephaniah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [5] The host of heaven: the stars, the worship of which was introduced into Judah by the Assyrians[...]
  2: [7] He has consecrated his guests: God has prepared those whom he has invited to share as soldiers[...]
  3: [9] Leap over the threshold: the reference is to a superstitious custom of the pagans, witnessed t[...]
  4: [10-11] The New Quarter . . . the Mortar: sections of Jerusalem (cf 2 Kings 22:14).
  5: [12] The men who thicken on their lees: those who are overconfident because, like bottles of wine [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zephaniah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1] Nation without shame: Judah.
  2: [4] Gaza . . . Ashkelon . . . Ashdod . . . Ekron: four of the five cities of the Philistine confed[...]
  3: [5] Cretan folk: the Philistines, who came from Crete; see note on Deut 2:23.
  4: [12] Cushites: the Egyptians, at this time under a Cushite or Ethiopian dynasty.
  5: [15] The exultant city: Nineveh.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Haggai
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The sixth month in the second year: August/September in 520 B.C.
  2: [4] The luxury of the homes of the wealthy with their paneled houses contrasts sadly with the ruin[...]
  3: [12] The remnant of the people: a technical term in Haggai and Zechariah for the returned exiles. [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Haggai
      • Chapter 2
  1: [6-9] From the later period of Ezekiel's preaching onward, the temple became, as here, one of the [...]
  2: [12-14] According to the ritual concepts of the Jews, uncleanness was more contagious than sacredn[...]
  3: [15-19] This prophecy is intimately linked with Haggai 1, and should be read with it.
  4: [18] The ninth month: the ordinal ninth has been copied incorrectly from Haggai 2:10. This note c[...]
  5: [20] The month: probably again the sixth month, as in Haggai 1:15; 2:18; see note on the latter. [...]
  6: [23] This promise to Zerubbabel, reversing the punishment of his grandfather (Jeremiah 22:24), is[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1] The second year . . . eighth month: October/November, 520 B.C.
  2: [7] The second year . . . eleventh month: January/February, 519 B.C.
  3: [8-11] The driver of a red horse: apparently distinct from the man, or angel of the LORD . . . sta[...]
  4: [12] These seventy years: see note on Jeremiah 25:1-14.
  5: [15] The complacent nations: the neighbors of Judah; especially Edom, which enjoyed their present [...]
  6: [16] Measuring line: not for devastation, as in Isaiah 34:11 but for reconstruction.



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-4] Four horns: symbolic of the hostile forces which, from the four corners of the earth, invade[...]
  2: [8] That young man: the angel or man with a measuring line of Zechariah 2:5.
  3: [10] The land of the north: Babylonia (Zechariah 2:11).



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 3
  1: [3] Filthy garments: symbolic of mourning for the dead, or of national catastrophe, and implying a[...]
  2: [8] Men of good omen: the restoration of the priesthood is a sign of the coming of the messianic t[...]
  3: [9] One stone with seven facets: apparently the same as the select stone of Zechariah 4:7(10) whi[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 4
  1: [7] Great mountain: figure of the obstacles confronting Zerubbabel in building the temple. A plain[...]
  2: [14] The two anointed: literally, "the two sons of oil," Joshua, the anointed high priest, and Ze[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1-4] The enormous scroll, thirty feet by fifteen (the dimensions in length and breadth of the por[...]
  2: [5-11] The woman sealed in the bushel container is a figure of the general corruption of the peopl[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-8] The four chariots represent the angelic hosts sent by the Lord to the four ends of the earth[...]
  2: [11] Make a crown; place it on the head of [Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest] Zerubbabel:[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1] The fourth year of Darius . . . the fourth day of Chislev, the ninth month: November, 518 B.C.[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 8
  1: [19] The fast day of the fourth month recalled the fall of Jerusalem in June, 587 B.C. (2 Kings 2[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1-8] Divine judgment is about to fall on the surrounding hostile peoples: Aram (Syria), including[...]
  2: [6] The baseborn: people of mixed ancestry.
  3: [7] Remnant: see note on Haggai 1:12. The Jebusites: the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Jerusalem, [...]
  4: [8] My house: the Holy Land; cf Hosea 8:1; 9:15; Jeremiah 12:7.
  5: [9] The Messiah will come, not as a conquering warrior, but in lowliness and peace. Not like the l[...]
  6: [10] The River: The Euphrates; see note on Psalm 72:8.
  7: [11] The blood of your covenant with me: the covenant between the Lord and Israel sealed with sacr[...]
  8: [12] The waiting prisoners: the exiles awaiting the return to their country, where they will recei[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 10
  1: [2] Teraphim: household idols, used for divination; cf Genesis 31:19, 34, 35; Judges 17:5; 18:1[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 11
  1: [4-17] In this allegory the prophet becomes the good shepherd of God's flock, which is being slaug[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-9] Under the image of the deliverance of Judah and Jerusalem from invading enemies, the prophet[...]
  2: [10] The divine blessings (a spirit of grace and petition) will be poured out on God's people thro[...]
  3: [11] The mourning for the pierced victim in Jerusalem is compared to a lamentation in the plain of[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1] A fountain to purify from sin: in contrast to the lustral water used in ritual purification; c[...]
  2: [4] Hairy mantle: worn by prophets as a mark of their calling; cf 2 Kings 1:8; Matthew 3:4.
  3: [6] Wounds on your chest: literally, "wounds between your hands." The false prophets, like the pr[...]
  4: [7] When the shepherd is killed, the sheep are scattered. In Matthew 26:31 the Evangelist quotes [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Zechariah
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1-21] An apocalyptic description of the day of the Lord, in which Jerusalem, the figure of God's [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Malachi
      • Chapter 1
  1: [3-5] The thought passes from the person Esau to his descendants, Edom, and from the person Jacob [...]
  2: [8] The offering in sacrifice of a lame, sick or blind animal was forbidden in the law (Lev 22:17[...]
  3: [10-11] The imperfect sacrifices offered without sincerity by the people of Judah are displeasing [...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Malachi
      • Chapter 2
  1: [3] I will deprive you of the shoulder: this part of a sacrificial animal, allotted by the law (D[...]
  2: [10-1] Intermarriage of Israelites with foreigners was forbidden according to Deut 7:1-4. After t[...]



  • The Prophetic Books
    • Malachi
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] My messenger . . . before me: in Malachi 3:23 this messenger is called Elijah. In Matthew 11:[...]
  2: [6-7] God is faithful to his promises. He will not abandon the Israelites, who are still his peopl[...]
  3: [10] Storehouse: the temple treasury.
  4: [16] Record book: see note on Exodus 32:32.
  5: [23] (23)Elijah: described in 2 Kings 2:11 as taken heavenward in a fiery chariot. Here his retur[...]
  6: [24] (24)The words in fine print, a repetition of Malachi 3:23 have been added by the scribes so [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1:1-2:23] The infancy narrative forms the prologue of the gospel. Consisting of a genealogy and [...]
  2: [1] The Son of David, the son of Abraham: two links of the genealogical chain are singled out. Alt[...]
  3: [7] The successor of Abijah was not Asaph but Asa (see 1 Chron 3:10). Some textual witnesses read[...]
  4: [10] Amos: some textual witnesses read Amon, who was the actual successor of Manasseh (see 1 Chro[...]
  5: [17] Matthew is concerned with fourteen generations, probably because fourteen is the numerical va[...]
  6: [18-25] This first story of the infancy narrative spells out what is summarily indicated in Matth[...]
  7: [18] Betrothed to Joseph: betrothal was the first part of the marriage, constituting a man and wom[...]
  8: [19] A righteous man: as a devout observer of the Mosaic law, Joseph wished to break his union wit[...]
  9: [20] The angel of the Lord: in the Old Testament a common designation of God in communication with[...]
  10: [21] Jesus: in first-century Judaism the Hebrew name Joshua (Greek Iesous) meaning "Yahweh helps" [...]
  11: [23] God is with us: God's promise of deliverance to Judah in Isaiah's time is seen by Matthew as [...]
  12: [25] Until she bore a son: the evangelist is concerned to emphasize that Joseph was not responsibl[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-12] The future rejection of Jesus by Israel and his acceptance by the Gentiles are retrojected [...]
  2: [1] In the days of King Herod: Herod reigned from 37 to 4 B.C. Magi: originally a designation of t[...]
  3: [2] We saw his star: it was a common ancient belief that a new star appeared at the time of a rule[...]
  4: [4] Herod's consultation with the chief priests and scribes has some similarity to a Jewish legend[...]
  5: [11] Psalm 72:10; Psalm 72:15; Isaiah 60:6; These Old Testament texts led to the interpretation [...]
  6: [13-23] Biblical and nonbiblical traditions about Moses are here applied to the child Jesus, thoug[...]
  7: [13] Flee to Egypt: Egypt was a traditional place of refuge for those fleeing from danger in Pales[...]
  8: [15] The fulfillment citation is taken from Hosea 11:1. Israel, God's son, was called out of Egyp[...]
  9: [18] Jeremiah 31:15 portrays Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob, weeping for her children taken [...]
  10: [20] For those who sought the child's life are dead: Moses, who had fled from Egypt because the Ph[...]
  11: [22] With the agreement of the emperor Augustus, Archelaus received half of his father's kingdom, [...]
  12: [23] Nazareth . . . he shall be called a Nazorean: the tradition of Jesus' residence in Nazareth w[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1] Unlike Luke, Matthew says nothing of the Baptist's origins and does not make him a relative of[...]
  2: [1-12] Here Matthew takes up the order of Jesus' ministry found in the gospel of Mark, beginning w[...]
  3: [2] Repent: the Baptist calls for a change of heart and conduct, a turning of one's life from rebe[...]
  4: [3] See the note on John 1:23.
  5: [4] The clothing of John recalls the austere dress of the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). The expec[...]
  6: [6] Ritual washing was practiced by various groups in Palestine between 150 B.C. and A.D. 250. Joh[...]
  7: [7] Pharisees and Sadducees: the former were marked by devotion to the law, written and oral, and [...]
  8: [11] Baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: the water baptism of John will be followed by an [...]
  9: [12] The discrimination between the good and the bad is compared to the procedure by which a farme[...]
  10: [13-17] The baptism of Jesus is the occasion on which he is equipped for his ministry by the holy [...]
  11: [14-15] This dialogue, peculiar to Matthew, reveals John's awareness of Jesus' superiority to him [...]
  12: [16] The Spirit . . . coming upon him: cf Isaiah 42:1.
  13: [17] This is my beloved Son: the Marcan address to Jesus (Mark 1:11) is changed into a proclamati[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1-11] Jesus, proclaimed Son of God at his baptism, is subjected to a triple temptation. Obedience[...]
  2: [2] Forty days and forty nights: the same time as that during which Moses remained on Sinai (Exod[...]
  3: [4] Cf Deut 8:3. Jesus refuses to use his power for his own benefit and accepts whatever God will[...]
  4: [5-7] The devil supports his proposal by an appeal to the scriptures, Psalm 91:11a, 12. Unlike Is[...]
  5: [9] The worship of Satan to which Jesus is tempted is probably intended to recall Israel's worship[...]
  6: [12-17] Isaiah's prophecy of the light rising upon Zebulun and Naphtali (Isaiah 8:22-9:1) is fulf[...]
  7: [17] At the beginning of his preaching Jesus takes up the words of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2)[...]
  8: [18-22] The call of the first disciples promises them a share in Jesus' work and entails abandonme[...]
  9: [20] Here and in Matthew 4:22, as in Mark (Mark 1:16-20) and unlike the Lucan account (Luke 5:1-[...]
  10: [23-25] This summary of Jesus' ministry concludes the narrative part of the first book of Matthew'[...]
  11: [23] Their synagogues: Matthew usually designates the Jewish synagogues as their synagogue(s) (Ma[...]
  12: [24] Syria: the Roman province to which Palestine belonged.
  13: [25] The Decapolis: a federation of Greek cities in Palestine, originally ten in number, all but o[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 5
  1: [5:1-7:29] The first of the five discourses that are a central part of the structure of this gosp[...]
  2: [1-2] Unlike Luke's sermon, this is addressed not only to the disciples but to the crowds (see Ma[...]
  3: [3-12] The form Blessed are (is) occurs frequently in the Old Testament in the Wisdom literature a[...]
  4: [3] The poor in spirit: in the Old Testament, the poor (anawim) are those who are without material[...]
  5: [4] Cf Isaiah 61:2 "(The Lord has sent me) . . . to comfort all who mourn." They will be comforte[...]
  6: [5] Cf Psalm 37:11,". . . the meek shall possess the land." In the psalm "the land" means the lan[...]
  7: [6] For righteousness: a Matthean addition. For the meaning of righteousness here, see the note on[...]
  8: [8] Cf Psalm 24:4. Only one "whose heart is clean" can take part in the temple worship. To be wi[...]
  9: [10] Righteousness here, as usually in Matthew, means conduct in conformity with God's will.
  10: [12] The prophets who were before you: the disciples of Jesus stand in the line of the persecuted [...]
  11: [13-16] By their deeds the disciples are to influence the world for good. They can no more escape [...]
  12: [13] The unusual supposition of salt losing its flavor has led some to suppose that the saying ref[...]
  13: [17-20] This statement of Jesus' position concerning the Mosaic law is composed of traditional mat[...]
  14: [19] Probably these commandments means those of the Mosaic law. But this is an interim ethic "unt[...]
  15: [21-48] Six examples of the conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. Each deals with a command[...]
  16: [21] Cf Exodus 20:13; Deut 5:17. The second part of the verse is not an exact quotation from the[...]
  17: [22-26] Reconciliation with an offended brother is urged in the admonition of Matthew 5:23-24 and[...]
  18: [22] Anger is the motive behind murder, as the insulting epithets are steps that may lead to it. [...]
  19: [27] See Exodus 20:14; Deut 5:18.
  20: [29-30] No sacrifice is too great to avoid total destruction in Gehenna.
  21: [31-32] See Deut 24:1-5. The Old Testament commandment that a bill of divorce be given to the wom[...]
  22: [33] This is not an exact quotation of any Old Testament text, but see Exodus 20:7; Deut 5:11; L[...]
  23: [34-36] The use of these oath formularies that avoid the divine name is in fact equivalent to swe[...]
  24: [37] Let your `Yes' mean `Yes,' and your `No' mean `No': literally, "let your speech be 'Yes, yes[...]
  25: [38-42] See Lev 24:20. The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishm[...]
  26: [41] Roman garrisons in Palestine had the right to requisition the property and services of the n[...]
  27: [43-48] See Lev 19:18. There is no Old Testament commandment demanding hatred of one's enemy, but[...]
  28: [46] Tax collectors: Jews who were engaged in the collection of indirect taxes such as tolls and [...]
  29: [47] Jesus' disciples must not be content with merely usual standards of conduct; see Matthew 5:2[...]
  30: [48] Perfect: in the gospels this word occurs only in Matthew, here and in Matthew 19:21. The Luc[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1-18] The sermon continues with a warning against doing good in order to be seen and gives three [...]
  2: [2] The hypocrites: the scribes and Pharisees, see Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29. The desig[...]
  3: [7-15] Matthew inserts into his basic traditional material an expansion of the material on prayer [...]
  4: [7] The example of what Christian prayer should be like contrasts it now not with the prayer of th[...]
  5: [9-13] Matthew's form of the "Our Father" follows the liturgical tradition of his church. Luke's [...]
  6: [9] Our Father in heaven: this invocation is found in many rabbinic prayers of the post-New Testam[...]
  7: [10] Your kingdom come: this petition sets the tone of the prayer, and inclines the balance toward[...]
  8: [11] Give us today our daily bread: the rare Greek word epiousios, here daily, occurs in the New T[...]
  9: [12] Forgive us our debts: the word debts is used metaphorically of sins, "debts" owed to God (see[...]
  10: [13] Jewish apocalyptic writings speak of a period of severe trial before the end of the age, some[...]
  11: [14-15] These verses reflect a set pattern called "Principles of Holy Law." Human action now will [...]
  12: [16] The only fast prescribed in the Mosaic law was that of the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:31), but[...]
  13: [19-34] The remaining material of this chapter is taken almost entirely from Q. It deals principal[...]
  14: [22-23] In this context the parable probably points to the need for the disciple to be enlightened[...]
  15: [24] Mammon: an Aramaic word meaning wealth or property.
  16: [25-34] Jesus does not deny the reality of human needs (Matthew 6:32), but forbids making them th[...]
  17: [27] Life-span: the Greek word can also mean "stature." If it is taken in that sense, the word her[...]
  18: [30] Of little faith: except for the parallel in Luke 12:28, the word translated of little faith [...]
  19: [33] Righteousness: see the note on Matthew 3:14-15.



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-12] In Matthew 7:1 Matthew returns to the basic traditional material of the sermon (Luke 6:37-[...]
  2: [1] This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly comp[...]
  3: [5] Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the [...]
  4: [6] Dogs and swine were Jewish terms of contempt for Gentiles. This saying may originally have der[...]
  5: [9-10] There is a resemblance between a stone and a round loaf of bread and between a serpent and [...]
  6: [12] See Luke 6:31. This saying, known since the eighteenth century as the "Golden Rule," is foun[...]
  7: [13-28] The final section of the discourse is composed of a series of antitheses, contrasting two [...]
  8: [13-14] The metaphor of the "two ways" was common in pagan philosophy and in the Old Testament. I[...]
  9: [15-20] Christian disciples who claimed to speak in the name of God are called prophets (Matthew [...]
  10: [21-23] The attack on the false prophets is continued, but is broadened to include those disciples[...]
  11: [23] I never knew you: cf Matthew 10:33. Depart from me, you evildoers: cf Psalm 6:8.
  12: [24-27] The conclusion of the discourse (cf Luke 6:47-49). Here the relation is not between sayin[...]
  13: [28-29] When Jesus finished these words: this or a similar formula is used by Matthew to conclude [...]
  14: [29] Not as their scribes: scribal instruction was a faithful handing down of the traditions of ea[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 8
  1: [8:1-9:38] This narrative section of the second book of the gospel is composed of nine miracle s[...]
  2: [2] A leper: see the note on Mark 1:40.
  3: [4] Cf Lev 14:2-9. That will be proof for them: the Greek can also mean "that will be proof agai[...]
  4: [5-13] This story comes from Q (see Luke 7:1-10) and is also reflected in John 4:46-54. The simil[...]
  5: [5] A centurion: a military officer commanding a hundred men. He was probably in the service of He[...]
  6: [8-9] Acquainted by his position with the force of a command, the centurion expresses faith in the[...]
  7: [10] In no one in Israel: there is good textual attestation (e.g., Codex Sinaiticus) for a reading[...]
  8: [11-12] Matthew inserts into the story a Q saying (see Luke 13:28-29) about the entrance of Genti[...]
  9: [14-15] Cf Mark 1:29-31. Unlike Mark, Matthew has no implied request by others for the woman's cu[...]
  10: [16] By a word: a Matthean addition to Mark 1:34; cf 8:8.
  11: [17] This fulfillment citation from Isaiah 53:4 follows the MT, not the LXX. The prophet speaks o[...]
  12: [18-22] This passage between the first and second series of miracles about following Jesus is take[...]
  13: [18] The other side: i.e., of the Sea of Galilee.
  14: [19] Teacher: for Matthew, this designation of Jesus is true, for he has Jesus using it of himself[...]
  15: [20] Son of Man: see the note on Mark 8:31. This is the first occurrence in Matthew of a term tha[...]
  16: [22] Let the dead bury their dead: the demand of Jesus overrides what both the Jewish and the Hell[...]
  17: [23] His disciples followed him: the first miracle in the second group (Matthew 8:23-9:8) is intr[...]
  18: [24] Storm: literally, "earthquake," a word commonly used in apocalyptic literature for the shaki[...]
  19: [25] The reverent plea of the disciples contrasts sharply with their reproach of Jesus in Mark 4:[...]
  20: [26] You of little faith: see the note on Matthew 6:30. Great calm: Jesus' calming the sea may be[...]
  21: [28] Gadarenes: this is the reading of Codex Vaticanus, supported by other important textual witne[...]
  22: [29] What have you to do with us?: see the note on John 2:4. Before the appointed time: the notio[...]
  23: [30] The tending of pigs, animals considered unclean by Mosaic law (Lev 11:6-7), indicates that t[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1] His own town: Capernaum; see Matthew 4:13.
  2: [3] Scribes: see the note on Mark 2:6. Matthew omits the reason given in the Marcan story for the[...]
  3: [6] It is not clear whether "But that you may know . . . to forgive sins" is intended to be a con[...]
  4: [8] Who had given such authority to human beings: a significant difference from Mark 2:12 ("They [...]
  5: [9-17] In this section the order is the same as that of Mark 2:13-22.
  6: [9] A man named Matthew: Mark names this tax collector Levi (Mark 2:14). No such name appears in [...]
  7: [10] His house: it is not clear whether his refers to Jesus or Matthew. Tax collectors: see the no[...]
  8: [11] Teacher: see the note on Matthew 8:19.
  9: [12] See the note on Mark 2:17.
  10: [13] Go and learn . . . not sacrifice: Matthew adds the prophetic statement of Hosea 6:6 to the M[...]
  11: [15] Fasting is a sign of mourning and would be as inappropriate at this time of joy, when Jesus i[...]
  12: [16-17] Each of these parables speaks of the unsuitability of attempting to combine the old and th[...]
  13: [18-34] In this third group of miracles, the first (Matthew 9:18-26) is clearly dependent on Mark[...]
  14: [18] Official: literally, "ruler." Mark calls him "one of the synagogue officials" (Mark 5:22). M[...]
  15: [20] Tassel: possibly "fringe." The Mosaic law prescribed that tassels be worn on the corners of [...]
  16: [24] Sleeping: sleep is a biblical metaphor for death (see Psalm 87:6 LXX; Daniel 12:2; 1 Thes 5[...]
  17: [27-31] This story was probably composed by Matthew out of Mark's story of the healing of a blind [...]
  18: [27] Son of David: this messianic title is connected once with the healing power of Jesus in Mark [...]
  19: [32-34] The source of this story seems to be Q (see Luke 11:14-15). As in the preceding healing o[...]
  20: [34] This spiteful accusation foreshadows the growing opposition to Jesus in Matthew 11; 12.
  21: [35] See the notes on Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 8:1-9:38.
  22: [36] See Mark 6:34; Numbers 27:17; 1 Kings 22:17.
  23: [37-38] This Q saying (see Luke 10:2) is only imperfectly related to this context. It presupposes[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 10
  1: [10:1-11:1] After an introductory narrative (Matthew 10:1-4), the second of the discourses of the[...]
  2: His twelve disciples: although, unlike Mark (Mark 3:13-14) and Luke (Luke 6:12-16), Matthew has n[...]
  3: [2-4] Here, for the only time in Matthew, the Twelve are designated apostles. The word "apostle" m[...]
  4: [5-6] Like Jesus (Matthew 15:24), the Twelve are sent only to Israel. This saying may reflect an [...]
  5: [8-11] The Twelve have received their own call and mission through God's gift, and the benefits th[...]
  6: [13] The greeting of peace is conceived of not merely as a salutation but as an effective word. If[...]
  7: [14] Shake the dust from your feet: this gesture indicates a complete disassociation from such unb[...]
  8: [17] The persecutions attendant upon the post-resurrection mission now begin to be spoken of. Here[...]
  9: [21] See Micah 7:6 which is cited in Matthew 10:35, 36.
  10: [22] To the end: the original meaning was probably "until the parousia." But it is not likely that[...]
  11: [23] Before the Son of Man comes: since the coming of the Son of Man at the end of the age had not[...]
  12: [25] Beelzebul: see Matthew 9:34 for the charge linking Jesus with "the prince of demons," who is[...]
  13: [26] The concealed and secret coming of the kingdom is to be proclaimed by them, and no fear must [...]
  14: [32-33] In the Q parallel (Luke 12:8-9), the Son of Man will acknowledge those who have acknowled[...]
  15: [38] The first mention of the cross in Matthew, explicitly that of the disciple, but implicitly th[...]
  16: [39] One who denies Jesus in order to save one's earthly life will be condemned to everlasting des[...]
  17: [40-42] All who receive the disciples of Jesus receive him, and God who sent him, and will be rewa[...]
  18: [41] A prophet: one who speaks in the name of God; here, the Christian prophets who proclaim the g[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1] The closing formula of the discourse refers back to the original addressees, the Twelve.
  2: [11:2-12:50] The narrative section of the third book deals with the growing opposition to Jesus. [...]
  3: [2] In prison: see Matthew 4:12; 14:1-12. The works of the Messiah: the deeds of Matthew 8-9. [...]
  4: [3] The question probably expresses a doubt of the Baptist that Jesus is the one who is to come (c[...]
  5: [5-6] Jesus' response is taken from passages of Isaiah (Isaiah 26:19; 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1) th[...]
  6: [7-19] Jesus' rebuke of John is counterbalanced by a reminder of the greatness of the Baptist's fu[...]
  7: [9-10] In common Jewish belief there had been no prophecy in Israel since the last of the Old Test[...]
  8: [11] John's preeminent greatness lies in his function of announcing the imminence of the kingdom [...]
  9: [12] The meaning of this difficult saying is probably that the opponents of Jesus are trying to pr[...]
  10: [13] All the prophets and the law: Matthew inverts the usual order, "law and prophets," and says t[...]
  11: [16-19] See Luke 7:31-35. The meaning of the parable (Matthew 11:16-17) and its explanation (Matt[...]
  12: [21] Tyre and Sidon were pagan cities denounced for their wickedness in the Old Testament; cf Joe[...]
  13: [23] Capernaum's pride and punishment are described in language taken from the taunt song against [...]
  14: [25-27] This Q saying, identical with Luke 10:21-22 except for minor variations, introduces a joy[...]
  15: [28-29] These verses are peculiar to Matthew and are similar to Ben Sirach's invitation to learn w[...]
  16: [28] Who labor and are burdened: burdened by the law as expounded by the scribes and Pharisees (M[...]
  17: [29] In place of the yoke of the law, complicated by scribal interpretation, Jesus invites the bur[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-14] Matthew here returns to the Marcan order that he left in Matthew 9:18. The two stories dep[...]
  2: [1-2] The picking of the heads of grain is here equated with reaping, which was forbidden on the s[...]
  3: [3-4] See 1 Sam 21:2-7. In the Marcan parallel (Mark 2:25-26) the high priest is called Abiathar,[...]
  4: [5-6] This and the following argument (Matthew 12:7) are peculiar to Matthew. The temple service [...]
  5: [7] See the note on Matthew 9:13.
  6: [8] The ultimate justification for the disciples' violation of the sabbath rest is that Jesus, the[...]
  8: [11] Matthew omits the question posed by Jesus in Mark 3:4 and substitutes one about rescuing a s[...]
  9: [14] See Mark 3:6. Here the plan to bring about Jesus' death is attributed to the Pharisees only.[...]
  10: [15-21] Matthew follows Mark 3:7-12 but summarizes his source in two verses (Matthew 12:15, 16) [...]
  11: [15] Jesus' knowledge of the Pharisees' plot and his healing all are peculiar to Matthew.
  12: [19] The servant's not contending is seen as fulfilled in Jesus' withdrawal from the disputes narr[...]
  13: [21] Except for a minor detail, Matthew here follows the LXX, although the meaning of the Hebrew ([...]
  14: [22-32] For the exorcism, see the note on Matthew 9:32-34. The long discussion combines Marcan an[...]
  15: [23] See the note on Matthew 9:27.
  16: [24] See the note on Matthew 10:25.
  17: [25-26] Jesus' first response to the Pharisees' charge is that if it were true, Satan would be des[...]
  18: [27] Besides pointing out the absurdity of the charge, Jesus asks how the work of Jewish exorcists[...]
  19: [28] The Q parallel (Luke 11:20) speaks of the "finger" rather than of the "spirit" of God. While[...]
  20: [29] A short parable illustrates what Jesus is doing. The strong man is Satan, whom Jesus has tied[...]
  21: [30] This saying, already attached to the preceding verses in Q (see Luke 11:23), warns that ther[...]
  22: [31] Blasphemy against the Spirit: the sin of attributing to Satan (Matthew 12:24) what is the wo[...]
  23: [33] Declare: literally, "make." The meaning of this verse is obscure. Possibly it is a challenge[...]
  24: [34] The admission of Jesus' goodness cannot be made by the Pharisees, for they are evil, and the [...]
  25: [36-37] If on the day of judgment people will be held accountable for even their careless words, t[...]
  26: [38-42] This section is mainly from Q (see Luke 11:29-32). Mark 8:11-12, which Matthew has follow[...]
  27: [38] Teacher: see the note on Matthew 8:19. In Matthew 16:1 the request is for a sign "from heave[...]
  28: [39] Unfaithful: literally, "adulterous." The covenant between God and Israel was portrayed as a [...]
  29: [40] See Jonah 2:1. While in Q the sign was simply Jonah's preaching to the Ninevites (Luke 11:30[...]
  30: [41-42] The Ninevites who repented (see Jonah 3:1-10) and the queen of the south (i.e., of Sheba;[...]
  31: [43-45] Another Q passage; cf Matthew 11:24-26. Jesus' ministry has broken Satan's hold over Isra[...]
  32: [46-50] See Mark 3:31-35. Matthew has omitted Mark 3:20-21 which is taken up in Mark 3:31 (see t[...]
  33: [47] This verse is omitted in some important textual witnesses, including Codex Sinaiticus (origi[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1-53] The discourse in parables is the third great discourse of Jesus in Matthew and constitutes [...]
  2: [3-8] Since in Palestine sowing often preceded ploughing, much of the seed is scattered on ground [...]
  3: [3] In parables: the word "parable" (Greek parabole) is used in the LXX to translate the Hebrew m[...]
  4: [11] Since a parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding, only those wh[...]
  5: [12] In the New Testament use of this axiom of practical "wisdom" (see Matthew 25:29; Mark 4:25; [...]
  6: [13] Because "they look . . . or understand': Matthew softens his Marcan source, which states that[...]
  7: [16-17] Unlike the unbelieving crowds, the disciples have seen that which the prophets and the rig[...]
  8: [18-23] See Mark 4:14-20; Luke 8:11-15. In this explanation of the parable the emphasis is on the[...]
  9: [24-30] This parable is peculiar to Matthew. The comparison in Matthew 13:24 does not mean that t[...]
  10: [25] Weeds: darnel, a poisonous weed that in its first stage of growth resembles wheat.
  11: [30] Harvest: a common biblical metaphor for the time of God's judgment; cf Jeremiah 51:33; Joel [...]
  12: [31-33] See Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-21. The parables of the mustard seed and the yeast illustrat[...]
  13: [32] See Daniel 4:7-9, 17-19 where the birds nesting in the tree represent the people of Nebuchad[...]
  14: [33] Except in this Q parable and in Matthew 16:12, yeast (or "leaven") is, in New Testament usag[...]
  15: [34] Only in parables: see Matthew 13:10-15.
  16: [35] The prophet: some textual witnesses read "Isaiah the prophet." The quotation is actually from[...]
  17: [36] Dismissing the crowds: the return of Jesus to the house marks a break with the crowds, who re[...]
  18: [37-43] In the explanation of the parable of the weeds emphasis lies on the fearful end of the wic[...]
  19: [38] The field is the world: this presupposes the resurrection of Jesus and the granting to him of[...]
  20: [39] The end of the age: this phrase is found only in Matthew (13:40, 49; 24:3; 28:20).
  21: [41] His kingdom: the kingdom of the Son of Man is distinguished from that of the Father (Matthew[...]
  22: [43] See Daniel 12:3.
  23: [44-50] The first two of the last three parables of the discourse have the same point. The person [...]
  24: [44] In the unsettled conditions of Palestine in Jesus' time, it was not unusual to guard valuable[...]
  25: [51] Matthew typically speaks of the understanding of the disciples.
  26: [52] Since Matthew tends to identify the disciples and the Twelve (see the note on Matthew 10:1),[...]
  27: [13:54-17:27] This section is the narrative part of the fourth book of the gospel.
  28: [54] After the Sermon on the Mount the crowds are in admiring astonishment at Jesus' teaching (Ma[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1-12] The murder of the Baptist by Herod Antipas prefigures the death of Jesus (see Matthew 17:1[...]
  2: [1] Herod the tetrarch: Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. When the latter died, his territory[...]
  3: [3] Herodias was not the wife of Herod's half-brother Philip but of another half-brother, Herod Bo[...]
  4: [13-21] The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle of Jesus that is recounted in all fou[...]
  5: [19] The taking, saying the blessing, breaking, and giving to the disciples correspond to the acti[...]
  6: [20] The fragments left over: as in Elisha's miracle, food was left over after all had been fed. T[...]
  7: [22-33] The disciples, laboring against the turbulent sea, are saved by Jesus. For his power over [...]
  8: [25] The fourth watch of the night: between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Romans divided the twelve hours [...]
  9: [27] It is I: see the note on Mark 6:50.
  10: [31] You of little faith: see the note on Matthew 6:30. Why did you doubt?: the verb is peculiar [...]
  11: [33] This confession is in striking contrast to the Marcan parallel (Matthew 6:51) where the disc[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 15
  1: [1-20] This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus' disciples are[...]
  2: [2] The tradition of the elders: see the note on Mark 7:5. The purpose of the handwashing was to [...]
  3: [3-4] For the commandment see Exodus 20:12; Deut 5:16); 21:17. The honoring of one's parents had[...]
  4: [5] See the note on Mark 7:11.
  5: [8] The text of Isaiah 29:13 is quoted approximately according to the Septuagint.
  6: [13-14] Jesus leads his disciples away from the teaching authority of the Pharisees.
  7: [15] Matthew specifies Peter as the questioner, unlike Mark 7:17. Given his tendency to present t[...]
  8: [19] The Marcan list of thirteen things that defile (Matthew 7:21-22) is here reduced to seven th[...]
  9: [21-28] See the note on Matthew 8:5-13.
  10: [24] See the note on Matthew 10:5-6.
  11: [26] The children: the people of Israel. Dogs: see the note on Matthew 7:6.
  12: [28] As in the case of the cure of the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:10), Matthew ascribes Jesus[...]
  13: [32-39] Most probably this story is a doublet of that of the feeding of the five thousand (Matthe[...]
  14: [36] Gave thanks: see Matthew 14:19, "said the blessing." There is no difference in meaning. The [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1] A sign from heaven: see the note on Matthew 12:38-42.
  2: [2-3] The answer of Jesus in these verses is omitted in many important textual witnesses, and it i[...]
  3: [4] See the notes on Matthew 12:39, 40.
  4: [5-12] Jesus' warning his disciples against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees comes imme[...]
  5: [6] Leaven: see the note on Matthew 13:33. Sadducees: Matthew's Marcan source speaks rather of "t[...]
  6: [7-11] The disciples, men of little faith, misunderstand Jesus' metaphorical use of leaven, forget[...]
  7: [12] After his rebuke, the disciples understand that by leaven he meant the corrupting influence o[...]
  8: [13-20] The Marcan confession of Jesus as Messiah, made by Peter as spokesman for the other discip[...]
  9: [13] Caesarea Philippi: situated about twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee in the territory r[...]
  10: [14] John the Baptist: see Matthew 14:2. Elijah: cf Malachi 3:23-24; Sirach 48:10; and see the n[...]
  11: [16] The Son of the living God: see Matthew 2:15; 3:17. The addition of this exalted title to the[...]
  12: [17] Flesh and blood: a Semitic expression for human beings, especially in their weakness. Has not[...]
  13: [18] You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: the Aramaic word kepa - meaning roc[...]
  14: [19] The keys to the kingdom of heaven: the image of the keys is probably drawn from Isaiah 22:15[...]
  15: [20] Cf Mark 8:30. Matthew makes explicit that the prohibition has to do with speaking of Jesus a[...]
  16: [21-23] This first prediction of the passion follows Mark 8:31-33 in the main and serves as a cor[...]
  17: [21] He: the Marcan parallel (Mark 8:31) has "the Son of Man." Since Matthew has already designat[...]
  18: [22-23] Peter's refusal to accept Jesus' predicted suffering and death is seen as a satanic attemp[...]
  19: [24-28] A readiness to follow Jesus even to giving up one's life for him is the condition for true[...]
  20: [24] Deny himself: to deny someone is to disown him (see Matthew 10:33; 26:34-35) and to deny one[...]
  21: [25] See the notes on Matthew 10:38, 39.
  22: [27] The parousia and final judgment are described in Matthew 25:31 in terms almost identical wit[...]
  23: [28] Coming in his kingdom: since the kingdom of the Son of Man has been described as "the world" [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 17
  1: [1-8] The account of the transfiguration confirms that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 17:5) and[...]
  2: [1] These three disciples are also taken apart from the others by Jesus in Gethsemane (Matthew 26[...]
  3: [2] His face shone like the sun: this is a Matthean addition; cf Daniel 10:6. His clothes became [...]
  4: [3] See the note on Mark 9:5.
  5: [4] Three tents: the booths in which the Israelites lived during the feast of Tabernacles (cf Joh[...]
  6: [5] Cloud cast a shadow over them: see the note on Mark 9:7. This is my beloved Son . . . listen [...]
  7: [6-7] A Matthean addition; cf Daniel 10:9-10, 18-19.
  8: [9] In response to the disciples' question about the expected return of Elijah, Jesus interprets t[...]
  9: [9] The vision: Matthew alone uses this word to describe the transfiguration. Until the Son of Man[...]
  10: [10] See the notes on Matthew 3:4; 16:14.
  11: [11-12] The preceding question and this answer may reflect later controversy with Jews who objecte[...]
  12: [13] See Matthew 11:14.
  13: [14-20] Matthew has greatly shortened the Marcan story (Matthew 9:14-29). Leaving aside several d[...]
  14: [15] A lunatic: this description of the boy is peculiar to Matthew. The word occurs in the New Tes[...]
  15: [17] Faithless and perverse: so Matthew and Luke (Matthew 9:41) against Mark's faithless (Matthew[...]
  16: [18] The demon came out of him: not until this verse does Matthew indicate that the boy's illness [...]
  17: [20] The entire verse is an addition of Matthew who (according to the better attested text) omits [...]
  18: [21] Some manuscripts add, "But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting"; this i[...]
  19: [22-23] The second passion prediction (cf Matthew 16:21-23) is the least detailed of the three an[...]
  20: [24-27] Like Matthew 14:28-31 and Matthew 16:16b-19, this episode comes from Matthew's special ma[...]
  21: [24] The temple tax: before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70 every male Jew abov[...]
  22: [25] From their subjects or from foreigners?: the Greek word here translated subjects literally me[...]
  23: [26] Then the subjects are exempt: just as subjects are not bound by laws applying to foreigners, [...]
  24: [27] That we may not offend them: though they are exempt (Matthew 17:26), Jesus and his disciples[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 18
  1: [1-35] This discourse of the fourth book of the gospel is often called the "church order" discours[...]
  2: [1] The initiative is taken not by Jesus as in the Marcan parallel (Mark 9:33-34) but by the disc[...]
  3: [3] Become like children: the child is held up as a model for the disciples not because of any sup[...]
  4: [5] Cf Matthew 10:40.
  5: [6] One of these little ones: the thought passes from the child of Matthew 18:2-4 to the disciple[...]
  6: [7] This is a Q saying; cf Luke 17:1. The inevitability of things that cause sin (literally, "sca[...]
  7: [8] These verses are a doublet of Matthew 5:29-30. In that context they have to do with causes of[...]
  8: [10-14] The first and last verses are peculiar to Matthew. The parable itself comes from Q; see L[...]
  9: [10] Their angels in heaven . . . my heavenly Father: for the Jewish belief in angels as guardians[...]
  10: [11] Some manuscripts add, "For the Son of Man has come to save what was lost"; cf Matthew 9:13. [...]
  11: [15-20] Passing from the duty of Christian disciples toward those who have strayed from their numb[...]
  12: [15] Your brother: a fellow disciple; see Matthew 23:8. The bracketed words, against you, are wid[...]
  13: [16] Cf Deut 19:15.
  14: [17] The church: the second of the only two instances of this word in the gospels; see the note on[...]
  15: [18] Except for the plural of the verbs bind and loose, this verse is practically identical with [...]
  16: [19-20] Some take these verses as applying to prayer on the occasion of the church's gathering to [...]
  17: [20] For where two or three . . . midst of them: the presence of Jesus guarantees the efficacy of [...]
  18: [21-35] The final section of the discourse deals with the forgiveness that the disciples are to gi[...]
  19: [22] Seventy-seven times: the Greek corresponds exactly to the LXX of Genesis 4:24. There is prob[...]
  20: [24] A huge amount: literally, "ten thousand talents." The talent was a unit of coinage of high bu[...]
  21: [26] Pay you back in full: an empty promise, given the size of the debt.
  22: [28] A much smaller amount: literally, "a hundred denarii." A denarius was the normal daily wage [...]
  23: [34] Since the debt is so great as to be unpayable, the punishment will be endless.
  24: [35] The Father's forgiveness, already given, will be withdrawn at the final judgment for those wh[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 19
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mat.23.39]23:39[ETML-C:/]] The narrative section of the fifth book of the gospel. Th[...]
  2: [1] In giving Jesus' teaching on divorce (Matthew 19:3-9), Matthew here follows his Marcan source[...]
  3: [1] When Jesus finished these words: see the note on Matthew 7:28-29. The district of Judea acros[...]
  4: [3] Tested him: the verb is used of attempts of Jesus' opponents to embarrass him by challenging h[...]
  5: [4-6] Matthew recasts his Marcan source, omitting Jesus' question about Moses' command (Mark 10:3[...]
  6: [7] See Deut 24:1-4
  7: [9] Moses' concession to human sinfulness (the hardness of your hearts, Matthew 19:8) is repudiat[...]
  8: [11] [This] word: probably the disciples' "it is better not to marry" (Matthew 19:10). Jesus agre[...]
  9: [12] Incapable of marriage: literally, "eunuchs." Three classes are mentioned, eunuchs from birth[...]
  10: [13-15] This account is understood by some as intended to justify the practice of infant baptism. [...]
  11: [16-30] Cf Mark 10:17-31. This story does not set up a "two-tier" morality, that of those who see[...]
  12: [16] Gain eternal life: this is equivalent to "entering into life" (Matthew 19:17) and "being sav[...]
  13: [17] By Matthew's reformulation of the Marcan question and reply (Mark 10:17-18) Jesus' repudiati[...]
  14: [18-19] The first five commandments cited are from the Decalogue (see Exodus 20:12-16; Deut 5:16-[...]
  15: [20] Young man: in Matthew alone of the synoptics the questioner is said to be a young man; thus t[...]
  16: [21] If you wish to be perfect: to be perfect is demanded of all Christians; see Matthew 5:48. In[...]
  17: [23-24] Riches are an obstacle to entering the kingdom that cannot be overcome by human power. The[...]
  18: [25-26] See the note on Mark 10:23-27.
  19: [28] This saying, directed to the Twelve, is from Q; see Luke 22:29-30. The new age: the Greek wo[...]
  20: [30] Different interpretations have been given to this saying, which comes from Mark 10:31. In vi[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 20
  1: [1-16] This parable is peculiar to Matthew. It is difficult to know whether the evangelist compose[...]
  2: [4] What is just: although the wage is not stipulated as in the case of those first hired, it will[...]
  3: [8] Beginning with the last . . . the first: this element of the parable has no other purpose than[...]
  4: [13] I am not cheating you: literally, "I am not treating you unjustly."
  5: [14-15] The owner's conduct involves no violation of justice (Matthew 20:4, 13), and that all the[...]
  6: [16] See the note on Matthew 19:30.
  7: [17-19] Cf Mark 10:32-34. This is the third and the most detailed of the passion predictions (Ma[...]
  8: [20-28] Cf Mark 10:35-45. The request of the sons of Zebedee, made through their mother, for the [...]
  9: [20-21] The reason for Matthew's making the mother the petitioner (cf Mark 10:35) is not clear. P[...]
  10: [22] You do not know what you are asking: the Greek verbs are plural and, with the rest of the ver[...]
  11: [28] Ransom: this noun, which occurs in the New Testament only here and in the Marcan parallel (M[...]
  12: [29-34] The cure of the blind men is probably symbolic of what will happen to the disciples, now b[...]
  13: [30] [Lord]: some important textual witnesses omit this, but that may be because copyists assimila[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 21
  1: [1-11] Jesus' coming to Jerusalem is in accordance with the divine will that he must go there (cf [...]
  2: [1] Bethphage: a village that can no longer be certainly identified. Mark mentions it before Betha[...]
  3: [2] An ass tethered, and a colt with her: instead of the one animal of Mark 11:2 Matthew has two,[...]
  4: [4-5] The prophet: this fulfillment citation is actually composed of two distinct Old Testament te[...]
  5: [7] Upon them: upon the two animals; an awkward picture resulting from Matthew's misunderstanding [...]
  6: [8] Spread . . . on the road: cf 2 Kings 9:13. There is a similarity between the cutting and stre[...]
  7: [9] Hosanna: the Hebrew means "(O Lord) grant salvation"; see Psalm 118:25, but that invocation h[...]
  8: [10] Was shaken: in the gospels this verb is peculiar to Matthew where it is used also of the eart[...]
  9: [11] The prophet: see Matthew 16:14 ("one of the prophets") and 21:46.
  10: [12-17] Matthew changes the order of (Mark 11:11, 12, 15) and places the cleansing of the temple [...]
  11: [12] These activities were carried on in the court of the Gentiles, the outermost court of the tem[...]
  12: [13] "My house . . . prayer': cf Isaiah 56:7. Matthew omits the final words of the quotation, "fo[...]
  13: [14] The blind and the lame: according to 2 Sam 5:8 (LXX) the blind and the lame were forbidden t[...]
  14: [15] The wondrous things: the healings.
  15: [16] "Out of the mouths . . . praise': cf Psalm 8:3 (LXX).
  16: [18-22] In Mark the effect of Jesus' cursing the fig tree is not immediate; see Mark 11:14, 20. B[...]
  17: [21] See Matthew 17:20.
  18: [23-27] Cf Mark 11:27-33. This is the first of five controversies between Jesus and the religious[...]
  19: [23] These things: probably his entry into the city, his cleansing of the temple, and his healings[...]
  20: [24] To reply by counterquestion was common in rabbinical debate.
  21: [26] We fear . . . as a prophet: cf Matthew 14:5.
  22: [27] Since through embarrassment on the one hand and fear on the other the religious authorities c[...]
  23: [28-32] The series of controversies is interrupted by three parables on the judgment of Israel (M[...]
  24: [31] Entering . . . before you: this probably means "they enter; you do not."
  25: [32] Cf Luke 7:29-30. Although the thought is similar to that of the Lucan text, the formulation [...]
  26: [33-46] Cf Mark 12:1-12. In this parable there is a close correspondence between most of the deta[...]
  27: [33] Planted a vineyard . . . a tower: cf Isaiah 5:1-2. The vineyard is defined in Isaiah 5:7 as [...]
  28: [34-35] His servants: Matthew has two sendings of servants as against Mark's three sendings of a s[...]
  29: [38] Acquire his inheritance: if a Jewish proselyte died without heir, the tenants of his land wou[...]
  30: [39] Threw him out . . . and killed him: the change in the Marcan order where the son is killed an[...]
  31: [41] They answered: in Mark 12:9 the question is answered by Jesus himself; here the leaders answ[...]
  32: [42] Cf Psalm 118:22-23. The psalm was used in the early church as a prophecy of Jesus' resurrect[...]
  33: [43] Peculiar to Matthew. Kingdom of God: see the note on Matthew 19:23-24. Its presence here ins[...]
  34: [44] The majority of textual witnesses omit this verse. It is probably an early addition to Matth[...]
  35: [45] The Pharisees: Matthew inserts into the group of Jewish leaders (Matthew 21:23) those who re[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 22
  1: [1-14] This parable is from Q; see Luke 14:15-24. It has been given many allegorical traits by Ma[...]
  2: [2] Wedding feast: the Old Testament's portrayal of final salvation under the image of a banquet [...]
  3: [3-4] Servants . . . other servants: probably Christian missionaries in both instances; cf Matthe[...]
  4: [7] See the note on Matthew 22:1-14.
  5: [10] Bad and good alike: cf Matthew 13:47.
  6: [11] A wedding garment: the repentance, change of heart and mind, that is the condition for entran[...]
  7: [13] Wailing and grinding of teeth: the Christian who lacks the wedding garment of good deeds will[...]
  8: [15-22] The series of controversies between Jesus and the representatives of Judaism (see the note[...]
  9: [15] The Pharisees: while Matthew retains the Marcan union of Pharisees and Herodians in this acco[...]
  10: [16] Herodians: see the note on Mark 3:6. They would favor payment of the tax; the Pharisees did n[...]
  11: [17] Is it lawful: the law to which they refer is the law of God.
  12: [19] They handed him the Roman coin: their readiness in producing the money implies their use of i[...]
  13: [21] Caesar's: the emperor Tiberius (A.D. 14-37). Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those wh[...]
  14: [23-33] Here Jesus' opponents are the Sadducees, members of the powerful priestly party of his tim[...]
  15: [23] Saying that there is no resurrection: in the Marcan parallel (Matthew 22:12, 18) the Sadduce[...]
  16: [24] "If a man dies . . . his brother': this is known as the "law of the levirate," from the Latin[...]
  17: [29] The sexual relationships of this world will be transcended; the risen body will be the work o[...]
  18: [31-32] Cf Exodus 3:6. In the Pentateuch, which the Sadducees accepted as normative for Jewish be[...]
  19: [34-40] The Marcan parallel (Mark 12:28-34) is an exchange between Jesus and a scribe who is impr[...]
  20: [35] [A scholar of the law]: meaning "scribe." Although this reading is supported by the vast maj[...]
  21: [36] For the devout Jew all the commandments were to be kept with equal care, but there is evidenc[...]
  22: [37-38] Cf Deut 6:5. Matthew omits the first part of Mark's fuller quotation (Mark 12:29; Deut 6[...]
  23: [39] Jesus goes beyond the extent of the question put to him and joins to the greatest and the fir[...]
  24: [40] The double commandment is the source from which the whole law and the prophets are derived. [...]
  25: [41-46] Having answered the questions of his opponents in the preceding three controversies, Jesus[...]
  26: [41] The Pharisees . . . questioned them: Mark is not specific about who are questioned (Mark 12:[...]
  27: [42-44] David's: this view of the Pharisees was based on such Old Testament texts as Isaiah 11:1-[...]
  28: [45] Since Matthew presents Jesus both as Messiah (Matthew 16:16) and as Son of David (Matthew 1:[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 23
  1: [1-39] The final section of the narrative part of the fifth book of the gospel is a denunciation b[...]
  2: [2-3] Have taken their seat . . . Moses: it is uncertain whether this is simply a metaphor for Mos[...]
  3: [4] Tie up heavy burdens: see the note on Matthew 11:28.
  4: [5] To the charge of preaching but not practicing (Matthew 23:3), Jesus adds that of acting in or[...]
  5: [6] Cf Mark 12:38-39. "Rabbi': literally, "my great one," a title of respect for teachers and le[...]
  6: [8-12] These verses, warning against the use of various titles, are addressed to the disciples alo[...]
  7: [13-36] This series of seven "woes," directed against the scribes and Pharisees and addressed to [...]
  8: [13] You lock the kingdom of heaven: cf Matthew 16:19 where Jesus tells Peter that he will give h[...]
  9: [14] Some manuscripts add a verse here or after Matthew 23:12 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,[...]
  10: [15] In the first century A.D. until the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-70), many Phari[...]
  11: [16-22] An attack on the casuistry that declared some oaths binding (one is obligated) and others [...]
  12: [23] The Mosaic law ordered tithing of the produce of the land (Lev 27:30; Deut 14:22-23), and th[...]
  13: [24] Cf Lev 11:41-45 that forbids the eating of any "swarming creature." The Pharisees' scrupulos[...]
  14: [25-26] The ritual washing of utensils for dining (cf Mark 7:4) is turned into a metaphor illustr[...]
  15: [27-28] The sixth woe, like the preceding one, deals with concern for externals and neglect of wha[...]
  16: [29-36] The final woe is the most serious indictment of all. It portrays the scribes and Pharisees[...]
  17: [29-32] In spite of honoring the slain dead by building their tombs and adorning their memorials, [...]
  18: [34-36] There are important differences between the Matthean and the Lucan form of this Q material[...]
  19: [37-39] Cf Luke 13:34-35. The denunciation of Pharisaic Judaism ends with this lament over Jerusa[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 24
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mat.25.46]25:46[ETML-C:/]] The discourse of the fifth book, the last of the five aro[...]
  2: [2] As in Mark, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple. By omitting the Marcan story of the [...]
  3: [3] The Mount of Olives: see the note on Matthew 21:1. The disciples: cf Mark 13:3-4 where only P[...]
  4: [4-14] This section of the discourse deals with calamities in the world (Matthew 24:6-7) and in t[...]
  5: [6-7] The disturbances mentioned here are a commonplace of apocalyptic language, as is the assuran[...]
  6: [8] The labor pains: the tribulations leading up to the end of the age are compared to the pains o[...]
  7: [9-12] Matthew has used Mark 13:9-12 in his missionary discourse (Matthew 10:17-21) and omits it [...]
  8: [14] Except for the last part (and then the end will come), this verse substantially repeats Mark [...]
  9: [15-28] Cf Mark 13:14-23; Luke 17:23-24, 37. A further stage in the tribulations that will prece[...]
  10: [15] The desolating abomination: in 167 B.C. the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the[...]
  11: [16] The tradition that the Christians of Jerusalem fled from that city to Pella, a city of Transj[...]
  12: [17-19] Haste is essential, and the journey will be particularly difficult for women who are burde[...]
  13: [20] On the sabbath: this addition to in winter (cf Mark 13:18) has been understood as an indicat[...]
  14: [21] For the unparalleled distress of that time, see Daniel 12:1.
  15: [26-28] Claims that the Messiah is to be found in some distant or secret place must be ignored. Th[...]
  16: [29] The answer to the question of Matthew 24:3b "What will be the sign of your coming?" Immediat[...]
  17: [30] The sign of the Son of Man: perhaps this means the sign that is the glorious appearance of th[...]
  18: [31] Send out his angels: cf Matthew 13:41 where they are sent out to collect the wicked for puni[...]
  19: [32-35] Cf Mark 13:28-31.
  20: [34] The difficulty raised by this verse cannot be satisfactorily removed by the supposition that [...]
  21: [36-44] The statement of Matthew 24:34 is now counterbalanced by one that declares that the exact[...]
  22: [36] Many textual witnesses omit nor the Son, which follows Mark 13:32. Since its omission can be[...]
  23: [37-39] Cf Luke 17:26-27. In the days of Noah: the Old Testament account of the flood lays no emp[...]
  24: [40-41] Cf Luke 17:34-35. Taken . . . left: the former probably means taken into the kingdom; the[...]
  25: [42-44] Cf Luke 12:39-40. The theme of vigilance and readiness is continued with the bold compari[...]
  26: [45-51] The second part of the discourse (see the note on Matthew 24:1-25:46) begins with this pa[...]
  27: [45] To distribute . . . proper time: readiness for the master's return means a vigilance that is [...]
  28: [48] My master . . . delayed: the note of delay is found also in the other parables of this sectio[...]
  29: [51] Punish him severely: the Greek verb, found in the New Testament only here and in the Lucan pa[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 25
  1: [1-13] Peculiar to Matthew.
  2: [1] Then: at the time of the parousia. Kingdom . . . will be like: see the note on Matthew 13:24-[...]
  3: [2-4] Foolish . . . wise: cf the contrasted "wise man" and "fool" of Matthew 7:24, 26 where the [...]
  4: [11-12] Lord, Lord: cf Matthew 7:21. I do not know you: cf Matthew 7:23 where the Greek verb is [...]
  5: [13] Stay awake: some scholars see this command as an addition to the original parable of Matthew'[...]
  6: [14-30] Cf Luke 19:12-27.
  7: [14] It will be as when . . . journey: literally, "For just as a man who was going on a journey." [...]
  8: [15] Talents: see the note on Matthew 18:24.
  9: [18] Buried his master's money: see the note on Matthew 13:44.
  10: [20-23] Although the first two servants have received and doubled large sums, their faithful tradi[...]
  11: [26-28] Wicked, lazy servant: this man's inactivity is not negligible but seriously culpable. As p[...]
  12: [29] See the note on Matthew 13:12 where there is a similar application of this maxim.
  13: [30] See the note on Matthew 8:11-12.
  14: [31-46] The conclusion of the discourse, which is peculiar to Matthew, portrays the final judgment[...]
  15: [32] All the nations: before the end the gospel will have been preached throughout the world (Mat[...]
  16: [37-40] The righteous will be astonished that in caring for the needs of the sufferers they were m[...]
  17: [41] Fire prepared . . . his angels: cf 1 Enoch 10, 13 where it is said of the evil angels and Sem[...]
  18: [44-45] The accursed (Matthew 25:41) will be likewise astonished that their neglect of the suffer[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 26
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mat.28.20]28:20[ETML-C:/]] The five books with alternating narrative and discourse ([...]
  2: [1-2] When Jesus finished all these words: see the note on Matthew 7:28-29. "You know . . . cruci[...]
  3: [3] Caiaphas was high priest from A.D. 18 to 36.
  4: [5] Not during the festival: the plan to delay Jesus' arrest and execution until after the festiva[...]
  5: [6-13] See the notes on Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-8.
  6: [12] To prepare me for burial: cf Mark 14:8. In accordance with the interpretation of this act as[...]
  7: [14] Iscariot: see the note on Luke 6:16.
  8: [15] The motive of avarice is introduced by Judas's question about the price for betrayal, which i[...]
  9: [17] The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: see the note on Mark 14:1. Matthew omits Mar[...]
  10: [18] By omitting much of Mark 14:13-15, adding My appointed time draws near, and turning the ques[...]
  11: [21] Given Matthew's interest in the fulfillment of the Old Testament, it is curious that he omits[...]
  12: [24] It would be better . . . born: the enormity of the deed is such that it would be better not t[...]
  13: [25] Peculiar to Matthew. You have said so: cf Matthew 26:64; 27:11. This is a half-affirmative. [...]
  14: [26] See the note on Mark 14:22-24. The Marcan-Matthean is one of the two major New Testament tra[...]
  15: [26] See the note on Matthew 14:19. Said the blessing: a prayer blessing God. Take and eat: liter[...]
  16: [27-28] Gave thanks: see the note on Matthew 15:36. Gave it to them . . . all of you: cf Mark 14:[...]
  17: [29] Although his death will interrupt the table fellowship he has had with the disciples, Jesus c[...]
  18: [30] See the note on Mark 14:26.
  19: [31] Will have . . . shaken: literally, "will be scandalized in me"; see the note on Matthew 24:9[...]
  20: [34] Before the cock crows: see the note on Matthew 14:25. The third watch of the night was calle[...]
  21: [36-56] Cf Mark 14:32-52. The account of Jesus in Gethsemane is divided between that of his agony[...]
  22: [36] Gethsemane: the Hebrew name means "oil press" and designates an olive orchard on the western [...]
  23: [37] Peter and the two sons of Zebedee: cf Matthew 17:1.
  24: [38] Cf Psalm 42:5, 11. In the Septuagint (Psalm 41:4, 11) the same Greek word for sorrowful is [...]
  25: [39] My Father: see the note on Mark 14:36. Matthew omits the Aramaic 'abba' and adds the qualifi[...]
  26: [41] Undergo the test: see the note on Matthew 6:13. In that verse "the final test" translates th[...]
  27: [42] Your will be done: cf Matthew 6:10.
  28: [49] Rabbi: see the note on Matthew 23:6-7. Jesus is so addressed twice in Matthew (Matthew 26:25[...]
  29: [55] Day after day . . . arrest me: cf Mark 14:49. This suggests that Jesus had taught for a rela[...]
  30: [57-68] Following Mark 14:53-65 Matthew presents the nighttime appearance of Jesus before the San[...]
  31: [57] Caiaphas: see the note on Matthew 26:3.
  32: [59] Sanhedrin: see the note on Luke 22:66.
  33: [60-61] Two: cf Deut 19:15. I can destroy . . . rebuild it: there are significant differences fro[...]
  34: [63] Silent: possibly an allusion to Isaiah 53:7. I order you . . . living God: peculiar to Matth[...]
  35: [64] + You have said so: see the note on Matthew 26:25. From now on . . . heaven: the Son of Man [...]
  36: [65] Blasphemed: the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning (see Lev 24:10-16). According [...]
  37: [67-68] The physical abuse, apparently done to Jesus by the members of the Sanhedrin themselves, [...]
  38: [70] Denied it in front of everyone: see Matthew 10:33. Peter's repentance (Matthew 26:75) saves [...]
  39: [73] Your speech . . . away: Matthew explicates Mark's "you too are a Galilean" (Mark 14:70).



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 27
  1: [1-31] Cf Mark 15:1-20. Matthew's account of the Roman trial before Pilate is introduced by a con[...]
  2: [1] There is scholarly disagreement about the meaning of the Sanhedrin's taking counsel (symboulio[...]
  3: [3] The thirty pieces of silver: see Matthew 26:15.
  4: [5-8] For another tradition about the death of Judas, cf Acts 1:18-19. The two traditions agree o[...]
  5: [9-10] Cf Matthew 26:15. Matthew's attributing this text to Jeremiah is puzzling, for there is no[...]
  6: [11] King of the Jews: this title is used of Jesus only by pagans. The Matthean instances are, bes[...]
  7: [12-14] Cf Matthew 26:62-63. As in the trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus' silence may be meant to[...]
  8: [15-26] The choice that Pilate offers the crowd between Barabbas and Jesus is said to be in accord[...]
  9: [16-17] [Jesus] Barabbas: it is possible that the double name is the original reading; Jesus was a[...]
  10: [18] Cf Mark 14:10. This is an example of the tendency, found in varying degree in all the gospel[...]
  11: [19] Jesus' innocence is declared by a Gentile woman. In a dream: in Matthew's infancy narrative, [...]
  12: [22] Let him be crucified: incited by the chief priests and elders (Matthew 27:20), the crowds de[...]
  13: [24-25] Peculiar to Matthew. Took water . . . blood: cf Deut 21:1-8, the handwashing prescribed i[...]
  14: [26] He had Jesus scourged: the usual preliminary to crucifixion.
  15: [27] The praetorium: the residence of the Roman governor. His usual place of residence was at Caes[...]
  16: [28] Scarlet military cloak: so Matthew as against the royal purple of Mark 15:17 and John 19:2. [...]
  17: [29] Crown out of thorns: probably of long thorns that stood upright so that it resembled the "rad[...]
  18: [30] Spat upon him: cf Matthew 26:67 where there also is a possible allusion to Isaiah 50:6.
  19: [32] See the note on Mark 15:21. Cyrenian named Simon: Cyrenaica was a Roman province on the nort[...]
  20: [34] Wine . . . mixed with gall: cf Mark 15:23 where the drink is "wine drugged with myrrh," a na[...]
  21: [35] The clothing of an executed criminal went to his executioner(s), but the description of that [...]
  22: [37] The offense of a person condemned to death by crucifixion was written on a tablet that was di[...]
  23: [38] Revolutionaries: see the note on John 18:40 where the same Greek word as that found here is [...]
  24: [39-40] Reviled him . . . heads: cf Psalm 22:8. You who would destroy . . . three days; cf Matthe[...]
  25: [42] King of Israel: in their mocking of Jesus the members of the Sanhedrin call themselves and th[...]
  26: [43] Peculiar to Matthew. He trusted in God . . . wants him: cf Psalm 22:9. He said . . . of God:[...]
  27: [45] Cf Amos 8:9 where on the day of the Lord "the sun will set at midday."
  28: [46] Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?: Jesus cries out in the words of Psalm 22:2, a psalm of lament t[...]
  29: [47] Elijah: see the note on Matthew 3:4. This prophet, taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2:11), was [...]
  30: [50] Gave up his spirit: cf the Marcan parallel (Mark 15:37), "breathed his last." Matthew's alte[...]
  31: [51-53] Veil of the sanctuary . . . bottom: cf Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45. Luke puts this event immed[...]
  32: [54] Cf Mark 15:39. The Christian confession of faith is made by Gentiles, not only the centurion[...]
  33: [55-56] Looking on from a distance: cf Psalm 38:12. Mary Magdalene . . . Joseph: these two women [...]
  34: [57-61] Cf Mark 15:42-47. Matthew drops Mark's designation of Joseph of Arimathea as "a distingui[...]
  35: [62-66] Peculiar to Matthew. The story prepares for Matthew 28:11-15 and the Jewish charge that t[...]
  36: [62] The next day . . . preparation: the sabbath. According to the synoptic chronology, in that ye[...]
  37: [64] This last imposture . . . the first: the claim that Jesus has been raised from the dead is cl[...]
  38: [65] The guard is yours: literally, "have a guard" or "you have a guard." Either the imperative o[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Matthew
      • Chapter 28
  1: [1-20] Except for Matthew 28:1-8 based on Mark 16:1-8, the material of this final chapter is pecu[...]
  2: [1] After the sabbath . . . dawning: since the sabbath ended at sunset, this could mean in the ear[...]
  3: [2-4] Peculiar to Matthew. A great earthquake: see the note on Matthew 27:51-53. Descended from h[...]
  4: [6-7] Cf Mark 16:6-7. Just as he said: a Matthean addition referring to Jesus' predictions of his[...]
  5: [8] Contrast Mark 16:8 where the women in their fear "said nothing to anyone."
  6: [9-10] Although these verses are peculiar to Matthew, there are similarities between them and John[...]
  7: [11-15] This account indicates that the dispute between Christians and Jews about the empty tomb w[...]
  8: [16-20] This climactic scene has been called a "proleptic parousia," for it gives a foretaste of t[...]
  9: [16] The eleven: the number recalls the tragic defection of Judas Iscariot. To the mountain . . . [...]
  10: [17] But they doubted: the Greek can also be translated, "but some doubted." The verb occurs elsew[...]
  11: [18] All power . . . me: the Greek word here translated power is the same as that found in the LXX[...]
  12: [19] Therefore: since universal power belongs to the risen Jesus (Matthew 28:18), he gives the el[...]
  13: [20] All that I have commanded you: the moral teaching found in this gospel, preeminently that of [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1-13] The prologue of the Gospel according to Mark begins with the title (Mark 1:1) followed by [...]
  2: [1] The gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son of God]: the "good news" of salvation in and through Jesus[...]
  3: [2-3] Although Mark attributes the prophecy to Isaiah, the text is a combination of Malachi 3:1; [...]
  4: [6] Clothed in camel's hair . . . waist: the Baptist's garb recalls that of Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8[...]
  5: [8-9] Through the life-giving baptism with the holy Spirit (Mark 1:8), Jesus will create a new pe[...]
  6: [10-11] He saw the heavens . . . and the Spirit . . . upon him: indicating divine intervention in [...]
  7: [12-13] The same Spirit who descended on Jesus in his baptism now drives him into the desert for f[...]
  8: [14-15] After John had been arrested: in the plan of God, Jesus was not to proclaim the good news [...]
  9: [16-20] These verses narrate the call of the first Disciples. See the notes on Matthew 4:18-22 an[...]
  10: [21-45] The account of a single day's ministry of Jesus on a sabbath in and outside the synagogue [...]
  11: [23] An unclean spirit: so called because of the spirit's resistance to the holiness of God. The s[...]
  12: [24-25] The Holy One of God: not a confession but an attempt to ward off Jesus' power, reflecting [...]
  13: [24] What have you to do with us?: see the note on John 2:4.
  14: [40] A leper: for the various forms of skin disease, see Lev 13:1-50 and the note on Lev 13:2-4. [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mar.3.6]3:6[ETML-C:/]] This section relates a series of conflicts between Jesus and t[...]
  2: [1] He was at home: to the crowds that gathered in and outside the house Jesus preached the word, [...]
  3: [5] It was the faith of the paralytic and those who carried him that moved Jesus to heal the sick [...]
  4: [6] Scribes: trained in oral interpretation of the written law; in Mark's gospel, adversaries of J[...]
  5: [7] He is blaspheming: an accusation made here and repeated during the trial of Jesus (Mark 14:60[...]
  6: [10] But that you may know that the Son of Man . . . on earth: although Mark 2:8-9 are addressed [...]
  7: [13] He taught them: see the note on Mark 1:21-45.
  8: [14] As he passed by: see the note on Mark 1:16-20. Levi, son of Alphaeus: see the note on Matthe[...]
  9: [15] In his house: cf Mark 2:1; Matthew 9:10. Luke 5:29 clearly calls it Levi's house.
  10: [16-17] This and the following conflict stories reflect a similar pattern: a statement of fact, a [...]
  11: [17] Do not need a physician: this maxim of Jesus with its implied irony was uttered to silence hi[...]
  12: [18-22] This conflict over the question of fasting has the same pattern as Mark 2:16-17; see the [...]
  13: [19] Can the wedding guests fast?: the bridal metaphor expresses a new relationship of love betwee[...]
  14: [23-28] This conflict regarding the sabbath follows the same pattern as in Mark 2:18-22.
  15: [25-26] Have you never read what David did?: Jesus defends the action of his disciples on the basi[...]
  16: [27] The sabbath was made for man: a reaffirmation of the divine intent of the sabbath to benefit [...]
  17: [28] The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath: Mark's comment on the theological meaning of the [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-5] Here Jesus is again depicted in conflict with his adversaries over the question of sabbath-d[...]
  2: [6] In reporting the plot of the Pharisees and Herodians to put Jesus to death after this series o[...]
  3: [7-19] This overview of the Galilean ministry manifests the power of Jesus to draw people to himse[...]
  4: [11-12] See the note on Mark 1:24-25.
  5: [13] He went up the mountain: here and elsewhere the mountain is associated with solemn moments an[...]
  6: [14-15] He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him: literally "[...]
  7: [16] Simon, whom he named Peter: Mark indicates that Simon's name was changed on this occasion. Pe[...]
  8: [20-35] Within the narrative of the coming of Jesus' relatives (Mark 3:20-21) is inserted the acc[...]
  9: [20] He came home: cf Mark 2:1-2 and see the note on Mark 2:15.
  10: [22] By Beelzebul: see the note on Matthew 10:25. Two accusations are leveled against Jesus: (1) [...]
  11: [29] Whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit: this sin is called an everlasting sin because it [...]
  12: [32] Your brothers: see the note on Mark 6:3.



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 4
  1: [1-34] In parables (2): see the note on Matthew 13:3. The use of parables is typical of Jesus' en[...]
  2: [1] By the sea: the shore of the Sea of Galilee or a boat near the shore (Mark 2:13; 3:7-8) is th[...]
  3: [3-8] See the note on Matthew 13:3-8.
  4: [11-12] These verses are to be viewed against their background in Mark 3:6, 22 concerning the unb[...]
  5: [13-20] See the note on Matthew 13:18-23.
  6: [26-29] Only Mark records the parable of the seed's growth. Sower and harvester are the same. The [...]
  7: [32] The universality of the kingdom of God is indicated here; cf Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6; Daniel 4:[...]
  8: [4:35-5:43] After the chapter on parables, Mark narrates four miracle stories: Mark 4:35-41; 5:1[...]
  9: [39] Quiet! Be still!: as in the case of silencing a demon (Mark 1:25), Jesus rebukes the wind and[...]
  10: [41] Jesus is here depicted as exercising power over wind and sea. In the Christian community this[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 5
  1: [1] The territory of the Gerasenes: thea reference is to pagan territory; cf Isaiah 65:1. Another[...]
  2: [2-6] The man was an outcast from society, dominated by unclean spirits (Mark 5:8, 13), living am[...]
  3: [7] What have you to do with me?: cf Mark 1:24 and see the note on John 2:4.
  4: [9] Legion is my name: the demons were numerous and the condition of the possessed man was extreme[...]
  5: [11] Herd of swine: see the note on Matthew 8:30.
  6: [19] Go home: Jesus did not accept the man's request to remain with him as a disciple (Matthew 5:1[...]
  7: [21-43] The story of the raising to life of Jairus's daughter is divided into two parts: Mark 5:2[...]
  8: [23] Lay your hands on her: this act for the purpose of healing is frequent in Mark 6:5; 7:32-35;[...]
  9: [28] Both in the case of Jairus and his daughter (Mark 5:23) and in the case of the hemorrhage vi[...]
  10: [35] The faith of Jairus was put to a twofold test: (1) that his daughter might be cured and, now [...]
  11: [39] Not dead but asleep: the New Testament often refers to death as sleep (Matthew 27:52; John 1[...]
  12: [41] Arise: the Greek verb egeirein is the verb generally used to express resurrection from death [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 6
  1: [1] His native place: the Greek word patris here refers to Nazareth (cf Mark 1:9; Luke 4:16, 23-2[...]
  2: [2-6] See the note on Matthew 13:54-58.
  3: [3] Is he not the carpenter?: no other gospel calls Jesus a carpenter. Some witnesses have "the ca[...]
  4: [4] A prophet is not without honor except . . . in his own house: a saying that finds parallels in[...]
  5: [5] He was not able to perform any mighty deed there: according to Mark, Jesus' power could not ta[...]
  6: [7-13] The preparation for the mission of the Twelve is seen in the call (1) of the first disciple[...]
  7: [8-9] In Mark the use of a walking stick (Mark 6:8) and sandals (Mark 6:9) is permitted, but not [...]
  8: [10-11] Remaining in the same house as a guest (Mark 6:10) rather than moving to another offering[...]
  9: [13] Anointed with oil . . . cured them: a common medicinal remedy, but seen here as a vehicle of [...]
  10: [14-16] The various opinions about Jesus anticipate the theme of his identity that reaches its cli[...]
  11: [14] King Herod: see the note on Matthew 14:1.
  12: [17-29] Similarities are to be noted between Mark's account of the imprisonment and death of John [...]
  13: [19] Herodias: see the note on Matthew 14:3.
  14: [30] Apostles: here, and in some manuscripts at Mark 3:14, Mark calls apostles (i.e., those sent [...]
  15: [31-34] The withdrawal of Jesus with his disciples to a desert place to rest attracts a great numb[...]
  16: [35] See the note on Matthew 14:13-21. Compare this section with Mark 8:1-9. The various accounts[...]
  17: [40] The people . . . in rows by hundreds and by fifties: reminiscent of the groupings of Israelit[...]
  18: [41] On the language of this verse as eucharistic (cf Mark 14:22), see the notes on Matthew 14:19[...]
  19: [45-52] See the note on Matthew 14:22-33.
  20: [45] To the other side toward Bethsaida: a village at the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee[...]
  21: [46] He went off to the mountain to pray: see Mark 1:35-38. In John 6:15 Jesus withdrew to evade [...]
  22: [48] Walking on the sea: see the notes on Matthew 14:22-33 and on John 6:19.
  23: [50] It is I, do not be afraid!: literally, "I am." This may reflect the divine revelatory formula[...]
  24: [52] They had not understood . . . the loaves: the revelatory character of this sign and that of t[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 7
  1: [1-23] See the note on Matthew 15:1-20. Against the Pharisees' narrow, legalistic, and external p[...]
  2: [3] Carefully washing their hands: refers to ritual purification.
  3: [5] Tradition of the elders: the body of detailed, unwritten, human laws regarded by the scribes a[...]
  4: [11] Qorban: a formula for a gift to God, dedicating the offering to the temple, so that the giver[...]
  5: [16] Mark 7:16, "Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear," is omitted because it is lacking in [...]
  6: [17] Away from the crowd . . . the parable: in this context of privacy the term parable refers to [...]
  7: [19] (Thus he declared all foods clean): if this bold declaration goes back to Jesus, its force wa[...]
  8: [24-37] The withdrawal of Jesus to the district of Tyre may have been for a respite (Mark 7:24), [...]
  9: [27-28] The figure of a household in which children at table are fed first and then their leftover[...]
  10: [36] The more they proclaimed it: the same verb proclaim attributed here to the crowd in relation [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 8
  1: [1-10] The two accounts of the multiplication of loaves and fishes (Mark 8:1-10; 6:31-44) have eu[...]
  2: [6] See the note on Mark 6:41.
  3: [11-12] The objection of the Pharisees that Jesus' miracles are unsatisfactory for proving the arr[...]
  4: [15] The leaven of the Pharisees . . . of Herod: the corruptive action of leaven (1 Cor 5:6-8; Ga[...]
  5: [22-26] Jesus' actions and the gradual cure of the blind man probably have the same purpose as in [...]
  6: [27-30] This episode is the turning point in Mark's account of Jesus in his public ministry. Popul[...]
  7: [31] Son of Man: an enigmatic title. It is used in Daniel 7:13-14 has a symbol of "the saints of [...]
  8: [34-35] This utterance of Jesus challenges all believers to authentic discipleship and total commi[...]
  9: [35] For my sake and that of the gospel: Mark here, as at Mark 10:29 equates Jesus with the gospe[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 9
  1: [1] There are some standing . . . come in power: understood by some to refer to the establishment [...]
  2: [2-8] Mark and Matthew 17:1 place the transfiguration of Jesus six days after the first predictio[...]
  3: [5] Moses and Elijah represent respectively law and prophecy in the Old Testament and are linked t[...]
  4: [7] A cloud came, casting a shadow over them: even the disciples enter into the mystery of his glo[...]
  5: [9-13] At the transfiguration of Jesus his disciples had seen Elijah. They were perplexed because,[...]
  6: [14-29] The disciples' failure to effect a cure seems to reflect unfavorably on Jesus (Mark 9:14-[...]
  7: [29] This kind can only come out through prayer: a variant reading adds "and through fasting."
  8: [33-37] Mark probably intends this incident and the sayings that follow as commentary on the disci[...]
  9: [38-41] Jesus warns against jealousy and intolerance toward others, such as exorcists who do not f[...]
  10: [43,45,47] Gehenna: see the note on Matthew 5:22.
  11: [44,46] These verses, lacking in some important early manuscripts, are here omitted as scribal add[...]
  12: [49] Everyone will be salted with fire: so the better manuscripts. Some add "every sacrifice will [...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 10
  1: [2-9] In the dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees on the subject of divorce, Jesus declares th[...]
  2: [15] Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child: i.e., in total dependence upon and o[...]
  3: [18] Why do you call me good?: Jesus repudiates the term "good" for himself and directs it to God,[...]
  4: [23-27] In the Old Testament wealth and material goods are considered a sign of God's favor (Job [...]
  5: [38-40] Can you drink the cup . . . I am baptized?: the metaphor of drinking the cup is used in th[...]
  6: [42-45] Whatever authority is to be exercised by the disciples must, like that of Jesus, be render[...]
  7: [46] See the notes on Matthew 9:27-31 and 20:29-34.



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 11
  1: [1-11] In Mark's account Jesus takes the initiative in ordering the preparation for his entry into[...]
  2: [12-14] Jesus' search for fruit on the fig tree recalls the prophets' earlier use of this image to[...]
  3: [15-19] See the note on Matthew 21:12-17.
  4: [26] This verse, which reads, "But if you do not forgive, neither will your heavenly Father forgiv[...]
  5: [27-33] The mounting hostility toward Jesus came from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elde[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 12
  1: [1-12] The vineyard denotes Israel (Isaiah 5:1-7). The tenant farmers are the religious leaders o[...]
  2: [13-34] In the ensuing conflicts (cf also Mark 2:1-3:6) Jesus vanquishes his adversaries by his r[...]
  3: [13-17] See the note on Matthew 22:15-22.
  4: [18-27] See the note on Matthew 22:23-33.
  5: [28-34] See the note on Matthew 22:34-40.
  6: [35-37] Jesus questions the claim of the scribes about the Davidic descent of the Messiah, not to [...]
  7: [38-40] See the notes on Mark 7:1-23 and Matthew 23:1-39.
  8: [41-44] See the note on Luke 21:1-4.



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 13
  1: [1-2] The reconstructed temple with its precincts, begun under Herod the Great ca. 20 B.C., was co[...]
  2: [3-37] Jesus' prediction of the destruction of the temple (Mark 13:2) provoked questions that the[...]
  3: [10] The gospel . . . to all nations: the period of the Christian mission.
  4: [14] The participle standing is masculine, in contrast to the neuter at Matthew 24:15.
  5: [26] Son of Man . . . with great power and glory: Jesus cites this text from Daniel 7:13 in his r[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 14
  1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mar.16.8]16:8[ETML-C:/]] In the movement of Mark's gospel the cross is depicted as J[...]
  2: [3] At Bethany on the Mount of Olives, a few miles from Jerusalem, in the house of Simon the leper[...]
  3: [12] The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread . . . the Passover lamb: a less precise design[...]
  4: [13] A man . . . carrying a jar of water: perhaps a prearranged signal, for only women ordinarily [...]
  5: [18] One of you will betray me, one who is eating with me: contrasts the intimacy of table fellows[...]
  6: [21] The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him: a reference to Psalm 41:10 cited by Jes[...]
  7: [22-24] The actions and words of Jesus express within the framework of the Passover meal and the t[...]
  8: [24] Which will be shed: see the note on Matthew 26:27-28. For many: the Greek preposition hyper [...]
  9: [26] After singing a hymn: Psalm 114-118, thanksgiving songs concluding the Passover meal.
  10: [27-31] Jesus predicted that the Twelve would waver in their faith, even abandon him, despite thei[...]
  11: [32-34] The disciples who had witnessed the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37)[...]
  12: [36] Abba, Father: an Aramaic term, here also translated by Mark, Jesus' special way of addressing[...]
  13: [38] The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: the spirit is drawn to what is good yet found in[...]
  14: [53] They led Jesus away . . . came together: Mark presents a formal assembly of the whole Sanhedr[...]
  15: [57-58] See the notes on Matthew 26:60-61 and John 2:19.
  16: [61-62] The Blessed One: a surrogate for the divine name, which Jews did not pronounce. I am: indi[...]
  17: [68] [Then the cock crowed]: found in most manuscripts, perhaps in view of Mark 14:30, 72 but omi[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 15
  1: [1] Held a council: the verb here, poieo, can mean either "convene a council" or "take counsel." [...]
  2: [2] The king of the Jews: in the accounts of the evangelists a certain irony surrounds the use of [...]
  3: [6-15] See the note on Matthew 27:15-26.
  4: [7] Barabbas: see the note on Matthew 27:16-17.
  5: [13] Crucify him: see the note on Matthew 27:22.
  6: [15] See the note on Matthew 27:26.
  7: [16] Praetorium: see the note on Matthew 27:27.
  8: [21] They pressed into service . . . Simon, a Cyrenian: a condemned person was constrained to bear[...]
  9: [24] See the notes on Matthew 27:35 and John 19:23-25a.
  10: [25] It was nine o'clock in the morning: literally, "the third hour," thus between 9 a.m. and 12 [...]
  11: [26] The inscription . . . the King of the Jews: the political reason for the death penalty falsel[...]
  12: [28] This verse, "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "And he was counted among the wicked,[...]
  13: [29] See the note on Matthew 27:39-40.
  14: [34] An Aramaic rendering of Psalm 22:2. See also the note on Matthew 27:46.
  15: [35] Elijah: a verbal link with Eloi (Mark 15:34). See the note on Mark 9:9-13; cf Malachi 3:23-[...]
  16: [38] See the note on Matthew 27:51-53.
  17: [39] The closing portion of Mark's gospel returns to the theme of its beginning in the Gentile cen[...]
  18: [40-41] See the note on Matthew 27:55-56.
  19: [43] Joseph of Arimathea: see the note on Matthew 27:57-61.



  • The Gospels
    • Mark
      • Chapter 16
  1: [1-8] The purpose of this narrative is to show that the tomb is empty and that Jesus has been rais[...]
  2: [9-20] This passage, termed the Longer Ending to the Marcan gospel by comparison with a much brief[...]
  3: [20] THE SHORTER ENDING - [And they reported all the instructions briefly to Peter's companions. A[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Luke
      • Chapter 1
  1: [1-4] The Gospel according to Luke is the only one of the synoptic gospels to begin with a literar[...]
  2: [1:5-2:52] Like the Gospel according to Matthew, this gospel opens with an infancy narrative, a c[...]
  3: [5] In the days of Herod, King of Judea: Luke relates the story of salvation history to events in [...]
  4: [7] They had no child: though childlessness was looked upon in contemporaneous Judaism as a curse [...]
  5: [13] Do not be afraid: a stereotyped Old Testament phrase spoken to reassure the recipient of a he[...]
  6: [15] He will drink neither wine nor strong drink: like Samson (Judges 13:4-5) and Samuel (1 Sam 1[...]
  7: [17] He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah: John is to be the messenger sent bef[...]
  8: [19] I am Gabriel: "the angel of the Lord" is identified as Gabriel, the angel who in Daniel 9:20[...]
  9: [20] You will be speechless and unable to talk: Zechariah's becoming mute is the sign given in res[...]
  10: [26-38] The announcement to Mary of the birth of Jesus is parallel to the announcement to Zecharia[...]
  11: [32] Son of the Most High: cf Luke 1:76 where John is described as "prophet of the Most High." "M[...]
  12: [34] Mary's questioning response is a denial of sexual relations and is used by Luke to lead to th[...]
  13: [36-37] The sign given to Mary in confirmation of the angel's announcement to her is the pregnancy[...]
  14: [43] Even before his birth, Jesus is identified in Luke as the Lord.
  15: [45] Blessed are you who believed: Luke portrays Mary as a believer whose faith stands in contrast[...]
  16: [46-55] Although Mary is praised for being the mother of the Lord and because of her belief, she r[...]
  17: [57-66] The birth and circumcision of John above all emphasize John's incorporation into the peopl[...]
  18: [59] The practice of Palestinian Judaism at this time was to name the child at birth; moreover, th[...]
  19: [68-79] Like the canticle of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) the canticle of Zechariah is only loosely connec[...]
  20: [69] A horn for our salvation: the horn is a common Old Testament figure for strength (Psalm 18:3[...]
  21: [76] You will go before the Lord: here the Lord is most likely a reference to Jesus (contrast Luk[...]
  22: [78] The daybreak from on high: three times in the LXX (Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12), the[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Luke
      • Chapter 2
  1: [1-2] Although universal registrations of Roman citizens are attested in 28 B.C., 8 B.C., and A.D.[...]
  2: [1] Caesar Augustus: the reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus is usually dated from 27 B.C. [...]
  3: [7] Firstborn son: the description of Jesus as firstborn son does not necessarily mean that Mary h[...]
  4: [8-20] The announcement of Jesus' birth to the shepherds is in keeping with Luke's theme that the [...]
  5: [11] The basic message of the infancy narrative is contained in the angel's announcement: this chi[...]
  6: [14] On earth peace to those on whom his favor rests: the peace that results from the Christ event[...]
  7: [21] Just as John before him had been incorporated into the people of Israel through his circumcis[...]
  8: [22-40] The presentation of Jesus in the temple depicts the parents of Jesus as devout Jews, faith[...]
  9: [2] Their purification: syntactically, their must refer to Mary and Joseph, even though the Mosaic[...]
  10: [25] Awaiting the consolation of Israel: Simeon here and later Anna who speak about the child to a[...]
  11: [35] (And you yourself a sword will pierce): Mary herself will not be untouched by the various rea[...]
  12: [41-52] This story's concern with an incident from Jesus' youth is unique in the canonical gospel [...]
  13: [49] I must be in my Father's house: this phrase can also be translated, "I must be about my Fathe[...]



  • The Gospels
    • Luke
      • Chapter 3
  1: [1-20] Although Luke is indebted in this section to his sources, the Gospel of Mark and a collecti[...]
  2: [1] Tiberius Caesar: Tiberius succeeded Augustus as emperor in A.D. 14 and reigned until A.D. 37. [...]
  3: [2] During the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas: after situating the call of John the Baptist[...]
  4: [3] See the note on Matthew 3:2.
  5: [4] The Essenes from Qumran used the same passage to explain why their community was in the desert[...]
  6: [16] He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: in contrast to John's baptism with water, [...]
  7: [17] Winnowing fan: see the note on Matthew 3:12.
  8: [19-20] Luke separates the ministry of John the Baptist from that of Jesus by reporting the impris[...]
  9: [21-22] This episode in Luke focuses on the heavenly message identifying Jesus as Son and, through[...]
  10: [21] Was praying: Luke regularly presents Jesus at prayer at importa