1: [1:1-2:4a] This section introduces the whole Pentateuch. It shows how God brought an orderly univ[...] 2:  The abyss: the primordial ocean according to the ancient Semitic cosmogony. After God's creat[...] 3:  In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial[...] 4:  Man is here presented as the climax of God's creative activity; he resembles God primarily b[...]
1: [4b-25] This section is chiefly concerned with the creation of man. It is much older than the narr[...] 2:  God is portrayed as a potter molding man's body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebre[...] 3:  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:  There is a play on the similar-sounding Hebrew words ishsha ("woman") and ishah ("her man, h[...] 6:  One body: literally "one flesh"; classical Hebrew has no specific word for "body." The sacre[...]
1:  Like gods who know: or "like God who knows." 2:  The breezy time of the day: literally "the wind of the day." On most days in Palestine a cooli[...] 3:  He will strike . . . at his heel: since the antecedent for he and his is the collective noun [...] 4:  This verse seems to be out of place; it would fit better after Genesis 3:24. The Hebrew name[...] 5:  The above rendering is based on the ancient Greek version; that of the current Hebrew is, Whe[...]
1:  The Hebrew name qayin ("Cain") and the term qaniti ("I have produced") present another play o[...] 2:  Demon lurking: in Hebrew, robes, literally "croucher," is used here, like the similar Akkadian[...] 3:  A mark: probably a tattoo. The use of tattooing for tribal marks has always been common among[...] 4:  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[...]
1: [1-32] Although this chapter, with its highly schematic form, belongs to the relatively late "Prie[...] 2:  In place of the usual formula, Then he died, the change to Enoch walked with God clearly impl[...] 3:  There is a similarity in sound between the Hebrew word noah, "Noah," and the verbal phrase y[...]
1: [1-4] This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology[...] 2:  The sons of heaven: literally "the sons of the gods" or "the sons of God," i.e., the celestia[...] 3:  My spirit: the breath of life referred to in Genesis 2:7. His days . . . years: probably the [...] 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:  Gopherwood: an unidentified wood not mentioned elsewhere; gopher is merely the Hebrew word fo[...] 7:  The dimensions of Noah's ark were approximately 440 x 73 x 44 feet, a foot and a half to the[...] 8:  Opening for daylight: a conjectural rendering of the Hebrew word sohar, occurring only here.[...]
1:  Ararat: ancient Urartu, north of the Mesopotamian plain, part of modern Armenia. 2:  In the original Yahwist source, from which this verse is taken, the forty days refer to the fu[...] 3:  From the start: literally "from his youth." It is uncertain whether this means from the begi[...]
1:  Antediluvian creatures, including man, are depicted as vegetarians (Genesis 1:29-30), becomin[...] 2:  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:  Blessed . . . Shem: perhaps the text read originally, "Blessed of the LORD be Shem," which wo[...] 5:  In the Hebrew text there is a play on the words yapt ("expand") and yepet ("Japheth").
1: [1-32] This chapter presents a remarkably good classification of the various peoples known to the [...] 2:  Gomer: the Cimmerians; Madai: the Medes; Javan: the Greeks. 3:  Ashkenaz: the Scythians. 4:  Elishah: Cyprus; the Kittim: certain inhabitants of Cyprus; the Rodanim: the inhabitants of Rh[...] 5:  Cush: Biblical Ethiopia, modern Nubia. Mizraim: Egypt; Put: either Punt in East Africa or Liby[...] 6:  Cush: here, the Kassites; see note on Genesis 2:10-14. Nimrod: probably Tukulti-Ninurta I (th[...] 7:  Shinar: ancient Sumer in southern Mesopotamia, mentioned also in Genesis 11:2; 14:1. 8:  Asshur: Assyria. Rehoboth-Ir: literally "wide-streets city," was probably not the name of ano[...] 9:  Calah: Assyrian Kalhu, the capital of Assyria in the ninth century B.C. 10:  The Pathrusim: the people of upper (southern) Egypt; cf Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 44:1; Ezekie[...] 11:  Heth: the biblical Hittites; see note on Genesis 23:3. 12:  Lasha: the reading of this name is uncertain; perhaps it should be "Bela"; cf Genesis 14:2. [...] 13:  In the Hebrew text there is a play on the name Peleg and the word niplega, "was divided." [...]
1: [1-9] This story, based on traditions about the temple towers or ziggurats of Babylonia, is used b[...] 2:  Shinar: see note on Genesis 10:10. 3:  Tower with its top in the sky: a direct reference to the chief ziggurat of Babylon, the E-sag-[...] 4:  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:  The Greek text has a certain Kenan (cf Genesis 5:9-10) between Arpachshad and Shelah. This t[...] 7:  Eber: the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews, "descendants of Eber" (Genesis 10:21, 24-30); s[...] 8:  Ur of the Chaldeans: Ur was an extremely ancient city of the Sumerians (later, of the Babylon[...] 9:  The Samaritan and Greek texts include Nahor and his wife in Terah's migration to Haran. Altho[...] 10:  Since Terah was seventy years old when his son Abraham was born (Genesis 11:26), and Abraham[...]
1:  Shall find blessing in you: the sense of the Hebrew expression is probably reflexive, "shall b[...] 2:  Persons: slaves and retainers that formed the social aggregate under the leadership of Abraham[...] 3:  The Negeb: the semidesert land of southern Palestine. 4:  You are my sister: although Abraham's deceit may not be fully defensible, his statement was a[...] 5:  Camels: domesticated camels probably did not come into common use in the ancient Near East un[...]
1:  In the days of . . . : the personal name by which the event is dated has not been preserved. [...] 2:  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:  Abram the Hebrew: elsewhere in the Old Testament, until the last pre-Christian centuries, the[...] 5:  Salem: traditionally identified with Jerusalem (Psalm 76:3), but the Hebrew text is not cert[...] 6:  God Most High: in Hebrew, el-elyon. In Canaanite texts, each element may occur separately as [...] 7:  Abram gave him: literally "he gave him"; but Abram is to be understood as the subject of the [...] 8:  Abraham uses the name of the Canaanite god el-elyon ("God, the Most High") in apposition to t[...]
1:  Abraham's faith in God's promises was regarded as an act of righteousness, i.e., as expressing[...] 2:  Three-year-old: ritually mature. 3:  Time-span: the Hebrew term dor is commonly rendered as "generation," but it may signify a per[...] 4:  Brazier: literally "oven"; a portable one is meant here. The smoke and fire represent God's [...] 5:  Made a covenant: literally "cut a covenant"; the expression derives from the ceremony of cutt[...]
1: [1-6] Sarah's actions are all in keeping with the laws of the time, as known from ancient extra-bi[...] 2:  The LORD'S messenger: a manifestation of God in human form; therefore in Genesis 16:13 the me[...] 3:  Ishmael: in Hebrew the name means "God has heard." 4:  The God of Vision: In Hebrew, el-roi; hence the name of the spring. Remained alive: for the a[...] 5:  Beer-lahai-roi: probably "the well of living sight," i.e., the well where one can see (God) [...]
1:  The Almighty: traditional but incorrect rendering of the divine title shaddai, of uncertain me[...] 2:  Abram and Abraham are merely two forms of the same name, both meaning, "the father is exalted"[...] 3:  Sarai and Sarah are variant forms of the same name, both meaning "princess." 4:  Laughed: yishaq, which is the Hebrew form of the name "Isaac"; other similar explanations of [...]
1:  Abraham addresses the leader of the group, whom he does not yet recognize as Yahweh; in the ne[...] 2:  Three seahs: one ephah, about half a bushel. 3:  Curds: a type of soft cheese or yoghurt. 4:  One of them: i.e., the Lord. Abraham now realizes this for the first time when he hears the p[...] 5:  Sarah laughed: see note on Genesis 17:17. 6:  Israelite tradition was unanimous in ascribing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to the w[...]
1:  Gentlemen: Lot does not yet know that the distinguished-looking men are God's messengers; cf [...] 2:  Blinding light: a preternatural flash that temporarily dazed the wicked men and revealed to L[...] 3:  Since Lot apparently had no sons, a glossator interpreted the term to mean sons-in-law. 4:  It is uncertain whether Lot's sons-in-law were fully married to his daughters or only "engage[...] 5:  A small place: the Hebrew word misar, literally "a little thing," has the same root consonant[...] 6:  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:  From my father: in Hebrew, meabi, similar in sound to the name "Moab." 10:  The son of my kin: in Hebrew, ben-ammi, similar in sound to the name "Ammonites."
1: [1-18] This story from the Elohist source (see note on Genesis 4:25) combines elements found in t[...] 2:  Spokesman: the Hebrew term nabi used here is regularly translated as "prophet," but it simply [...] 3:  A thousand shekels of silver: not a gift distinct from that of the animals and the slaves (G[...]
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:  Here and in Genesis 21:32 the Greek text has ". . . Abimelech, accompanied by Ahuzzath, his [...] 4:  This place: Beer-sheba (Genesis 21:31). Abimelech had come from Gerar (Genesis 20:2), about [...] 5:  Beer-sheba: the Hebrew name really means, "the well of the seven," i.e., the place where ther[...] 6:  God the Eternal: in Hebrew, el olam, perhaps the name of the deity of the pre-Israelite sanct[...]
1:  God put Abraham to the test: to prove the firmness of Abraham's faith in God's promise that th[...] 2:  Only one: uniquely precious, especially loved; therefore the same term is rendered in Genesis[...] 3:  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, [...]
1:  The Hittites: a non-Semitic people in Canaan; their relationship to the well-known Hittites of[...] 2:  A resident alien: literally "a sojourner and a settler," i.e., a long-term resident alien. Suc[...] 3:  Who sat on his town council: probable meaning of the literal translation, "who came in at the[...] 4:  Four hundred shekels: probably an exorbitant sum; Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:9) paid only sevente[...] 5:  The current market value: the standard weight called a shekel varied according to time and pl[...]
1:  Put your hand under my thigh: the symbolism of this act was apparently connected with the Hebr[...] 2:  Nahor: it is uncertain whether this is to be understood as the name of Abraham's brother (Ge[...] 3:  Let it turn out favorably for me: let me have a favorable omen; cf Genesis 24:14. 4:  He went out: the meaning of the Hebrew term that follows this is obscure.
1: [1-11] Though mentioned here, Abraham's marriage to a "concubine," or wife of secondary rank, and [...] 2:  The land of Kedem: or "the country of the East," the region inhabited by the Kedemites or East[...] 3:  Pitched camp: literally "fell"; the same Hebrew verb is used in Judges 7:12 in regard to the[...] 4:  Reddish: in Hebrew, admoni, a reference to Edom, another name for Esau (Genesis 25:30; 36:1)[...] 5:  Esau's heel: the Hebrew is baaqeb esaw, a reference to the name Jacob; cf Genesis 27:36. Pro[...] 6:  Red stuff: in Hebrew, adom; another play on the word Edom, the "red" land. 7:  Birthright: the privilege that entitled the first-born son to a position of honor in the fami[...]
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:  Esek: "challenge." 4:  Sitnah: "opposition"; one might expect the text to be continued by some such words as "becau[...] 5:  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[...]
1: [1-45] What Jacob did in deceiving his father and thereby cheating Esau out of Isaac's deathbed bl[...] 2:  My special blessing: "the blessing of my soul." The same expression is used also in Genesis 2[...] 3:  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[...]
1:  Shrine: literally "place," often used specifically of a sacred site. Here the place was Bethe[...] 2:  Stairway: in Hebrew, sullam, traditionally but inaccurately translated as "ladder." The corre[...] 3:  This: the stone Jacob used as a headrest; cf Genesis 28:22. That: the stairway Jacob saw in [...] 4:  Memorial stone: in Hebrew, masseba, a stone which might vary in shape and size, set upright a[...] 5:  Bethel: i.e., "house of God"; the reference is to the abode of God in Genesis 28:17.
1:  Easterners: see note on Genesis 25:6. 2:  Burst into tears: literally "raised his voice and wept," i.e., for joy. 3:  Flesh and blood: literally "bone and flesh," i.e., a close relative; on the Hebrew idiom, see[...] 4:  Lovely eyes: the adjective modifying eyes is often translated as "weak," but "lovely" is the[...] 5:  Jacob offers to render service (Joshua 15:16, 17; 1 Sam 17:25; 18;17) in lieu of the customa[...] 6:  Jacob was amazed: he had not recognized Leah because a bride was veiled when she was brought [...] 7:  The bridal week: an ancient wedding lasted for seven days of festivities; cf Judges 14:12. [...] 8:  Reuben: the literal meaning of the Hebrew name is "look, a son!" But in this case, as also wi[...] 9:  Simeon: in popular etymology, related to shama, "he heard." 10:  Levi: related to yillaweh, "he will become attached." 11:  Judah: related to odeh, "I will give grateful praise."
1:  On my knees: in the ancient Near East, a father would take a newborn child in his lap to signi[...] 2:  Consort: The Hebrew word normally means "wife," but here it refers to a wife of secondary ran[...] 3:  Dan: explained by the term dannanni, "he has vindicated me." 4:  Naphtali: explained by the phrase "naptule elohim niptalti," literally, "in a divine wrestlin[...] 5:  Gad: explained by the Hebrew term begad, literally "in luck," i.e., what good luck! 6:  Asher: explained by the term beoshri, literally "in my good fortune." i.e., what good fortune[...] 7:  Mandrakes: an herb whose root was anciently thought to promote conception. The Hebrew word fo[...] 8:  Issachar: explained by the terms, sekari, "my reward," and in Genesis 30:16, sakor sekartika[...] 9:  Zebulun: related to the Akkadian word zubullum, "bridegroom's gift," is explained by the term[...] 10:  Joseph: explained by the words yosep, "may he add," and in Genesis 30:23, asap, "he has remo[...] 11:  Dark . . . sheep . . . spotted or speckled goats: In the Near East the normal color of sheep [...] 12:  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[...]
1: [8-12] This Elohist account of the miraculous increase in Jacob's flock differs somewhat from the [...] 2:  Outsiders: literally "foreign women"; they lacked the favored legal status of native women. [...] 3:  Household idols: in Hebrew, teraphim, figurines used in divination (Ezekiel 21:26; Zechariah[...] 4:  Hoodwinked: literally "stolen the heart of," i.e., lulled the mind of. Aramean: The earliest[...] 5:  For seven days: literally "a way of seven days," a general term to designate a long distance;[...] 6:  War captives: literally "women captured by the sword"; the women of a conquered people were [...] 7:  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:  Jegar-sahadutha: an Aramaic term meaning "mound of witness." Galeed: in Hebrew, galed, with t[...] 10:  Mizpah: a town in Gilead; cf Judges 10:17; 11:11, 34; Hosea 5:1. The Hebrew name mispa ("l[...]
1:  Mahanaim: a town in Gilead (Joshua 13:26, 30; 21:38; 2 Sam 2:8; etc.). The Hebrew name means[...] 2:  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:  Peniel: a variant of the word Penuel (Genesis 32:32), the name of a town on the north bank o[...]
1:  Succoth: an important town near the confluence of the Jabbok and the Jordan (Joshua 13:27; J[...] 2:  Pieces of bullion: in Hebrew, kesita, a monetary unit of which the value is now unknown. Desc[...]
1:  Every able-bodied man in the community: literally "all those who go out at the gate of the cit[...] 2:  Hivite: The Greek text has "Horite"; the terms were apparently used indiscriminately to desig[...] 3:  Behind the story of the rape of Dinah and the revenge of Jacob's sons on the men of the city [...]
1:  Foreign gods: pagan images, including household idols (see note on Genesis 31:19), that Jacob[...] 2:  Rings: Earrings were often worn as amulets connected with pagan magic. 3:  This verse may have stood originally in some other context. Rebekah's nurse is spoken of witho[...] 4:  Ben-oni: means either "son of my vigor" or, more likely in the context, "son of affliction."[...] 5:  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 [...]
1: [2-14] The names of Esau's wives and of their fathers given here differ considerably from their na[...] 2:  Seir the Horite: according to Deut 2:12, the highlands of Seir were inhabited by Horites bef[...] 3:  Before any king reigned over the Israelites: obviously this statement was written after the t[...]
1: [21-36] The chapter thus far is from the Yahwist source, as are also Genesis 37:25-28a. But Genes[...] 2:  They sold Joseph . . . silver: in the Hebrew text, these words occur between out of the ciste[...]
1: [1-30] This chapter, from the Yahwist source, has nothing to do with the Joseph story in which Jud[...] 2:  Chezib: a variant form of Achzib (Joshua 15:44; Micah 1:14), a town in the Judean Shephelah. [...] 3:  Preserve your brother's line: literally "raise up seed for your brother." The ancient Israelit[...] 4:  Seal and cord: the cylinder seal, through which a hole was bored lengthwise so that it could [...] 5:  Temple prostitute: the Hebrew term qedesha, literally "consecrated woman," designates a woman[...] 6:  He was called Perez: the Hebrew word means "breach." 7:  He was called Zerah: a name connected here by popular etymology with a Hebrew verb for the re[...]
1:  Signet ring: a finger ring in which was set a stamp seal, different from the cylinder seal su[...] 2:  Abrek: apparently a cry of homage, though the word's derivation and actual meaning are uncert[...] 3:  Zaphenath-paneah: a Hebrew transcription of an Egyptian name meaning "the god speaks and he ([...] 4:  Manasseh: allusion to this name is in the Hebrew expression, nishshani, "he made me forget." [...] 5:  Ephraim: related to the Hebrew expression hiphrani, "(God) has made me fruitful."
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 [...]
1: [1-34] This chapter and the following one are from the Yahwist source, in which Judah, not Reuben [...] 2:  Separately to him: that Joseph did not eat with the other Egyptians was apparently a matter o[...] 3:  Five times as large as: probably an idiomatic expression for "much larger than."
1: [1-2] Replacement of the money in the men's bags is probably a redactional addition here, taken fr[...] 2:  Divination: seeking omens through liquids poured into a cup or bowl was a common practice in t[...] 3:  Guilt: in trying to do away with Joseph when he was young. 4:  My lord . . . your servants: such frequently repeated expressions in Judah's speech show the [...]
1:  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:  The region of Goshen: modern Wadi Tumilat in the eastern part of the Nile Delta.
1:  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:  Seventy persons: either to be understood as a round number, or arrived at by including Jacob [...]
1:  Wayfarer . . . wayfarers: man is merely a sojourner on earth; cf Psalm 39:13. 2:  The region of Rameses: same as the region of Goshen; see note on Genesis 45:10. The name Ram[...] 3:  Israel bowed at the head of the bed: meaning perhaps that he gave a nod of assent and appreci[...]
1:  Luz: an older name of Bethel (Genesis 28:19). 2:  Since her early death prevented Rachel from bearing more than two sons, Jacob feels justified [...] 3:  Both the meaning of the Hebrew and the historical reference in this verse are obscure. By tak[...]
1:  Knives: if this is the meaning of the obscure Hebrew word here, the reference may be to the kn[...] 2:  While tribute is brought to him: this translation is based on a slight change in the Hebrew t[...] 3:  In wine . . . the blood of grapes: Judah's clothes are poetically pictured as soaked with gra[...] 4:  In Hebrew the verb for achieve justice is from the same root as the name Dan. 5:  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[...]
1:  Sons of Israel: here literally the first-generation sons of Jacob. Cf Genesis 1:5. However, be[...] 2:  The sons of Jacob are listed here according to the respective mothers. Cf Genesis 29:31; 30:2[...] 3:  Direct descendants: literally, persons coming from the loins of Jacob; hence, wives and servan[...] 4:  Who knew nothing of Joseph: this king ignored the services that Joseph had rendered to Egypt. [...] 5:  Pharaoh: not a personal name, but a title common to all the kings of Egypt. 6:  Mortar: either the wet clay with which the bricks were made, as in Nahum 3:14, or the cement[...] 7:  And see them giving birth: the Hebrew text is uncertain. 8:  The river: the Nile, which was "the" river for the Egyptians.
1:  Basket: literally, "chest" or "ark"; the same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 6:14 for Noah's [...] 2:  When the child grew: probably when he was weaned or a little later. Moses: in Hebrew, Mosheh;[...] 3:  After Moses had grown up: Acts 7:23 indicates that this was after an interval of nearly fort[...] 4:  Reuel: he was also called Jethro. Cf Exodus 3:1; 4:18; 18:1. 5:  An Egyptian: Moses was probably wearing Egyptian dress, or spoke Egyptian to Reuel's daughter[...] 6:  Gershom: the name is explained as if it came from the Hebrew word ger, "stranger," joined to [...]
1:  The mountain of God: probably given this designation because of the divine apparitions which t[...] 2:  An angel of the LORD: the visual form under which God appeared and spoke to men is referred to[...] 3:  The appearance of God caused fear of death, since it was believed that no one could see God an[...] 4:  I have come down: a figure of speech signifying an extraordinary divine intervention in human [...] 5:  Who am I: besides naturally shrinking from such a tremendous undertaking, Moses realized that[...] 6:  I am who am: apparently this utterance is the source of the word Yahweh, the proper personal [...] 7:  Elders: the Israelite leaders, who were usually older men. They were representatives of the p[...] 8:  Articles: probably jewelry. Despoil: this was permissible, that the Israelites might compensa[...]
1:  Send someone else: literally, "Send by means of him whom you will send," that is, "Send whom [...] 2:  Spokesman: literally, "mouth"; Aaron was to serve as a mouthpiece for Moses, as a prophet do[...] 3:  This staff: probably the same as that of Exodus 4:2-4; but some understand it here of a new [...] 4:  Moses did not tell his father-in-law his main reason for returning to Egypt, but this seconda[...] 5:  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 [...]
1:  The purpose of the genealogy here is to give the line from which Moses and Aaron sprang. Reub[...] 2:  His aunt: more exactly, "his father's sister." Later on such a marriage was forbidden. Cf Le[...]
1:  Just as God had his prophets to speak to men in his name, so Moses had Aaron as his "prophet" [...] 2:  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.
1:  Courtyards: some render "farmhouses." 2: [12, 17] Gnats, flies: it is uncertain what species of trouble-some insects are here meant. 3:  The finger of God: understood by the magicians as the staff mentioned in Exodus 8:13, Cf Luk[...] 4:  The Egyptians would fiercely resent the sacrifice of any animal they considered sacred. Certa[...]
1:  The LORD help you . . . : literally, "May the LORD be with you in the same way as I let you .[...] 2:  Pharaoh realized that if the men alone went they would have to return to their families. He s[...] 3:  East wind: coming across the desert from Arabia, the strong east wind brings Egypt the burnin[...] 4:  The Red Sea: according to the traditional translation, but the Hebrew is literally, "the Reed[...] 5:  Darkness: at times a storm from the south, called the khamsin, blackens the sky of Egypt with[...]
1:  This month: Abib, the month of "ripe grain." Cf Exodus 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; Deut 16:1. It occ[...] 2:  Share in the lamb: probably, in the expenses of its purchase. Some explain, "reckon for the la[...] 3:  Passover: in Hebrew, pesach, in Aramaic, pascha. In the following verses the same root is use[...] 4:  Hyssop: a plant with many woody branchlets that made a convenient sprinkler. 5:  Mixed ancestry: half-Hebrew and half-Egyptian. Cf Numbers 11:4; Lev 24:10-11. 6:  In Egypt: according to some ancient sources, "in Canaan and Egypt," thus reckoning from the t[...] 7:  You shall not break any of its bones: the application of these words to our Lord on the cross[...]
1:  By way of the Philistines' land: the most direct route from Egypt to Palestine, along the sho[...] 2:  A column of cloud . . . a column of fire: probably one and the same preternatural phenomenon,[...]
1:  These places have not been definitively identified. Even the relative position of Pi-hahiroth [...] 2:  The cloud now became dark: the light which it ordinarily cast at night would now have been a [...]
1: [1-21] This canticle (used in Christian liturgy) celebrates God's saving power, miraculously deliv[...] 2:  She led them: Miriam's refrain re-echoes the first verse of this song and was probably sung a[...]
1:  On the fifteenth day of the second month: just one full month after their departure from Egypt[...] 2:  Bread from heaven: as a gift from God, the manna is said to come down from the sky. Cf Psalm [...] 3:  What is this: the original man hu is thus rendered by the ancient versions, which understood [...] 4:  St. Paul cites this passage as an example of equitable sharing. Cf 2 Cor 8:15. 5:  Coriander seed: small, round, aromatic seeds of bright brown color; the comparison, therefore[...] 6:  Urn: according to the Greek translation, which is followed in Hebrews 9:4, this was a golden[...] 7:  The commandments: the two tablets of the ten commandments, which were kept in the ark. Cf Ex[...]
1:  Massah . . . Meribah: Hebrew words meaning respectively, "the (place of the) test," and, "the [...] 2:  Amalek: the Amalekites were an aboriginal people of southern Palestine and the Sinai peninsula[...] 3:  Yahweh-nissi: meaning, "the LORD is my banner."
1: [1-17] The precise division of these precepts into "ten commandments" is somewhat uncertain. Trad[...] 2:  Jealous: demanding exclusive allegiance, such as a wife must have for her husband. 3:  I choose for the remembrance of my name: literally, "where I make my name to be remembered": [...]
1:  Rules: judicial precedents to be used in settling questions of law and custom. This introducto[...] 2:  To God: to the sanctuary; or perhaps the phrase is to be rendered, "to the gods," in the sense[...] 3:  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:  In the Vulgate, Exodus 22:1-31.
1: [1-2] If a thief is caught: this seems to be a fragment of what was once a longer law on housebrea[...] 2:  The Greek and Latin versions understood this verse as a prohibition against allowing one's cat[...] 3:  Brought to God: see note on Exodus 21:6. Cf also Exodus 22:10. 4:  The customary marriage price for virgins: fifty shekels according to Deut 22:29. 5:  God: or perhaps "the gods," in the sense of "the judges," as the parallel with a prince of y[...]
1:  These three feasts are elsewhere called the Passover, Pentecost and Booths. Cf Exodus 34:18-2[...] 2:  Appear before me: the original expression was "see my face"; so also in several other places,[...] 3:  Boil a kid in its mother's milk: this was part of a Canaanite ritual; hence it is forbidden h[...] 4:  My authority resides in him: literally, "My name is within him." 5:  Make anything like them: some render, "act according to their conduct." Sacred pillars: objec[...] 6:  Hornets: some understand this figuratively of various troublesome afflictions; others transla[...] 7:  The sea of the Philistines: the Mediterranean. The River: the Euphrates. Only in the time of [...]
1:  Pillars: stone shafts or slabs, erected as symbols of the fact that each of the twelve tribes [...] 2:  After gazing on God: the ancients thought that the sight of God would bring instantaneous dea[...]
1:  Tahash: perhaps the name of a marine animal, such as the dugong or the porpoise. The Greek and[...] 2:  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:  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:  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:  The lamps were probably shaped like small boats, with the wick at one end; the end with the w[...] 9:  Trays: small receptacles for the burnt-out wicks.
1:  Sheets: strips of tapestry, woven of white linen, the colored threads being used for the cheru[...] 2:  Tent covering: the cloth made of sheets of goat hair to cover the Dwelling. 3:  Half the width of the end strip was folded back at the front of the Dwelling, thus leaving ano[...] 4:  Arms: literally, "hands." According to some, they served as "tongue and groove" to mortise t[...] 5:  Hooks: probably placed near the tops of the columns, to hold the rope from which the veils an[...] 6:  Variegated: without definite designs such as the cherubim on the inner veil.
1:  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:  Urim and Thummim: both the meaning of these Hebrew words and the exact nature of the objects [...] 5:  Ordain them: literally, "fill their hands," a technical expression used solely for the insta[...]
1:  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 [...]
1:  The calf . . . a feast of the LORD: from this it is clear that the golden calf was intended as[...] 2:  The water: the stream that flowed down Mount Sinai. Cf Deut 9:21. 3:  Slay your own kinsmen . . . : those who were especially guilty of the idolatry. 4:  Dedicated to the LORD: because of their zeal for the true worship of the Lord, the Levites we[...] 5:  The book that you have written: the list of God's intimate friends. In a similar sense St. Pa[...]
1: [7-11] The meeting tent is mentioned here by anticipation; its actual construction is described in[...] 2:  I myself: literally, "my face," that is, "my presence." To give you rest: in the Promised La[...] 3:  You may see my back: man can see God's glory as reflected in creation, but his "face," that i[...]
1:  Sacred poles: "Ashera" was the name of a Canaanite goddess. In her honor wooden poles (asher[...] 2:  The LORD is "the Jealous One": see note on Exodus 20:5. Some, by a slight emendation, render[...] 3:  Feast of Weeks: the festival of thanksgiving for the harvest, celebrated seven weeks or fifty[...] 4:  He put a veil over his face: St. Paul sees in this a symbol of the failure of the Jews to rec[...]
1:  From the herd or from the flock: the only animals which could be used as sacrificial victims w[...] 2:  Holocaust: from the Greek word meaning "wholly burned," this is the technical term for the spe[...]
1:  Token offering: literally, "reminder." Instead of burning the whole cereal offering, they burn[...] 2:  The salt of the covenant of your God: the partaking in common of salt by those seated togethe[...]
1:  Peace offering: thus the ancient versions have rendered the Hebrew word, which perhaps means m[...] 2:  The lobe of the liver: some render, "the fatty covering of the liver." 3:  The whole fatty tail: see note on Exodus 29:22. 4:  Any fat: only the fat mentioned in Lev 3:9-10, 14-15 is meant; other fat could be eaten by t[...]
1:  A sin: not necessarily a moral fault; included are all the cases of ritual uncleanness which p[...] 2:  The anointed priest: his violation of the ceremonial law brought a sort of collective guilt on[...]
1:  Cheating: not offering the full amount in tithes, first fruits, etc. Guilt offering: its char[...] 2:  Without being aware of it: the case naturally presupposes that later on the offender learns o[...]
1:  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 [...]
1:  Leavened bread: these loaves were not burned on the altar (cf Lev 2:11), but were eaten at t[...] 2:  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:  The priestly share: literally, "the anointed part."
1: [1-9, 21] Though presented in the form of a narrative, this description of Aaron's ordination was [...] 2:  The vestments, etc.: already described in Exodus 28-29. 3:  The Urim and Thummim: see note on Exodus 28:30. 4:  The sense is not quite clear. Either the verse gives merely the reason why God ordered this c[...]
1:  Nadab and Abihu: the older sons of Aaron. Cf Exodus 6:23-24. 2:  Fire: perhaps after the manner of lightning. 3:  I will manifest my sacredness: the presence of God is so sacred that it strikes dead those who[...] 4:  In their tunics: they were buried just as they were, with no shroud or funeral solemnities. [...] 5:  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[...]
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:  The bat: actually a mammal, but listed here with the birds because of its wings. 5:  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:  All hoofed animals that are not cloven-footed: such as the horse and the ass. 8:  All those that walk on paws: such as dogs and cats. 9:  Whoever touches the dead body: to remove the dead insect from the water supply.
1: [2-3] The uncleanness of the woman was more serious during the first period, the seven days after [...] 2:  Forty days after the birth of Jesus, his Virgin Mother made this offering of the poor (Luke 2[...]
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:  Scall: a scabby or scaly eruption of the scalp. According to some, "ringworm." 4:  Tetter: vitiligo, a harmless form of skin disease. 5:  A leprous infection: some mold or fungus growth resembling human leprosy.
1:  Scarlet yarn: probably used for tying the hyssop sprig to the cedar branchlet. 2:  Spring water: literally, "living water," taken from some source of running water, not from a [...] 3:  Two turtledoves: substitutes for the two additional lambs, similar to the offering of a poor [...]
1:  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:  Else he will die: the smoke is to conceal the resplendent majesty of God, the sight of which [...] 4:  This verse is best read after Lev 16:25. According to later Jewish practice the high priest [...] 5:  Mortify himself: literally, "afflict his soul"; traditionally understood by the Jews as sign[...]
1: [3-5] The ancients considered blood the seat and sign of life, and therefore something sacred, eve[...] 2:  That atonement may thereby be made for your own lives: hence, the sacrifice of an animal was [...]
1: [6-18] These laws are formulated as directed to the male Israelites only, but naturally the same n[...] 2:  With your brother's wife: it was the violation of this law which aroused the wrath of John th[...] 3:  Immolated to Molech: the reference is to the Canaanite custom of sacrificing children to the [...]
1:  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:  See note on Lev 21:5.
1:  Unclean for any dead person: by preparing the corpse for burial. Cf Numbers 6:6; 19:11-19. [...] 2:  Such mourning customs of the Canaanites were forbidden to all the Israelites, but especially t[...] 3:  Sacred: the same Hebrew word has both the active meaning of "holy," that is, keeping oneself f[...] 4:  Bare his head: see note on 10:6.
1:  The sabbath: according to the Jewish tradition this was the feast day itself, the fifteenth o[...] 2:  Any bread: made from the new grain. The harvest had first to be sanctified for man's use by t[...] 3:  The fiftieth: from the Greek word for this we have the name "Pentecost." Cf 2 Macc 12:31; Ac[...] 4:  Feasts of Booths: the joyful observance of the vintage and fruit harvest. Cf Deut 16:13. Duri[...] 5:  Foliage: literally, "fruit," but here probably used in the general sense of "produce, growth[...]
1: [5-7-9] As long as the produce of the sabbatical year remains on the field, it remains available t[...] 2:  Fiftieth year: to arrive at this number, the preceding year of jubilee is included in the cou[...]
1: [3-45] Since God's covenant was with the Israelite nation as a whole, these promises and threats a[...] 2:  Eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters: extreme famine in cities under siege often forc[...] 3:  The Book of Leviticus seems originally to have ended here; the following chapter is an append[...]
1:  Determine its value: fix the price at which the animal may be sold to someone else. Only the [...] 2:  An unclean animal: such as the first-born of an ass, which was unfit for sacrifice. According[...] 3:  All human beings that are doomed: according to some interpreters, this signifies the idolatro[...]
1:  All Israel was divided into tribes, each tribe into clans, and each clan into ancestral houses[...] 2:  Troops: literally "thousands"; this division of the Israelites, with its subdivisions of "hu[...] 3:  The Levites were not enrolled in this census, which was principally for military purposes, bu[...]
1: [25-26] The Gershonites had two wagons for transporting these things; cf Numbers 7:7. For a descr[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  Thirty: at a later period the Levites began to serve when they were twenty-five (Numbers 8:24[...] 2:  The screening curtain: the veil between the inner and the outer rooms of the sanctuary. Cf Exo[...] 3:  The golden altar: the altar of incense. Cf Exodus 30:1-6. 4:  The altar: the bronze altar of holocausts. Cf Exodus 27:1-8. 5:  Forks: used in turning over the sacrificed animal on the fire of the altar. Basins: to receiv[...]
1:  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:  Next of kin: literally "redeemer," a technical term denoting the nearest relative, upon whom [...] 4:  Holy water: water from the laver that stood in the court of the Dwelling. 5:  Appeal: by which she invokes the Lord and refers her case to his decision. 6:  An example of malediction and imprecation: the woman's name would be used in curses and oaths[...] 7:  Amen: a Hebrew word meaning, "certainly, truly," used to give assent to a statement, a curse,[...] 8:  Free from guilt:by fulfilling his obligation of obtaining a decision in the matter.
1: [1-3] Nazirite: from the Hebrew word nazir, meaning "set apart as sacred, dedicated, vowed." The [...] 2:  Let his face shine: a Hebrew idiom for "smile." 3:  Peace: the Hebrew word includes the idea of "prosperity, happiness."
1:  Purify them: in the language of the Pentateuch only the priests were "consecrated," that is, m[...] 2:  Water of remission: literally, "water of sin," that is, for the remission of sin. 3:  Cleansed themselves of sin: by having the "water of remission" sprinkled on them as prescribe[...]
1:  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:  The mountain of the LORD: Sinai (Horeb), elsewhere always called "the mountain of God."
1:  Taberah means "the burning." 2:  Coriander seed: see note on Exodus 16:31. Bdellium: a transparent, amber-colored gum resin, w[...] 3:  They prophesied: in the sense, not of foretelling the future, but of speaking in enraptured e[...] 4:  At a height of two cubits from the ground: exhausted by the storm, the quail could take but s[...] 5:  They spread them out: to cure by drying. 6:  Kibroth-hattaavah means "graves of greed."
1:  Cushite woman: apparently Zipporah, the Midianitess, is meant; cf Exodus 2:21. Perhaps the te[...] 2:  The real reason for Miriam's quarrel with her brother Moses was her jealousy of his superior p[...] 3:  A snow-white leper: afflicted with "white leprosy," a skin disease that generally is not seri[...]
1:  Joshua: in Hebrew, "Jehoshua," which was later modified to "Jeshua," the Hebrew pronunciatio[...] 2:  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:  Eshcol means "cluster." 5:  Giants: in Hebrew, "nephilim." Cf Genesis 6:4.
1:  They are but food for us: that is, "we can easily consume and destroy them." This is the answe[...] 2:  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:  Hormah: one of the Canaanite royal cities in southern Judea (Joshua 12:14), known at this ti[...]
1: [2-16] These laws on sacrifice are complementary to those of Lev 1-3. Since the food of the Israel[...] 2:  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:  No clear decision: they already knew that a willful violation of the sabbath was a capital of[...] 5:  Tassels: at the time of Christ these tassels were worn by all pious Jews, including our Lord [...]
1: [1-3] The evidence seems to show that there were two distinct rebellions: one of Korah and his ban[...] 2:  We will not go: to appear before Moses' tribunal. 3:  Gouge out our eyes: blind us to the real state of affairs. 4:  Since Dathan and Abiram had refused to go to Moses (Numbers 16:12-14), he, with the elders a[...] 5:  This verse continues 16:24; the first sentence is transposed from 16:27.
1:  Whatever was brought into intimate contact with something sacred shared in its sacredness. See[...] 2:  (17)The staff was not merely an article of practical use, but also a symbol of authority; cf [...] 3:  (18)Levi's staff: it is not clear whether this is considered as one of the twelve mentioned i[...] 4:  (27,28)Logically these two verses belong immediately after Numbers 16:35.
1: [1-3] This law, which kept unqualified persons from contact with sacred things, is the answer to t[...] 2:  Associates: in Hebrew this word alludes to the popular etymology of the name "Levi." Cf Genesi[...] 3:  Layman: here, "one who is not a Levite"; in Numbers 18:7, "one who is not a priest." 4:  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:  Wave offering: this included the breast and right leg (Numbers 18:18), the shoulder of the p[...] 7:  Doomed: in Hebrew, herem, which means here "set aside from profane use and made sacred to the[...] 8:  An inviolable covenant: literally, "a convenant of salt." Cf 2 Chron 13:5. The reference may [...] 9:  The priests and Levites were forbidden to own hereditary land such as the other Israelites po[...]
1:  Outside the camp: several Fathers of the Church saw in this a prefiguring of the sacrificial d[...] 2:  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:  Ritual uncleanness is, as it were, contagious, so also sacredness; see note on Numbers 17:3.[...]
1:  The first month: we would expect the mention also of the day and of the year (after the exodus[...] 2:  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:  Your brother Israel: the Edomites were descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob. Their count[...] 5:  The royal road: an important highway, running north and south along the plateau east of the D[...] 6:  Mount Hor: not definitively identified, but probably to be sought in the vicinity of Kadesh. [...]
1: [1-3] The account of this episode seems to be a later insertion here, for Numbers 21:4, belongs l[...] 2:  Hormah: related to the Hebrew word herem, meaning "doomed." See notes on Numbers 14:45; 18:1[...] 3:  This wretched food: apparently the manna is meant. 4:  Saraph: the Hebrew name for a certain species of venomous snakes; the word probably signifies [...] 5:  If anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover: "and as Moses lifted up the serpen[...] 6:  King Hezekiah, in his efforts to abolish idolatry, "smashed the bronze serpent which Moses had[...] 7:  lye-abarim probably means "the ruins in the Abarim (Mountains)." See note on Numbers 27:12. [...] 8:  The "Book of the Wars of the LORD": an ancient collection of Israelite songs, now lost. Waheb[...] 9:  Beer means a well. 10:  Jeshimon: "the wasteland"; in 1 Sam 23:19, 24; 26:1, 3 this is the desert of Judah, on the [...] 11:  Chemosh: the chief god of the Moabites, and mentioned as such in the famous inscription of Me[...]
1:  The plains of Moab: the lowlands to the northeast of the Dead Sea, between the Jordan and the [...] 2:  Curse this people for us: Balak believed that if Balaam forecast an evil omen for Israel, this[...] 3:  The anger of God flared up: not merely because Balaam was going to Balak, for he had God's pe[...]
1:  Aram: the ancient name of the region later known as Syria. The Eastern Mountains: the low rang[...] 2:  A people that lives apart: Israel, as the chosen people of God, occupied a unique place among [...] 3:  The dust of Jacob . . . Israel's wind-borne particles: the Israelites will be as numerous as [...] 4:  To another place: Balak thought that if Balaam would view Israel from a different site, he co[...] 5:  Misfortune . . . misery: Balaam admits that he is unable to predict any evils for Israel. 6:  A wild bull of towering might: the reference is to Israel, rather than to God.
1:  Balak beat his palms: a sign of disclaiming any responsibility for paying the promised rewar[...] 2:  A star . . . a staff: many of the Fathers have understood this as a Messianic prophecy, alth[...] 3:  First: literally "the beginning." Amalek was an aboriginal people in Palestine and therefore[...] 4:  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[...]
1:  Shittim: the full name was Abel-shittim, a locality at the foot of the mountains in the northe[...] 2:  Hold a public execution: the same phrase occurs in 2 Sam 21:6-14 where the context shows that[...] 3:  Midianite woman: at this time the Midianites were leagued with the Moabites in opposing Israel[...] 4:  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:  This is the last verse of Numbers 25.
1:  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[...]
1:  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:  The Abarim Mountains: the range on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. 4:  The God of the spirits of all mankind: the sense is either that God knows the character and a[...] 5:  A man of spirit: literally, "a man in whom there is spirit": one who has the qualities of a g[...] 6:  The Urim: certain sacred objects which the Hebrew priests employed to ascertain the divine wi[...]
1:  The established holocaust: "the tamid holocaust," the technical term for the daily sacrifice. [...] 2:  Oil of crushed olives: this oil, made in a mortar, was purer and more expensive than oil extra[...] 3:  In the sanctuary: according to Sirach 50:15 it was at the base of the altar. 4:  On the first of each month: literally, "at the new moons"; beginning on the evening when the [...] 5:  On the fourteenth day: toward evening at the end of this day; cf Exodus 12:6, 18. 6:  The day of first fruits: a unique term for this feast, which is usually called "the feast of [...]
1:  The first day of the seventh month (about September-October) is now the Jewish New Year's Day.[...] 2:  The tenth day of this seventh month: the Day of Atonement. Mortify yourselves: literally, "aff[...] 3:  The atonement sin offering: the bullock prescribed in Lev 16:11-12. 4:  This feast of Booths celebrating the vintage harvest was the most popular of all and therefor[...] 5:  Thirteen bullocks: the number of bullocks sacrificed before the octave day was seventy, arran[...] 6:  A solemn meeting: the Hebrew word is the technical term for the closing celebration of the th[...]
1:  A vow . . . a pledge: here the former signifies the doing of some positive good deed, in parti[...] 2:  In her husband's house: after her marriage. This contrasts with the case given in Numbers 30[...] 3:  He countermands them: he prevents their fulfillment. Since he has first allowed the vows to r[...]
1: [1-3] The narrative of Israel's relations with Midian, which was interrupted after Numbers 25:18,[...] 2:  The five Midianite kings: they are called "Midianite princes, Sihon's vassals" in Joshua 13:2[...] 3:  (17)There are later references to Midian in Jdgs 6-8; 1 Kings 11:18; Isaiah 60:6. The presen[...] 4:  Lustral water: water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer as prescribed in Numbers 19:9. [...] 5:  Divide them evenly: for a similar division of the booty into two equal parts, between those w[...] 6:  The precise nature and use of some of these articles of gold is not certain.
1:  Gilead: the name of the western part of the plateau east of the Jordan, sometimes signifying t[...] 2:  The places named in this verse, as well as the additional ones given in Numbers 32:34-38, wer[...] 3:  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:  The preceding is concerned solely with the two tribes of Gad and Reuben and with the land of [...] 6:  The phrase in brackets is a gloss, warning the reader either to change the order of the prece[...]
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:  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.
1:  This provision was hardly observed in the actual assignment of the levitical cities as narrate[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  The local setting of all these discourses is in the land of Moab beyond the Jordan (cf Deut 1[...] 2:  The Amorites and the Canaanites formed the principal part of the pre-Israelite population of P[...] 3:  Carry you: cf Deut 1:31. 4:  In your tents: among yourselves. 5:  Except Caleb: Joshua also was allowed to enter, but he is not referred to here because specia[...]
1:  Beginning here and continuing on for several verses (at least to the end of v Deut 4:14) is [...] 2:  Egypt is called an iron foundry, or furnace for smelting iron, because God allowed the Israel[...] 3:  Grown old: Israel will lose the freshness of its youthful fervor. 4:  Testings: the demonstrations of God's power as in the ten great plagues of Egypt; cf Deut 7:[...] 5:  Sion: another name for Mount Hermon, besides those mentioned in 3:9.
1: [4-5] This passage contains the basic principle of the whole Mosaic law, the keynote of the Book o[...] 2:  Bind them . . . as a sign: these injunctions were probably meant merely in a figurative sense;[...] 3:  Him shall you serve: here, to "serve" God means especially to "worship" him; in this sense i[...]
1:  Even the highest heavens: literally, "and the heavens of the heavens"; compare the phrase, "[...] 2:  Circumcise your hearts: cf Deut 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:29. The "uncircumcised heart" [...]
1: [13-15] As often in the Prophets, the discourse passes into the words of God himself. Cf Deut 7:4[...] 2:  The early rain: the rains which begin in October or November and continue intermittently thro[...] 3:  The Western Sea: the Mediterranean. 4:  You shall pronounce the blessing . . . the curse: for the full ceremony, see Deut 27-28. Geri[...]
1:  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:  Boil a kid in its mother's milk: see note on Exodus 23:19. 4:  Considering how the LORD has blessed you: should the Israelite farmer be blessed with an abun[...]
1:  At the end of every seven-year period: in every seventh, or sabbatical, year. Cf Deut 15:9; 3[...] 2:  The needy will never be lacking: compare the words of Christ, "The poor you have always with [...] 3:  His ear: cf Exodus 21:6 and the note there.
1:  Abib: "ear of grain, ripe grain," the name of the month in which the barley harvest fell, cor[...] 2:  Feast of Weeks: later known more commonly as "Pentecost." 3:  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.
1:  Out to your city gates: outside the gates in an unclean place; cf Lev 24:14; Numbers 15:36; A[...] 2:  The priest: the high priest; the judge: a layman. The former presided over the court in cases[...] 3:  Horses: chariotry for war. The LORD'S warning: the same warning is also referred to in Deut [...]
1: [10-11] Immolates his son or daughter in the fire: to Molech. See note on Lev 18:21. Such human s[...] 2:  A prophet like me: from the context (opposition to the pagan soothsayers) it seems that Moses[...]
1: [1-9] This paragraph is best read immediately after Deut 19:21. The slain man may not necessarily[...] 2:  They shall cut the heifer's throat there in the wadi: its blood is to be carried away by the s[...] 3:  Wash their hands: a symbolic gesture in protestation of one's own innocence when human blood i[...] 4:  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:  The gate: in the city walls. This open space served as the forum for the administration of ju[...] 7:  Hung on a tree: some understand, "impaled on a stake." In any case the hanging or impaling w[...] 8:  God's curse rests on him who hangs on a tree: St. Paul quotes these words in Gal 3:13, where[...]
1:  Become forfeit: to the sanctuary; cf Lev 19:19; Joshua 6:19. 2:  Twisted cords: referred to as "tassels" on "violet cords" in Numbers 15:38. See note there. [...] 3:  The evidence of her virginity: the bridal garment or sheet stained with a little blood from t[...] 4:  Chastise him: flog him, as prescribed in Deut 25:1-3. 5:  A maiden who is betrothed: a girl who is married but not yet brought to her husband's home an[...]
1:  Father's wife: stepmother. Dishonor: cf Deut 27:20. 2:  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[...]
1: [1-4] This law is directly concerned only with forbidding divorced couples to remarry each other, [...] 2:  Something indecent: a rather indefinite phrase, meaning perhaps "immodest conduct." At the tim[...] 3:  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[...]
1:  Forty stripes: a relatively mild punishment in ancient times. Later Jewish practice limited th[...] 2:  St. Paul argues from this verse that a laborer has the right to live on the fruits of his labo[...] 3:  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 [...]
1:  Aramean: either in reference to the origin of the patriarchs from Aram Naharaim (cf Genesis 2[...] 2:  And you have given them to the Levite . . . : as prescribed in Deut 14:28-29. 3:  These are allusions to pagan religious practices.
1: [1-69] This chapter would read better immediately after Deut 26. 2:  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:  You bearing the name of the LORD: literally, "The LORD'S name is called over you," an express[...] 5:  The head, not the tail: in the honorable position as leader. Cf Isaiah 9:14; 19:15. 6:  This verse is best read with Deut 28:27. 7:  A sign and a wonder: an ominous example, attracting attention; cf Deut 29:21-28. 8:  He will again afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt: such as the Lord had promised to re[...] 9:  Wasted eyes: worn out and disappointed in their longing gaze. 10:  In galleys: in the ships of the Phoenician slave traders (Ezekiel 27:13; Joel 3:6[4:6]; Amo[...]
1:  Eyes to see . . . ears to hear: with inner, spiritual discernment. Cf Matthew 13:43. 2:  Sanction of a curse: the present pact binds under penalty of the curses mentioned in this boo[...] 3:  Not here among us: this includes their descendants. 4:  To sweep away both the watered soil and the parched ground: apparently a proverb signifying t[...] 5:  What is still hidden: the events of the future. What has already been revealed: God's law and[...]
1:  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:  In your mouths: that you may readily talk about it; cf Deut 6:7; 11:19. And in your hearts: [...]
1:  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[...]
1: [1-43] In the style of the great prophets, the speaker is often God himself. The whole song is a p[...] 2:  The sons of God: the angels; cf Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalm 89:6-7. Here the various nations a[...] 3:  The land: Canaan. 4:  Bashan: a fertile grazing land east of the Jordan, famous for its strong cattle. Cf Psalm 22[...] 5:  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:  Their protected and unprotected: the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; according to some, t[...]
1: [2-5,26-29] These verses seem to form an independent hymn describing, in the form of a theophany, [...] 2:  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:  In keeping with the other blessings, probably this verse was once introduced by the phrase, "O[...] 5:  Bring him to his people: this probably refers to the isolated position of the tribe of Judah d[...] 6:  Thummim . . . Urim: see note on Exodus 28:30. 7:  The reference is probably to the Levites' slaughter of their brethren after the affair of the [...] 8:  Him who dwells in the bush: a title given to the Lord because of his appearance to Moses in t[...] 9:  The abundance of the seas: perhaps the wealth that comes from sea-borne trade or from fishing[...] 10:  The princely portion: Moses gave the tribe of Gad their land on the east of the Jordan only o[...] 11:  The sense is, "May he leap up like a lion of Bashan"; the heavily wooded hills of Bashan were[...] 12:  The lake: the Lake of Gennesaret on which the land of this tribe bordered. 13:  The land of the tribe of Asher was covered with olive groves.
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:  A house built into the city wall: such houses, which used the city wall for their own inner w[...]
1:  Season of the harvest: toward the end of March and the beginning of April, when the grain and[...] 2:  The sudden damming of the river could have been caused by a landslide, as has happened on oth[...]
1:  Gibeath-haaraloth: "Hill of the Foreskins." 2:  The place is called Gilgal: by popular etymology, because of the similarity of sound with the [...] 3:  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[...]
1:  That is under the ban: that is doomed to destruction; see notes on Lev 27:29; Numbers 18:14;[...] 2:  The wall collapsed: by the miraculous intervention of God. The blowing of the horns and the s[...] 3:  From Matthew 1:5, we learn that Rahab married Salmon of the tribe of Judah and thus became t[...] 4:  He shall lose his first-born . . . its gates: this curse was fulfilled when Hiel rebuilt Jeri[...]
1: [16-18] Was designated: probably by means of the Urim and Thummim; cf 1 Sam 14:38-42. See note on[...] 2:  Achor: "misery, affliction." The reference is to the saying of Joshua in Joshua 7:25, with a[...]
1:  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.
1:  The Hivites: apparently the Gibeonites belonged to this larger ethnic group (cf also Joshua 1[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  Hebron . . . Eglon: these four cities were to the south and southwest of Jerusalem. 2:  Great stones from the sky: the hailstones mentioned in the next sentence. 3:  Is this not recorded: the reference is to the preceding, poetic passage. Evidently the Book o[...] 4:  Goshen: a town and its surrounding district at the southern end of the Judean mountains (cf [...]
1: [1-3] Hazor, Madon, Shimron, and Chinneroth: cities and their surrounding districts in eastern Gal[...] 2:  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:  The land enjoyed peace: of a limited and temporary nature. Many of the individual tribes had [...]
1:  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:  In the foothills: see note on Deut 1:7. 5:  In the desert: in the Jordan rift near the Dead Sea.
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:  The dividing line: separating Ephraim from Manasseh. Ephraim's northern border (Joshua 16:5) [...]
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:  Leshem: called Laish in Jdgs 18 where the story of the migration of the Danites is told at gr[...]
1:  In the region of the Jordan facing the land of Canaan: on the eastern side of the Jordan vall[...] 2:  To declare war on them: the western Israelites considered this altar, which seemed to violate[...] 3:  Unclean: not sanctified by the Dwelling of the Lord. 4:  Achan . . . did not perish alone: his guilt caused the failure of the first attack on Ai (Jo[...] 5:  The LORD, the God of gods: the Hebrew, which cannot be adequately rendered in English here, a[...] 6:  To witness: far from being destined to form a rival sanctuary, the model of the altar was int[...] 7:  The name of this altar was the Hebrew word for "witness," "ed.
1:  Beyond the River: east of the Euphrates; cf Genesis 11:28-31. 2:  The hornets: see note on Exodus 23:28. 3:  The gods your fathers served: Abraham's ancestors were polytheists. 4:  You may not be able: fidelity to God's service is not easy, and therefore those who take such[...] 5:  The bones of Joseph: the mummified body of Joseph (Genesis 50:25-26), which the Israelites t[...]
1: [1-36] This chapter summarizes events most of which occurred shortly after the death of Joshua. Pe[...] 2:  Moses' father-in-law: Reuel; cf Numbers 10:29-32 and note. City of palms: Jericho (cf Deut 3[...] 3:  According to Joshua 18:16, Jerusalem was assigned to the tribe of Benjamin. But it was not a[...]
1:  Bochim: the Hebrew word for "weepers." 2:  Baals: the chief god of the Canaanites and the Phoenicians was called "Baal," a word meaning [...] 3:  Ashtaroth: the Canaanite Phoenician goddess of love and fertility was Astarte. The plural for[...]
1:  The Philistines: non-Semitic invaders who gave their name to all Palestine, although they occu[...] 2:  Asherahs: elsewhere rendered "sacred poles." See note on Exodus 34:13 and on Deut 7:5. Here t[...]
1:  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. [...]
1: [2-31] This canticle is an excellent example of early Hebrew poetry, even though some of its verse[...] 2:  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:  Meroz: an unknown locality in which Hebrews probably resided, since its inhabitants are curse[...]
1:  Yahweh-shalom: Hebrew for "the LORD is peace," a reference to the LORD's words, "Be calm," l[...] 2:  The sacred pole: see note on Exodus 34:13. 3:  Jerubbaal: similar in sound to the Hebrew words meaning, "Let Baal take action."
1:  The Lord desired not numerous but reliable soldiers. Those who drank from their hands were ale[...] 2:  The barley loaf represents the agricultural Hebrews while the tent refers to the nomadic Midi[...] 3:  At the beginning of the middle watch: about two hours before midnight. The ancient Hebrews di[...]
1:  Are the hands . . . in your possession . . . ?: i.e., can you already boast of victory? The ha[...] 2:  Ishmaelites: here as in Genesis 37:25-28, the designation is not ethnic; it refers rather to[...] 3:  Concubine: a wife of secondary rank. 4:  Baal of Berith: one of the titles of Baal as worshiped by the Canaanites of Shechem, meaning [...]
1:  Whereby men and gods are honored: oil was used in the worship both of the true God and of fals[...] 2:  Cheers gods: wine was used in the libations both of the Temple of Jerusalem and of pagan temp[...] 3:  Just as the noble trees refused the honor of royalty and were made subject to a mean plant, s[...] 4:  Sowing the site with salt: a severe measure, which was a symbol of desolation, and even more,[...]
1:  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:  Mourn my virginity: to bear children was woman's greatest pride; to be childless was regarded[...]
1:  Consecrated: in Hebrew, nazir. Samson therefore was for life to be under the nazirite vow, whi[...] 2:  Mysterious: incomprehensible, above human understanding. Hence, the angel speaks in the name [...]
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:  Companions: known at a later period as "the friends of the bridegroom" (1 Macc 9:39; Mark 2:[...]
1:  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[...]
1:  The tribe of Dan had been assigned a territory with definite limits in central Palestine. Howe[...] 2:  Recognized the voice: perhaps they noticed the peculiar pronunciation of his south Hebrew dial[...] 3:  Until . . . land: about the year 734 B.C., when the Assyrian emperor Tiglath-pileser III subj[...]
1: [5-9] Such importuning of guests to prolong their stay at the home of their host is characteristic[...] 2:  Private hospitality was the customary means of providing comfort to travelers where public fa[...] 3:  Who were corrupt: literally "sons of Belial," indicating extreme perversion; cf Genesis 19:4[...] 4:  A drastic means for arousing the tribes to avenge the unheard of crime of the Benjaminites. [...]
1:  From Dan to Beer-sheba: from north to south. The land of Gilead: all the territory east of the[...] 2:  The Israelites were asked to decide at once what action to take concerning this crime; cf 2 S[...] 3:  Before the crime at Gibeah was punished, the Benjaminites were invited to join their brethren[...] 4:  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[...]
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:  Under the ban: see note on Numbers 21:3. 4:  Had made a breach: what is here attributed to God was in reality the free and deliberate act [...] 5:  Regardless of the serious consequences of their vow, the Israelites considered themselves obl[...] 6:  Cf Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1. The verse gives the reason why the lawlessness of the period of[...]
1: [1,2 ] In the time of the judges: three generations before the end of the period of judges; cf Ru[...] 2:  Mother's house: the women's part of the dwelling; cf Judges 4:17; Song 3:4. 3:  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:  Barley harvest: early April. This circumstance favored the events of the narrative that follo[...]
1:  Let me go and glean . . . grain: even the poor, the widow, the stranger, and the orphan had a [...] 2:  The LORD be with you: courtesy and religious feeling characterize the salutations of the Hebre[...] 3:  One of our next of kin: literally "our redeemer," a near relative of the same clan who had th[...]
1:  Uncover a place at his feet, . . .: confident of the virtue of Ruth and Boaz, Naomi advises th[...] 2:  Spread the corner of your cloak over me: be my protector by marrying me according to the duty [...] 3:  Relative still closer: who had a prior right and duty to marry Ruth.
1:  Took a seat at the gate: i.e., of the city, where business affairs were settled. 2:  Ten of the elders: to serve as judges in legal matters as well as witnesses of the settlement [...] 3:  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:  Take off his sandal . . .: by this act the near relative renounced his legal right, both to th[...] 6:  Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah: the right which Judah unwittingly satisfied for his daughter[...] 7:  Placed him on her lap: took him as her own; cf Genesis 30:3; 48:12; Numbers 11:12. 8:  The father of Jesse, the father of David: indicating the place of Obed, Jesse and David in th[...]
1:  Give him to the LORD: some ancient texts call Samuel a nazir in this context; see note on Nu[...] 2:  Since she had asked: this explanation would be more directly appropriate for the name Saul, w[...] 3:  An ephah: a little more than a bushel.
1: [1-10] A hymn attributed to Hannah, the mother of Samuel, as her thanksgiving to God because she h[...] 2:  Horn: the symbol of strength; cf Psalm 18:3; 75:5; 89:18; 112:9. 3:  Speak . . . mouths: addressed to the enemies mentioned in 1 Sam 2:1. 4:  Linen apron: called in Hebrew "ephod," but not the same as the high priest's ephod (Exodus 2[...] 5:  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:  Ephod: a portable container, presumably of cloth, for the lots used in ritual consultation of[...]
1:  And. . . Israel: this belongs to ch 4. 2:  Enthroned upon the cherubim: this title of the Lord seems to have originated in the sanctuary [...] 3:  These mighty gods: the Philistines, who were polytheists, are represented as supposing the Isr[...]
1:  A quarter of a silver shekel: about a tenth of an ounce of silver. 2:  (9)This verse is a later explanation of the term seer, first used in the text in 1 Sam 9:11. [...] 3:  On the high place: the local sanctuary on the top of a hill, where the sacrifice was offered [...] 4:  And what went with it: a slight change would give "and the fatty tail" as perhaps the origina[...]
1:  Here, as in Jeremiah 31:15 Rachel's tomb is placed north of Jerusalem. Later tradition unders[...] 2:  A garrison of the Philistines: the Hebrew word for "garrison" has been explained alternatively[...] 3:  By inserting this verse, with its seven days, an editor has prepared for one narrative of the [...] 4:  The story has here been abridged by omitting the fulfillment of the first two signs given by [...] 5:  The law of royalty: the charter defining the rights of the king. Neither this work nor any[...]
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[...]
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[...]
1:  Ephod: to be used in consulting God; see note on 1 Sam 14:41; 2:28 2:  Past Beth-horon: this is a textual correction influenced by 1 Sam 13:18; the received Hebrew[...] 3:  The Urim and Thummim, or sacred lots, were a device for ascertaining the will of God; they ce[...] 4:  Rescue: the Hebrew word used is that for the "redemption" of the first-born (Exodus 13:13-15[...] 5:  Ishvi: known also as Ishbaal, in 2 Sam 2:8 and elsewhere. The name may once have read "Ishyo[...]
1:  Under the ban: in such wars of extermination, all things (men, cities, beasts, etc.) were to b[...] 2:  The numbers here are not realistic; compare note 1 Sam 14:24. 3:  I regret: God manifests "regret" when, offended by men, he takes away his benefits, graces a[...] 4:  Samuel is disapproving, not of sacrifices in general, but of merely external sacrifices offer[...]
1:  The anointing here prepared for is unknown to David's brother Eliab in the next chapter (1 Sa[...] 2:  An evil spirit sent by the LORD: the Lord permitted Saul to be tormented with violent fits of[...] 3:  Of the two traditions which describe the coming of David into Saul's service, the oldest Gree[...]
1:  Scimitar: the Hebrew word for this is rather rare, and the nature of the weapon was in doubt u[...] 2:  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:  At the time supposed by this narrative, Jerusalem was still Jebusite, and David had no milita[...]
1:  Fool is his name: Nabal in Hebrew means "a fool." 2:  Abigail anticipates that some misfortune will shortly overtake Nabal, as in fact it does (1 [...] 3:  The bundle of the living: the figure is perhaps taken from the practice of tying up valuables[...]
1:  This report of the suicidal act of Saul is presented as a part of his downfall, to be judged a[...] 2:  Cremated them: cremation was not normally practiced in Israel, though it was known in the cou[...]
1: [6-12] David's most important military exploit, the taking of Jerusalem, is here presented before [...] 2:  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:  Baal-perazim: means approximately "the lord of scatterings." 5:  Sound of marching: the wind in the treetops suggestive of the Lord's footsteps.
1: [8-16] The prophecy to David contained in these verses is cited again, in poetic form, in Psalm 8[...] 2:  This too you have shown to man: the text as transmitted has, rather, "and this is instruction[...]
1:  Wresting . . . : the Hebrew text here gives "the bridle of the cubit"; 1 Chron 18:1 understoo[...] 2:  Two lengths . . . a full length: usually taken to mean that two-thirds of them were executed; [...] 3:  On his return: possibly to Jerusalem, after the revolt of Absalom, a circumstance which this [...]
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[...]
1: [1-4] This utterance of Nathan is in regular lines in Hebrew, resembling English blank verse. 2:  Weighed a talent: since this would be more than 75 pounds, some commentators picture the idol[...]
1:  Hope: literally, "glowing coal." The image is similar to that of the lighted lamp, e.g., Psal[...] 2:  How not to banish: a possible allusion to the religious institution of cities of refuge for i[...] 3:  A resting place: cf Psalm 95:11; Hebrews 3:7-4, 11. The reference here is to a return home [...]
1: [1-51] This song of thanksgiving is also given, with a few small variants, in Ps 18. In both place[...] 2:  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:  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:  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:  My lamp: a figure of life and happiness; cf 1 Kings 11:36. 9:  The heights: a natural stronghold safe from attack; cf Psalm 62:3; Hebrews 3:19.
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:  A more complete notice about Asahel, who died early in his career (2 Sam 2:16-23), is to be [...]
1: [1-3] This story was probably joined at one time to 2 Sam 21:1-14. 2:  The narrative supposes that since the people belonged to the Lord rather than to the king, on[...] 3:  Before this verse a Qumran manuscript (4Q Sam[a]) gives the fuller text of 1 Chron 21:16 an [...]
1:  En-rogel: the modern Job's Well southeast of Jerusalem. It marked the ancient boundary between[...] 2:  At this time, neither law nor the right of primogeniture, but the will of the ruling monarch,[...] 3:  Cherethites and Pelethites: mercenaries in David's bodyguard. They became part of his retinue[...] 4:  Horns of the altar: the protuberances on each of the four corners of the altar were surrounde[...]
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[...]
1: [7-19] The administration of the kingdom thus initiated by Solomon continued in its main features [...] 2:  One prefect . . . in the king's own land: the royal territory of Judah had its own peculiar [...]
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:  The innermost part of the temple: the sanctuary or holy of holies reserved exclusively for th[...] 4:  Twenty (cubits) high: it is usually supposed that the holy of holies was of this height becau[...]
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[...]
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 [...]
1:  One hundred and twenty talents of gold: approximately three million six hundred thousand doll[...] 2:  Millo: probably means a filling, and may refer to an artificial earthwork or platform of stam[...] 3:  Ezion-geber . . . Edom: the first mention of maritime commerce in the Israelite kingdom (to w[...]
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:  Tarshish ships: large, strong vessels for long voyages. Tarshish was the ancient Tartessus, a[...]
1:  Shechem: chief city of the northern tribes, where a covenant of fidelity had previously been m[...] 2:  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:  Bethel and Dan: at the southern and northern boundaries of the separate kingdom of Israel, wh[...]
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[...]
1:  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[...]
1: [19-23] The prophet Micaiah uses as a last resort to deter Ahab from his foolhardy design of fight[...] 2:  A note in the Hebrew text after this verse attributes to Micaiah ben Imlah the first words of[...] 3:  Seventeenth year: so the present Hebrew text. More consistent with 2 Kings 1:17 would be a d[...]
1: Baalzebub: in this form, "Baal of flies." The name in the Hebrew text is a derisive alteration of [...] 2:  Hairy garment: a sign of ascetical and prophetic calling, imitated by John the Baptizer; see [...] 3:  Divine fire: literally, "fire of God," which in Hebrew sounds quite like man of God. The play[...] 4:  Joram: in the Second Book of Kings the name Joram (yoram), alternately Jehoram (yehoram), app[...]
1:  Gilgal: commonly identified with Jiljulieh, about seven miles north of Bethel, and different f[...] 2:  Double portion of your spirit: as the first-born son inherited a double portion of his father'[...] 3:  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[...]
1:  The sequence of the reigns between Ahab and Jehu of Israel may be reconstructed as follows: Je[...] 2:  The two Jehorams were contemporary for much of their reigns; Jehoram of Judah was succeeded b[...] 2:  Red as blood: possibly caused by the red sandstone of the Wadi Zered (Deut 2:13), south of M[...] 3:  Kir-hareseth: modern Kerak, east of the Dead Sea; cf Isaiah 16:7, 11; Jeremiah 48:31, 36. [...] 4:  The wrath against Israel: probably the wrath of Chemosh, the Moabite god to whom the child wa[...]
1:  His creditor . . . slaves: Hebrew law permitted the selling of wife and children as chattels f[...] 2:  Greetings: the conventional answer to Gehazi's question, which tells him nothing. 3:  Do not greet him: the profuse exchange of compliments among Orientals meeting and greeting on[...]
1:  Wash in them and be cleansed: typical of the ambiguity in ritual healing or cleanliness. The [...] 2:  Two mule-loads of earth: Israelite earth on which to erect in Aram an altar to the God of Isr[...] 3:  Go in peace: Elisha understands and approves the situation of Naaman who, though a proselyte [...]
1:  An official: literally "eunuch," and perhaps actually so in this instance. 2:  A dog . . . your servant: Hazael feigns humility (1 Sam 24:14; 2 Sam 9:8), without attending[...] 3:  Jehoram of Judah succeeded his father Jehoshaphat during the reign of Ahaziah of Israel. See [...] 4:  Twelfth year of Joram: i.e., of Israel, who probably reigned only eight years.
1:  A savior: by this language, typical of the Book of Judges (2 Kings 3:9, 15), Jeroboam II of I[...] 2:  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:  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.[...]
1: [1-2] In the second year . . . twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: the reigns of the kings of Judah be[...] 2:  See note on 2 Kings 14:1-2. 3:  Azariah: also called Uzziah in many texts. 4:  Sea of the Arabah: the Dead Sea. Jonah: see note on Jonah 1:1.
1:  Twenty-seventh year: see note on 2 Kings 14:1-2. 2:  Pul: The Babylonian throne name of the Assyrian Tiglath-pileser III; cf 2 Kings 15:29. 3:  The twenty years here ascribed to Pekah are an impossibility; the calculation which made his [...] 4:  The Upper Gate: also the Gate of Benjamin; cf Jeremiah 20:2; Ezekiel 9:2.
1:  Firmly dated events bearing on chapters 16 through 20 are: the fall of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9[...] 2:  For consultation: perhaps the introduction into Judah of the Babylonian practice of omen sacr[...] 3:  Emplacement . . . for a throne, and the outer entrance for the king: signs of sovereignty for[...]
1:  Shalmaneser: son and successor of Tiglath-pileser. 2:  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[...]
1:  See note on 2 Kings 16:9. 2: [18:13-20:11] Duplication of Isaiah 36:1-22; 37; 38:8, 21-22. 3:  Sennacherib succeeded Sargon II as king of Assyria. His Judean campaign was waged in 701 B.C.[...] 4:  General, the lord chamberlain . . . commander: the text lists three major functionaries by th[...]
1:  Cult prostitutes: of both sexes; cf 1 Kings 14:24. 2:  Topheth . . . by fire: condemned by Deuteronomic law and denounced by Jeremiah (Deut 12:31; [...] 3:  Large building: to the west of the temple area (1 Chron 26:18), named in the Hebrew by an Eg[...] 4:  Mount of Misconduct: a paranomasia on "Mount of Olives" (in Hebrew Maschit/mishcheh) as sugg[...] 5:  From Samaria: more narrowly, from Bethel; cf 1 Kings 13:31-32. 6:  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:  A talent of gold: some manuscripts of the Greek and Syriac texts have "ten talents."
1: [2:3-4:23] For two reasons, the Chronicler places the genealogy of the tribe of Judah before that[...] 2:  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[...]
1: [1-9] David's sons. 2:  Daniel: called Chileab in 2 Sam 3:3. 3:  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:  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:  Shenazzar: presumably the same as Sheshbazzar of Ezra 1:8, 11; 5:14-16 the prince of Judah [...] 8:  Zerubbabel: here called the son of Pedaiah, though elsewhere (Haggai 1:12, 14; 2:2, 23; Ezr[...]
1: [1-26] The Transjordan tribes. 2:  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[...]
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 [...]
1: [11-12] The Three: the Chronicler names only two of them: Ishbaal and Eleazar. According to 2 Sam[...] 2:  The Thirty: listed by name in 1 Chron 11:26-47. The list given in 2 Sam 23:8-39 often differ[...]
1:  Shihor of Egypt: the eastern branch of the Nile delta. Labo of Hamath: in southern Syria. 2:  Chidon: in 2 Sam 6:6 Nodan. 3:  Perez-uzza: a Hebrew term meaning "the breaking out against Uzza."
1:  Zadok . . . and Ahimelech, son of Abiathar, were priests: as in the Chronicler's source, 2 S[...] 2:  David's sons were the chief assistants to the king: in the parallel passage, 2 Sam 8:18 whic[...]
1:  A satan: in the parallel passage of 2 Sam 24:1 the Lord's anger. The change in the term refle[...] 2:  Six hundred shekels of gold: about 10, 000 dollars. According to 2 Sam 24:24, David paid 50 [...]
1: [2-4] According to 1 Kings 5:15-18,(15-32) it was Solomon who made the material preparations for [...] 2:  The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is reflected in the name Solomon, in Hebrew, Shelomo. A con[...] 3:  A hundred thousand talents of gold: about 3,775 tons of gold. A million talents of silver: ab[...]
1: [1-15] This list of army commanders is similar to, but distinct from, the list of David's warriors[...] 2:  After Ahithophel: after his suicide (2 Sam 17:23). Jehoiada then succeeded him as the king's[...]
1:  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[...]
1:  Mount Moriah: the height in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:2). This is the only place in the [...] 2:  The porch . . . twenty cubits high: this measurement, not given in the Books of Kings, is here[...] 3:  The veil: at the entrance of the holy of holies, as also in the Mosaic meeting tent (Exodus [...]
1:  The Levites: The parallel passage in 1 Kings 8:3 has the priests; but see 2 Chron 5:5 where t[...] 2:  The ark has remained there to this day: the Chronicler must have copied this from his source [...]
1:  The cities which Huram had given him: according to 1 Kings 9:10-14, Solomon had ceded the cit[...] 2:  Tadmor: later known as Palmyra, an important caravan city in the Syrian desert. The parallel p[...]
1: [1-30] Although the account here seems to be a free composition of the Chronicler, there is probab[...] 2:  Holy Appearance: the Lord, who is with the Israelite army (2 Chron 20:17), manifests himself[...] 3:  Beracah: the Hebrew word for "blessing."
1:  One of Ahab's daughters: Athaliah. In 2 Chron 22:2 (and its source, 2 Kings 8:26) she is call[...] 2:  Elijah: the only mention by the Chronicler of this prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel.[...]
1:  With Obed-edom: possibly a reference to the priest of an Edomite false worship (cf 2 Chron 2[...] 2:  The City of Judah: in the parallel passage of 2 Kings 14:20 the City of David. The Chronicle[...]
1:  There is no evidence elsewhere for an imprisonment of King Manasseh in Babylon. However, acco[...] 2:  And prayed to him: these words led an unknown writer to compose the apocryphal "Prayer of Man[...]
1:  Nebuchadnezzar . . . bound him with chains to take him to Babylon: the Chronicler does not say[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  In the first year of Cyrus: as sovereign over the world empire which began with his conquest o[...] 2:  Sheshbazzar: very probably the fourth son of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, taken captive to Babyl[...] 3:  Total . . . five thousand four hundred pieces: either this figure or the figures given for on[...]
1: [1-67] As it now stands, this list is an expanded form of the lists of returned captives from the [...] 2:  His Excellency: the deputy of the Persian government; from the context, he was one of the Jew[...]
1:  Darius: Darius I (521-485 B.C.). The temple-building narrative continues in Ezra 4:24. In betw[...] 2:  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:  The second year . . . of Darius: that is, 520 B.C.; it marks the beginning of the successful [...]
1:  Ahava: a town at an unidentified site in Babylonia. The river that flowed toward it was proba[...] 2:  The story of Ezra's mission is seemingly continued from this point by Nehemiah 7:72b-8:18 wh[...]
1:  Johanan, son of Eliashib: actually, the grandson of Eliashib; the father of Johanan was Eliash[...] 2:  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:  The account of the problem of mixed marriages at the time of Ezra is continued in Nehemiah 9[...]
1:  The first mission of Nehemiah, from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I, lasted from the spring[...] 2:  Cupbearer to the king: an important official in the royal household. Because Nehemiah could a[...]
1:  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:  Neither share nor claim nor memorial: although Sanballat and Tobiah were Yahwist, Nehemiah wo[...]
1: [1-32] The construction work on the gates and walls of the city is described in counterclockwise d[...] 2:  Wall of the public square: that is, the section of wall bounding the place of assembly outside[...]
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.
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[...]
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:  After due time: It is not known when Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem or how long his second per[...] 4:  Ashdodite: the language spoken at Ashdod, more likely an Aramaic rather than a Philistine dia[...]
1:  Tobit: in the fragments of the book found at Qumran, is given as Tobi, an abbreviated form of [...] 2:  Shalmaneser (V) (727-722 B.C.): began the siege of Samaria; the inhabitants of the northern ki[...] 3:  Jeroboam established sanctuaries in Dan and Bethel so that the people would no longer go to J[...] 4:  (6-8) Perpetual decree: Deut 12:11, 13-14. Refusing to worship at Jeroboam's shrines, the fai[...] 5:  A great sum of money: literally, "ten silver talents," about ten thousand dollars. Rages: mo[...] 6:  Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.): the son of Sargon (722-705 B.C.); neither was descended from Shal[...] 7:  (17-18) Tobit risked his own life to bury the dead. Deprivation of burial was viewed with hor[...] 8:  Esarhaddon: 681-669 B.C. Ahiqar: a hero of ancient folklore, known for his outstanding wisdom[...]
1:  The feast of Weeks: also called by its Greek name Pentecost, was celebrated fifty days after t[...] 2:  Almsgiving and charity to the poor are important virtues taught by the book (4:7-11, 16, 17; [...] 3:  I washed myself: because of ritual defilement from touching a corpse (Numbers 19:11-13). 4:  Cataracts: literally, "white scales, or films." Elymais: the Greek name of ancient Elam, a d[...] 5:  Late in winter: literally, "seventh of Dystros," the Macedonian month which corresponds to th[...] 6:  Anna's sharp rebuke calls to mind the words of Job's wife (Job 2:9).
1:  It is better for me to die than to live: in his distress Tobit uses the words of the petulant [...] 2:  From here on, the story is told in the third person. Tobit 3:7 relates one of the several mar[...] 3:  Asmodeus: in Persian aeshma daeva, "demon of wrath," adopted into Aramaic with the sense of "[...] 4:  Facing the window: that is, looking toward Jerusalem; cf Daniel 6:11: Blessed are you and "B[...] 5:  Tobiah had the right: according to the patriarchal custom of marriage within the family group[...]
1:  (3-19) A collection of maxims which parallel those in the wisdom literature, especially Prov a[...] 2:  Before the revelation of retribution for all men in the afterlife-a doctrine taught in the Boo[...] 3:  Tobit counsels his son either to give alms in honor of the dead, or, more probably, to give t[...] 4:  Prayer is the foundation of a moral life.
1:  Document: in Greek cheirographon. In the Middle Ages, notably in England, a deed and its dupli[...] 2:  He did not know: the theme of an angel in disguise occurs frequently in folklore as well as in[...] 3:  It is a good two days' travel from Ecbatana to Rages: Alexander's army took eleven days in for[...] 4:  Hearty greetings and what joy form a wordplay on the Greek verb chairein, "to greet" and "to [...] 5:  (13-14) Azariah, "Yahweh helps"; Hananiah, "Yahweh is merciful"; Nathaniah, "Yahweh gives"; [...] 6:  The normal wages: literally, "a drachma," about seventeen cents, a day's wage for a workingma[...] 7:  My love: literally, "sister," a term of endearment applied to one's wife; cf Tobit 7:11, 15;[...]
1:  Its gall . . . medicines: belief in the healing power of these organs was common among even th[...] 2:  Raguel . . . Book of Moses: Numbers 36:6-8 prescribed marriage within the ancestral tribe, b[...] 3:  Rise up to pray: prayer is needed to drive out the demon.
1:  (2,3) The manner of coping with demonic influences among the ancients seems quaint to us. Howe[...] 2:  Into Upper Egypt: to the desert there. The desert was considered the dwelling place of demons.[...] 3:  For fourteen days: because of the happy, and unexpected, turn of events, Raguel doubles the t[...]
1: (1-5) Tobit and his son generously agree to give Azariah far more than the wages agreed upon in T[...] 2:  (6-10) In the fashion of a wisdom teacher, Raphael gives the two men a short exhortation simil[...] 3:  (6-7) The Jews considered the duty of praising God their most esteemed privilege. Without prai[...] 4:  Prayer . . . fasting . . . almsgiving . . . righteousness: these, together with the proper att[...] 5:  (12,15) Raphael is one of the seven specially designated intercessors who present man's praye[...] 6:  I was sent . . . test: God often sends trials to purify his faithful servants further. Cf Job[...]
1:  (4-5) Nahum: one of the minor prophets, whose book contains oracles of doom against Nineveh. H[...] 2:  Until the era . . . completed: a reference to the advent of Messianic times, in which a new, m[...] 3:  Conversion of the Gentiles is also to come in the Messianic era. 4:  Nadab: In the Story of Ahiqar, the hero Ahiqar, chancellor under the Assyrian kings Sennacher[...] 5:  Cyaxares: Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, and Cyaxares conquered and destroyed Nineveh in 612 [...]
1:  Earth and water: in the Persian period, the offering of these to a conqueror was a symbolic ge[...] 2:  As I live: in the Old Testament, an oath proper to divinity; cf Deut 32:40. Nebuchadnezzar i[...] 3:  Put and Lud: the same as the "Put and Lud" mentioned in Ezekiel 30:5 as allies of Egypt, and[...]
1:  Returned from exile . . . profanation: these allusions are variously attributed-to the Persian[...] 2:  Joakim, who was high priest: see Baruch 1:7 and the footnote on Baruch 1:8, 9; this name for[...] 3:  The organization of the Jewish nation as subject to a high priest and a senate, or council of [...] 4:  Domestic animals: see note on Jonah 3:8. 5:  Prostrated themselves in front of the temple building: for a parallel to this ceremony of ent[...]
1:  Salamiel, son of Sarasadai: head of the tribe of Simeon during the wanderings of the Israelite[...] 2:  A tent: erected by Judith on the roof of her house (Judith 8:5); it was here that the elders [...]
1:  The maiden: Dinah, Jacob's daughter, who was violated by Shechem, the Hivite (Genesis 34:2). [...] 2:  Because Shechem had deceived and violated Dinah, her brothers, Simeon and Levi, tricked Sheche[...]
1:  King Ahasuerus: Xerxes I (486-465 B.C.). Mordecai: a Babylonian name, after the god Marduk. Th[...] 2:  The interpretation of this dream is given in Esther F:1-6. 3:  Rewarded him: this reward comes only later; see the sequence of events from the Hebrew text o[...] 4:  Haman . . . the Agagite: opposed Mordecai the Benjaminite, by whom, however, he was overcome [...]
1:  From India to Ethiopia: from western India to Upper Egypt, the greatest extent of the Persian [...] 2:  Susa: ancient capital of Elam (Genesis 14:1); under the Achamenid kings, one of the two capit[...] 3:  Queen Vashti: Herodotus (Histories 7:61) relates that the wife of Ahasuerus was Amestris. 4:  Irrevocable royal decree: the historian Siculus Indicates that such a concept of irrevocable [...] 5:  To each province . . . script and to each people . . . language: many languages were spoken i[...]
1:  Hadassah (the feminine form of hadas, myrtle), was the name by which this woman would be known[...] 2:  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:  Mordecai . . . at the king's gate: to exercise watchful care for Esther. Some understand this[...] 5:  Hanged on a gibbet: impaled, perhaps, after the Babylonian manner.
1:  Mordecai . . . would not kneel and bow down: in order not to render to man the homage which he[...] 2:  Pur: a Babylonian word which the Hebrew translates as goral, "lot." This word is preserved in [...] 3:  Signet ring: a ring containing a seal which was impressed on documents to authenticate them. [...]
1:  Whatever is written . . . cannot be revoked: the king cannot directly grant Esther's request [...] 2:  Avenge themselves on their enemies: partly in self-defense (Esther E:20), and partly to expr[...]
1:  They did not engage in plundering: in contrast to the Israelites who fought Agag (1 Sam 15:9[...] 2:  This second slaughter explains the two dates (13th and 14th) of the Purim celebration by Jews[...] 3:  Seventy-five thousand: according to the Greek text this number was fifteen thousand. 4:  Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail and of Mordecai: the natural offspring of Abihail and adopt[...] 5:  Fasting and supplication: as the Jews had previously undertaken the duty of fasting and suppl[...]
1:  Two lots: in this passage of the Greek text, which gives a more religious interpretation of th[...] 2:  The Greek text of Esther contains a postscript as follows: In the fourth year of the reign of[...]
1:  Land of Kittim: Greece. The name referred originally to inhabitants of Kiti, capital of the is[...] 2:  Twelve years: 336-323 B.C. 3:  The year one hundred and thirty-seven: Antiochus IV seized the throne in September, 175 B.C. [...] 4:  Gymnasium: symbol and center of athletic and intellectual life, it was the chief instrument o[...] 5:  Elephants: an important part of Seleucid armament. About 300 B.C. Seleucus I, founder of the [...] 6:  Defeated Egypt in the year one hundred and forty-three: 169 B.C. No mention is made in 1 Mc o[...] 7:  City of David: not Mount Zion on the eastern hill of Jerusalem, which David captured from the[...] 8:  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.
1:  Modein: a village twenty miles northwest of Jerusalem. 2:  The King's Friends: a regular order of nobility at Hellenistic courts. The various grades are[...] 3:  Friends, Chief Friends, Kinsmen. 4:  The desert: the sparsely inhabited mountain country southward from Jerusalem and west of the [...] 5:  Hasideans: in Hebrew hasidim, "pious ones," a religious group devoted to the strict observanc[...] 6:  In the year one hundred and forty-six: 166 B.C.
1:  Apollonius: the Mysian commander mentioned in 1 Macc 1:29; 2 Macc 5:24. 2:  Beth-horon: the famous pass leading up from the coastal plain to the Judean hill country. Her[...] 3:  He himself: out of reverence for God, the author of 1 Macc prefers to use this and other expr[...] 4:  About eight hundred: the figures given in this book for strength of armies and number of casu[...] 5:  This expedition, in the spring of 165 B.C., resulted in failure; cf 1 Macc 6. 6:  Nicanor: the leader of another attack against the Jews four years later. He was finally kille[...] 7:  Emmaus: probably not the village mentioned in Luke 24:13 but a settlement about twenty miles[...] 8:  ...Mizpah a place of prayer for Israel: a holy place established of old eight miles north and[...] 9:  To learn . . . idols: favorable omens for the coming battle. A contrast is intended between t[...] 10:  Nazirites: see note on Numbers 6:1-3.
1:  Gazara: Gezer of the Hebrew Bible, five miles northwest of Emmaus; Azotus, Hebrew Ashdod, lay[...] 2:  Philistine territory: the coastal cities of southern Palestine, traditionally hostile to Jeru[...] 3:  Beth-zur: an important frontier city in the mountain area, fifteen miles south of Jerusalem. [...] 4:  According to 2 Macc 11:13-15 peace negotiations followed between Lysias and Judas. 5:  The sanctuary: the whole temple area with its walls, courts and outbuildings, to be distingui[...] 6:  Twenty-fifth day of the ninth month . . . in the year one hundred and forty-eight: December 1[...] 7:  Days of the dedication . . . Chislev: institution of thefeast of Hannukah, also called the fe[...]
1:  The events of this chapter occurred within the year 163 B.C. 2: Akrabattene: a district southwest of the Dead Sea. 3:  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:  Ptolemais: Hebrew Acco (Judges 1:31), modern Acre, on the coast north of Haifa. 6:  Nabateans: an Arab people who acquired wealth and power as caravan merchants in the final two[...] 7:  Ephron: a city in Transjordan opposite Beth-shan, about five miles east of the Jordan River. [...] 8:  Sons of Esau: Idumeans.
1:  Elymais: the mountainous region of Elam, north of the Persian Gulf. This section continues the[...] 2:  The year one hundred and forty-nine: September 22, 164, to October 9, 163 B.C. A Babylonian l[...] 3:  The king's son Antiochus: Antiochus V Eupator, then about nine years old. He was in Antioch, [...] 4:  The year one hundred and fifty: October, 163, to September, 162 B.C. 5:  A sabbath year in the land: when sowing and reaping were prohibited (Exodus 23:10-11; Lev 25[...]
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:  Beth-zaith: about three miles north of Beth-zur and twelve miles south of Jerusalem. 4:  Nicanor . . . deceitfully sent to Judas: a more favorable picture of Nicanor, as an honest ma[...] 5:  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:  Adasa: a village southeast of Caphar-salama. 8:  The thirteenth of Adar: March 27, 160 B.C. This day in the Jewish calendar was called the "Da[...] 9:  A short time: about one month following the death of Nicanor. After that began the attack of [...]
1:  This chapter contains the account of the embassy which Judas sent to Rome, probably before the[...] 2:  The image of the Roman Republic greatly impressed the smaller Eastern peoples seeking support [...] 3:  Gauls: probably the Celts of northern Italy and southern France, subdued by the Romans in 222 [...] 4:  Phillip: Phillip V of Macedonia, defeated by a Graeco-Roman alliance at Cynoscephalae in 197 B[...] 5:  Antiochus: Antiochus III, greatest of the Seleucid kings. He was defeated at Magnesia in 190 B[...] 6:  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:  They entrusted their government to one man: actually the Roman Republic always had two consul[...] 9:  The reply . . . on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem: The decree of the Senate would be in[...]
1:  They took the road . . . Arbela, they captured it: This passage is restored, in part, by conje[...] 2:  The first month of the year one hundred and fifty-two: April/May 160 B.C., by the temple calen[...] 3:  As far as the mountain slopes: conjectural emendation. The Greek text has "as far as Mount Az[...] 4:  Tekoa: home of the prophet Amos in the wild country above the Dead Sea, southeast of Jerusale[...] 5:  Omitted, it is a dittography of 1 Macc 9:43. 6:  Jonathan sent his brother: this was John who was called Gaddi (1 Macc 2:2; cf 1 Macc 9:36, 3[...] 7:  Medaba: northeast of the Dead Sea. 8:  Jonathan's force was apparently trapped in one of the many oxbows of the lower Jordan. Bacchi[...] 9:  These sites constitute a ring on the edges of the province of Judea. 10:  In the year . . . second month: May, 159 B.C. 11:  Bethbasi: two miles east of Bethlehem and six miles north of Tekoa. 12:  Began to judge: exercise the governing authority as in the book of Judges. With Jerusalem and[...]
1:  The year one hundred and sixty: 152 B.C. Alexander . . . Antiochus: Alexander Balas claimed to[...] 2:  Jonathan . . . feast of Booths: Jonathan began to discharge the office of high priest October[...] 3:  The three districts annexed from Samaria: mentioned by name in 1 Maccc 11;34. The present Gre[...] 4:  Cleopatra: Cleopatra Thea, then about fifteen years old. She later married Demetrius II, and [...] 5:  The year one hundred and sixty-five: 147 B.C. Demetrius: Demetrius II Nicator. 6:  Joppa: about forty miles northwest of Jerusalem. For the first time the Maccabees took posses[...] 7:  Kinsmen: a class higher than Chief Friends.
1:  Eleutherus: modern Nahr el-Kebir, the northern border of modern Lebanon; in the second century[...] 2:  Seleucia-by-the-Sea: at the mouth of the Orontes, the port city of Antioch. 3:  I regret . . . to kill me: according to Josephus, Ammonius, a friend of Alexander, had tried [...] 4:  The year one hundred and sixty-seven: 146/145 B.C. The two deaths (1 Macc 11:17-18) occurred[...] 5:  Brother: this title and father in 1 Macc 11:32 are honorific titles used of the Kinsmen. 6:  Lasthenes: leader of the mercenary troops who had come with Demetrius from Crete. He was now [...] 7:  Aphairema: the Ophrah of Joshua 18:23; 1 Sam 23:6; the Ephron of 2 Chron 13:19; and the Eph[...] 8:  Ladder of Tyre: modern Ras en-Naquurah, on the border between Lebanon and Israel, where the m[...] 9:  West-of-Euphrates: refers here to the territory of Palestine and Coelesyria, but not Upper Sy[...] 10:  Plain of Hazor: the site of the ancient Canaanite city (Joshua 11:10), ten miles north of th[...]
1:  Onias: Onias I, high priest from 323-300 or 290 B.C. Arius: Arius I, king from 309 to 265 B.C.[...] 2:  The sacred books . . . in our possession: a reference to "the law, the prophets and other book[...] 3:  Country of Hamath: the Seleucid territory of Upper Syria northeast of Coelesyria and separate[...] 4:  The Great Plain: of Beth-shan (1 Macc 12:41), where Jonathan's disbanded troops remained. [...]
1: [20-21] The invaders made a wide flanking; movement to invade Judea from the south. Adora was a fe[...] 2:  Bashama: northeast of the Sea of Galilee. 3:  The year one hundred and seventy: March, 142, to April, 141 B.C., by the temple calendar. 4:  Gazara: a key position in the Shephelah, fortified by Bacchides in 160 B.C.; cf 9,52. 5:  The twenty-third day of the second month: June 3, 141 B.C. 6:  John: John Hyrcanus, who was to succeed his father as ruler and high priest; cf 1 Macc 16:23[...]
1:  The year one hundred and seventy-two: 141-140 B.C. The expedition began most probably in the s[...] 2:  Arsaces: Arsaces VI, also called Mithridates I, the Parthian king (171-138 B.C.). Parthians ha[...] 3:  The embassy to Rome and Sparta was sent soon after Simon's accession to power, and the replie[...] 4:  Eighteenth day of Elul: September 13, 140 B.C. Asaramel: a Hebrew name meaning "court of the [...] 5:  Ethnarch: a subaltern ruler over a racial group whose office needed confirmation by a higher [...]
1:  Antiochus: Antiochus VII Sidetes, son of Demetrius I, and younger brother of Demetrius II, now[...] 2:  The year one hundred and seventy-four: 138 B.C. 3:  Dor, by the sea: a fortress on the Palestinian coast, fifteen miles south of Carmel. 4:  Lucius: Perhaps Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul in 142 B.C., or Lucius Calpurnicus Piso, co[...] 5:  Attalus: Attalus II of Pergamum, reigned 159-138 B.C. Ariarthes: Ariarthes V of Cappadocia, r[...] 6:  Orthosia: a port between Tripoli and the Eleutherus River. 7:  Kedron: a few miles southeast of Jamnia and facing the fortress of Gazara held by John Hyrcan[...]
1:  In the year one hundred and seventy-seven, in the eleventh month: January-February, 134 B.C.,[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  Demetrius: Demetrius II, king of Syria (145-139, 129-125 B.C.). The year one hundred and sixty[...] 2:  Our prayer was heard: in the ultimate victory of the Maccabees. 3:  Feast of Booths in the month of Chislev: really the feast of the Dedication of the temple (2 [...] 4:  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:  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:  Nehemiah, the rebuilder of the temple he: rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, but the temple had [...] 10:  Persia: actually Babylonia, which later became part of the Persian Empire. 11:  By a play on words, the Greek term naphtha (petroleum) is assimilated to some Semitic word, p[...]
1: [1-8] This legendary accout of how Jeremiah hid the sacred tent (which was not mentioned after the[...] 2:  The mountain: Nebo; cf Deut 34:1. 3:  The Place: the temple of Jerusalem. 4:  The statement attributed here to Moses seems to be based on Lev 10:16-20. 5:  Nehemiah's Memoirs: a lost apocryphal work. 6:  For the account of the campaigns against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, see 2 Macc 4:7-10:9; and fo[...]
1: [1-40] This legendary episode about Heliodorus is recounted here for the purpose of stressing the [...] 2:  The high priest Onias: Onias III, who was high priest from 196 to 175 B.C., and died in 171 B.[...] 3:  Seleucus: Seleucus IV Philopator, who reigned from 187 to 175 B.C. 4:  Bilgah: a priestly family mentioned in Nehemiah 12:5, 18. 5:  Son of Tobias: a member of the Tobiad family of Transjordan (Nehemiah 2:10; 6:17-19; 13:4-8)[...]
1:  Seleucus died: he was murdered by Heliodorus. Antiochus Epiphanes was his younger brother. Oni[...] 2:  Youth club: an educational institution in which young men were trained both in Greek intellect[...] 3:  Eupolemus: one of the two envoys sent to Rome by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 8:17). 4:  Since the gymnasium, where the youth exercised naked (Greek gymnos), lay in the Tyropoeon Val[...] 5:  Triremes: war vessels with three banks of oars. 6:  Philometor: Ptolemy VI, king of Egypt, c. 172 to c. 145 B.C. 7:  Menelaus: Jewish high priest from c. 172 to his execution in 162 B.C. (2 Macc 13:3-8). 8:  Mallus: a city of Cilicia (2 Macc 4:36) in southeastern Asia Minor, about thirty miles east [...] 9:  The city: Antioch. But some understand the Greek to mean "each city." 10:  The city: Jerusalem. Menelaus was still in Syria. 11:  The senate: the council of Jewish elders at Jerusalem; cf 1 Macc 12:6.
1:  Second expedition: the first invasion of Egypt by Antiochus in 169 B.C. (1 Macc 1:16-20) is n[...] 2:  Jason: brother of Onias III, was claimant of the high priesthood (2 Macc 4:7-10). Later he wa[...] 3:  Aretas: King Aretas I of the Nabateans; cf 1 Macc 5:25. 4:  Man is more important than even the most sacred institutions; cf Mark 2:27. 5:  Philip, a Phrygian by birth: the Philip of 2 Macc 6:11; 8:8 but probably not the same as Phi[...] 6:  Mount Gerizim: the sacred mountain of the Samaritans at Shechem; cf 2 Macc 6:2. 7:  Apollonius: the Mysian commander of 1 Macc 1:29; mentioned also in 2 Macc 3:5; 4:4.
1:  Olympian Zeus: equated with the Syrian Baal Shamen ("the lord of the heavens"), a term which t[...] 2:  Amused themselves with prostitutes: as in the fertility cults of the ancient Near East; see no[...] 3:  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[...]
1:  The King of the world will raise us up: here, and in 2 Macc 7:11, 14, 23, 29, 36, belief in [...] 2:  God did not make them out of existing things: that is, God made all things solely by his omni[...]
1: [8-29, 34-35] This account of the campaign of Nicanor and Gorgias against Judas is paralleled, wit[...] 2:  Joseph: called John in 1 Macc 2:2; 9:36, 38; this paragraph interrupts the story of Nicanor[...]
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:  The letter copied below: not included in the text of 2 Macc.
1:  Two years: three years according to 1 Macc 1:54; 4:52. 2:  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:  Timothy . . . previously . . . defeated by the Jews: as recounted in 2 Macc 8:30-33. 5:  As soon as dawn broke: the same battle at dawn as in 1 Macc 5:30-34. 6:  Timothy . . . they killed: apparently, the same Timothy is still alive in 2 Macc 12:2, 18-25[...]
1: [1-12] The defeat of Lysias at Beth-zur probably occurred before the purification of the temple; c[...] 2:  The year one hundred and forty-eight: 164 B.C. The reading of the name of the month and its p[...] 3:  The date, which is the same as the date of the Romans' letter (v 38), cannot be correct. The [...] 4:  The date is March 12, 164 B.C.
1:  Apollonius, son of Gennaeus: not the Apollonius who was the son of Menestheus (2 Macc 4:21). [...] 2:  From there: not from the aforesaid Jamnia (2 Macc 12:8-9) or Joppa (2 Macc 12:3-7), but from[...] 3:  Certain Jews known as Toubiani: because they lived "in the land of Tob" (1 Macc 5:13). 4:  Atargatis: a Syrian goddess, represented by the body of a fish. 5:  Scythopolis: the Greek name of the city of Beth-shan; cf 1 Macc 5:52. 6:  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[...]
1:  In the year one hundred and forty-nine: 163-162 B.C. 2:  They led: the Greek means literally "Each (of them) led," but it is unlikely that the author [...] 3:  Beroea: the Greek name of Aleppo. 4:  Ashes: probably smoldering ashes; the tower resembles the ancient Persian fire towers. 5:  Slew: literally "stabbed"; the deed was done by Eleazar (1 Macc 6:43-46). 6:  They withdrew in triumph: according to 1 Macc 6:47 they fled. 7:  Military secrets: probably about the lack of provisions in the besieged city; cf 1 Macc 6:49[...] 8:  The Greek text is uncertain and may be rendered: "He approved of Maccabeus, then left Hegemon[...]
1:  Three years later: actually, Demetrius (I Soter), son of Seleucus (IV), landed at Tripolis in [...] 2:  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 [...]
1:  Public monument of victory: a heap of stones covered with the arms and armor of the fallen ene[...] 2:  The law and the prophets: the first of the three parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, called the sa[...] 3:  Onias, the former high priest: Onias III (2 Macc 3:1-40). Evidently the author believed that[...] 4:  Jeremiah: regarded by the postexilic Jews as one of the greatest figures in their history; cf[...] 5:  Those in the citadel: presumably Jewish soldiers; actually, the citadel was still in the poss[...] 6:  Mordecai's Day: the feast of Purim, celebrated on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar [...]
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:  Men of the East: that is, east of Palestine. 4:  Sons of God: angels. Satan: literally, "adversary." 5:  Sabeans: from southern Arabia. 6:  Lightning: literally, "God's fire." 7:  Go back again: to the earth; cf Genesis 2:7; Sirach 40:1.
1:  Skin for skin: an expression which, as applied to Job, means that he has borne his suffering p[...] 2:  Curse God and die: you have nothing to hope for from God and therefore nothing to live for. [...] 3:  The names of Job's friends suggest Edomite origin. The Edomites (Obadiah 1:8-9) and more spe[...]
1:  Leviathan: in Job 40:25 the crocodile; here the reference is probably to a mythological sea m[...] 2:  (16)This verse has been placed between Job 3:11-12 where it probably stood originally. There[...] 3:  There: in death.
1:  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. [...]
1:  At the gate: of the city, where justice was administered. 2:  Sparks: in Hebrew, "sons of resheph," which the ancient versions took as the name of a bird. [...] 3:  Omitted here; it is a duplicate of Job 9:10. 4:  Six . . . the seventh: proverbial expression for any large number; cf Proverb 24:16; Luke 17[...]
1:  Drudgery: taken by some to refer to military service; cf also Job 14:14. 2:  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.
1: [4-5] The Hebrew is somewhat obscure, but the general sense is that the wicked mock at the pious w[...] 2:  (18)Waistcloth . . . loins: he reduces kings to the condition of slaves, who wear only a clot[...]
1:  The second half of the verse is a common biblical expression for risking one's life; cf Judg[...] 2:  From here to the end of Job 14 Job pleads his case, addressing God rather than his three frie[...] 3:  (13:28)This verse has been transposed from Job 13.
1:  Job himself is portrayed as having the heedless rage of wild beasts, despite which God does no[...] 2:  First-born of death: that is, disease, plague. 3:  The king of terrors: of the nether world, death; however, the Hebrew is obscure.
1:  With my flesh between my teeth: meaning perhaps that Job has been reduced to such an extremit[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  Why does not God favor his friends by the speedy punishment of his enemies? (The text and orde[...] 2:  The asterisks which follow this verse mark off a passage (Job 24:18-24) which cannot be ascr[...]
1: [1-14] Probably to be read as Job's reply to Bildad's short speech. Some, however, would make it t[...] 2:  Shades: the dead in Sheol, the nether world; cf Psalm 6:6; 88:11. 3:  Nether world: cf note to Psalm 6:6. Abaddon: Hebrew for "(place of) destruction," a synonym f[...] 4:  The North: used here as a synonym for the firmament, the heavens; cf Isaiah 14, 13. 5:  Circle: the horizon of the ocean which serves as the boundary for the activity of light and d[...] 6:  Rahab: cf Job 9:13; see note on Psalm 89:11. 7:  The fugitive dragon: the same term occurs in Isaiah 27:1 in apposition to Leviathan; see not[...]
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:  The Hebrew has two more verses: Job 27:22 (read above with Job 26:13); Job 27:23 which is a[...]
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:  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:  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:  On my shoulder: i.e., boldly, proudly. 8:  Like a prince: not as a frightened criminal. Final plea: literally, "tau," the last letter of[...]
1:  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[...]
1: [5-21] Perhaps this section should be read between Job 34:6 and 7. 2:  Knowledge: practical wisdom in serving God, which they lack because they refused it when warn[...] 3:  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:  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[...]
1:  Voice: the thunder. 2:  Chamber: where it was popularly believed storms were kept enclosed. 3:  Their rounds: of rain (Job 36:27), of clouds (Job 36:29-30), of lightning and thunder (Job [...] 4:  The firmament . . . mirror: the ancients thought of the sky as a ceiling above which were the[...] 5:  Will an angel bring this to God's attention? 6:  Even though God seems not to know our circumstances, he does know them, just as surely as the[...] 7:  Now the storms of doubt and ignorance disappear, and from the North, used here as a symbol fo[...]
1:  Now the LORD enters the debate and addresses two discourses (Job 38-39 and Job 40-41) to Job, [...] 2:  Gird up your loins: prepare for combat - figuratively, be ready to defend yourself in debate. [...] 3:  Sons of God: angels; cf Job 1:6. 4:  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:  Veil yourself . . . storm: wrap yourself in a cloud, as God comes in a theophany; cf Psalm 1[...] 8:  Here we are: at your service. 9:  Understanding: the reflection of divine Wisdom discernible in the created animal instincts of[...]
1:  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.
1:  Behemoth: the hippopotamus. 2:  Eyes . . . nose: the only exposed parts of the submerged beast. 3:  (25) Leviathan here is the crocodile. But cf Job 3:8. 4:  (30) Merchants: literally, "Canaanites," whose reputation for trading was so widespread that [...]
1: [2-6] In the current Hebrew text, this final utterance of Job is interrupted by words ascribed to [...] 2:  The three friends of Job (Elihu is ignored in the Epilogue) are criticized by the LORD because[...] 3:  Job becomes the intercessor for his friends, as were other great Old Testament characters, e.g[...] 4:  A piece of money: the term is the same as that used in Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32. Gold rin[...] 5:  Job's daughters had names symbolic of their charms: Jemimah, dove; Keziah, precious perfume ([...] 6:  Ordinarily daughters did not inherit property unless there were no sons; cf Numbers 27:1-11.[...] 7:  As his other rewards were twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10) so Job's hundred and fo[...]
1: [Psalm 1] A preface to the whole Book of Psalms, contrasting with striking similes the destiny of [...] 2:  Those: literally, "the man." That word is used here and in many of the Psalms as typical, and [...] 3:  The law of the LORD: either the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, or, more probably, d[...] 4:  The wicked: those who by their actions distance themselves from God's life-giving presence. [...]
1: [Psalm 2] royal psalm. To rebellious kings (Psalm 2:1-3) God responds vigorously (Psalm 2:4-6). A[...] 2:  Anointed: in Hebrew mashiah, "anointed"; in Greek christos, whence English Messiah and Christ.[...]
1: [Psalm 3] An individual lament complaining of enemies who deny that God will come to the rescue ([...] 2:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 4] An individual lament emphasizing trust in God. The petition is based upon the psalmist's[...] 2:  For the leader: many psalm headings contain this rubric. Its exact meaning is unknown but may [...] 3:  Tremble: be moved deeply with religious awe. The Greek translation understood the emotion to b[...]
1: [Psalm 5] A lament contrasting the security of the house of God (Psalm 5:8-9, 12-13) with the dan[...] 2:  Their throats: their speech brings harm to their hearers (cf Jeremiah 5:16). The verse menti[...]
1: [Psalm 6] The first of the seven Penitential Psalms (Psalm 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), a design[...] 2:  Upon the eighth: apparently a musical notation, now lost. 3:  How long?: elliptical for "How long will it be before you answer my prayer?" Cf Psalm 13:2-3.[...] 4:  mercy: Heb. hesed, translated as "mercy' or "love," describes God's affectionate fidelity to [...] 5:  A motive for God to preserve the psalmist from death: in the shadowy world of the dead no one [...]
1: [Psalm 8] While marvelling at the limitless grandeur of God (Psalm 8:2-3), the psalmist is struck[...] 2:  Upon the gittith: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung or a musi[...] 3:  Babes and infants: the text is obscure. Some join this line to the last line of Psalm 8:2 (it[...] 4:  Humans . . . mere mortals: literally, "(mortal) person". . . "son of man (in sense of a human[...] 5:  Little less than a god: Hebrew 'elohim, the ordinary word for "God" or "the gods" or members [...]
1: [Psalms 9-10] Psalm 9 and Psalm 10 in the Hebrew text have been transmitted as separate poems but [...] 2:  Muth Labben: probably the melodic accompaniment of the psalm, now lost. 3:  Daughter Zion: an ancient Near Eastern city could sometimes be personified as a woman or a qu[...] 4:  The Lord is revealed in this divine rule: God has so made the universe that the wicked are pu[...]
1: [Psalm 11] A song of trust. Though friends counsel flight to the mountain country (a traditional h[...] 2:  Foundations: usually understood of public order. Cf Psalm 82:5. 3:  Their allotted cup: the cup that God gives people to drink is a common figure for their destin[...]
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[...]
1: [Psalm 14] The lament (duplicated in Psalm 53) depicts the world as consisting of two types of peo[...] 2:  Fools: literally, "the fool." The singular is used typically, hence the plural translation. [...] 3:  Israel . . . Jacob . . . his people: the righteous poor are identified with God's people.
1: [Psalm 15] The psalm records a liturgical scrutiny at the entrance to the temple court (cf Psalm [...] 2:  Your tent . . . your holy mountain: the temple could be referred to as "tent" (Psalm 61:5; Is[...] 3:  Lends no money at interest: lending money in the Old Testament was often seen as assistance to[...]
1: [Psalm 16] In the first section, the psalmist rejects the futile worship of false gods (Psalm 16:[...] 2:  Miktam: a term occurring six times in psalm superscriptions, always with "David." Its meaning [...] 3:  Take their names: to use the gods' names in oaths and hence to affirm them as one's own gods. [...] 4:  Pleasant places were measured out for me: the psalmist is pleased with the plot of land measur[...] 5:  Nor let your faithful servant see the pit: Hebrew shahath means here the pit, a synonym for S[...]
1: [Psalm 17] A lament of an individual unjustly attacked who has taken refuge in the temple. Confide[...] 2:  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:  When I awake: probably the psalmist has spent the night in the sanctuary (cf Psalm 17:3) and[...]
1: [Psalm 12] A royal thanksgiving for a military victory, duplicated in 2 Sam 22. Thanksgiving psalm[...] 2:  My saving horn: my strong savior. The horn referred to is the weapon of a bull and the symbol [...] 3:  Cords: hunting imagery, the cords of a snare. 4:  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:  Cherub: a winged creature, derived from myth, in the service of the deity (Genesis 3:24; Exo[...] 7:  Arrows: lightning. 8:  Bow of bronze: hyperbole for a bow difficult to bend and therefore capable of propelling an a[...]
1: [Psalm 19] The heavenly elements of the world, now beautifully arranged, bespeak the power and wis[...] 2:  No word or sound: the regular functioning of the heavens and the alternation of day and night [...] 3:  The sun: in other religious literature the sun is a judge and lawgiver since it sees all in it[...] 4:  Instructed: the Hebrew verb means both to shine and to teach. Cf Daniel 12:3.
1: [Psalm 20] The people pray for the king before battle. The people ask for divine help (Psalm 20:2[...] 2:  Remember: God's remembering implies readiness to act. Cf Genesis 8:1; Exodus 2:24 3:  Victory: the Hebrew root is often translated "salvation," "to save," but in military contexts[...]
1: [Psalm 22] A lament unusual in structure and in intensity of feeling. The psalmist's present distr[...] 2:  The deer of the dawn: apparently the title of the melody. 3:  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:  The dust of death: the netherworld, the domain of the dead. 6:  In the community I will praise you: the person who offered a thanksgiving sacrifice in the te[...] 7:  Turn away: literally, "hides his face from me," an important metaphor for God withdrawing fro[...] 8:  The poor: originally the poor, who were dependent on God; the term ('anawim) came to include [...] 9:  Hebrew unclear. The translation assumes that all on earth (Psalm 22:27-28) and under the ear[...]
1: [Psalm 23] God's loving care for the psalmist is portrayed under the figures of a shepherd for the[...] 2:  My shepherd: God as good shepherd is common in both the Old Testament and the New Testament ([...] 3:  The right path: connotes "right way" and "way of righteousness." 4:  A dark valley: a different division of the Hebrew consonants yields the translation "the valle[...] 5:  You set a table before me: this expression occurs in an exodus context in Psalm 78:19. As my [...] 6:  Goodness and love: the blessings of God's covenant with Israel.
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[...]
1: [Psalm 25] A lament. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Such acros[...] 2:  Because of your goodness, LORD: these words have been transposed from the end of 7 to preserve[...] 3:  A final verse beginning with the Hebrew letter pe is added to the normal 22-letter alphabet. [...]
1: [Psalm 26] Like a priest washing before approaching the altar (Exodus 30:17-21), the psalmist see[...] 2:  I will wash my hands: the washing of hands was a liturgical act (Exodus 30:19, 21; 40:31-32)[...]
1: [Psalm 27] Tradition has handed down the two sections of the psalm (Psalm 27:1-6; 7-14) as one ps[...] 2:  To devour my flesh: the psalmist's enemies are rapacious beasts (Psalm 7:3; 17:12; 22:14, 17[...] 3:  Seek God's face (literally: "to seek his face"): to commune with God in the temple. The idiom [...] 4:  In the land of the living: or "in the land of life," an epithet of the Jerusalem temple (Psa[...]
1:  Your holy place: the innermost part of the temple, the holy of holies, containing the ark. Cf [...] 2:  The psalmist shifts to fervent thanksgiving, probably responding to a priestly or prophetic or[...] 3:  Your people . . . your anointed king: salvation is more than individual, affecting all the peo[...]
1: [Psalm 29] The hymn invites the members of the heavenly court to acknowledge God's supremacy by as[...] 2:  You heavenly beings: literally "sons of God," i.e., members of the heavenly court who served [...] 3:  The voice of the LORD: the sevenfold repetition of the phrase imitates the sound of crashing t[...] 4:  Sirion: the Phoenician name for Mount Hermon. Cf Deut 3:9. 5:  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:  The flood: God defeated the primordial waters and made them part of the universe. Cf Psalm 8[...] 8:  His people: God's people, Israel.
1: [Psalm 30] An individual thanksgiving in four parts: praise and thanks for deliverance and restora[...] 2:  For the dedication of the temple: a later adaptation of the psalm to celebrate the purificatio[...] 3:  Healed: for God as healer, see also Psalm 103:3; 107:20; Hosea 6:1; 7:1; 11:3; 14:5. 4:  Sheol ... pit: the shadowy underworld residence of the spirits of the dead, here a metaphor fo[...] 5:  Complacent: untroubled existence is often seen as a source of temptation to forget God. Cf De[...] 6:  in the stillness of Sheol no one gives you praise; let me live and be among your worshipers. [...]
1: [Psalm 31] A lament (Psalm 31:2-19) with a strong emphasis on trust (Psalm 31:4, 6, 15-16), endi[...] 2:  Into your hands I commend my spirit: in Luke 23:46 Jesus breathes his last with this psalm ve[...] 3:  Like a shattered dish: a common comparison for something ruined and useless. Cf Isaiah 30:14[...] 4:  Terrors are all around: a cry used in inescapable danger. Cf Jeremiah 6:25; 20:10; 46:5; 49[...]
1: [Psalm 32] An individual thanksgiving and the second of the seven Penitential Psalms (cf Psalm 6).[...] 2:  I kept silent: did not confess the sin before God. 3:  Flood waters: the untamed waters surrounding the earth, a metaphor for danger.
1: [Psalm 33] A hymn in which the just are invited (Psalm 33:1-3) to praise God, who by a mere word [...] 2:  All their host: the stars of the sky are commonly viewed as a vast army, e.g., Nehemiah 9:6; [...] 3:  The waters . . . as in a bowl: ancients sometimes attributed the power keeping the seas from o[...]
1: [Psalm 34] A thanksgiving in acrostic form, each line beginning with a successive letter of the He[...] 2:  Abimelech: a scribal error for Achish. In 1 Sam 21:13-16, David feigned madness before Achish[...] 3:  The powerful: literally, "lions." Fierce animals were sometimes metaphors for influential pe[...] 4:  Children: the customary term for students in Wisdom literature.
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.
1: [Psalm 36] A psalm with elements of wisdom (Psalm 36:2-5), the hymn (Psalm 36:6-10), and the lame[...] 2:  Hated: punished by God. 3: [6-7] Love . . . judgments: God actively controls the entire world. 4:  The shadow of your wings: metaphor for divine protection. It probably refers to the winged che[...]
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[...]
1: [Psalm 40] A thanksgiving (Psalm 40:2-13) has been combined with a lament (Psalm 40:14-17), that [...] 2:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 41] A thanksgiving for rescue from illness (Psalm 41:4, 5, 9). Many people, even friends,[...] 2:  Happy those concerned for the lowly and poor: other psalms use the same formula ("Happy those"[...] 3:  Even the friend . . . has scorned me: John 13:18 cites this verse to characterize Judas as a[...] 4:  That I may repay them as they deserve: the healing itself is an act of judgment through which[...] 5:  The doxology, not part of the psalm, marks the end of the first of the five books of the Psal[...]
1: [Psalms 42-43] Psalm 42-43 form a single lament of three sections, each section ending in an ident[...] 2:  The Korahites: a major guild of temple singers (2 Chron 20:19) whose name appears in the supe[...] 3:  See the face of God: "face" designates a personal presence (Genesis 33:10; Exodus 10:28-29; [...] 4:  From the land of the Jordan: the sources of the Jordan are in the foothills of Mount Hermon in[...] 5:  Here deep calls to deep: to the psalmist, the waters arising in the north are overwhelming and[...]
1: [Psalm 44] In this lament the community reminds God of past favors which it has always acknowledge[...] 2:  You make us retreat: the corollary of Psalm 44:3. Defeat, like victory, is God's doing; neit[...] 3:  Our hearts have not turned back: Israel's defeat was not caused by its lack of fidelity. 4:  A place of jackals: following Israel's defeat and exile (Psalm 44:11-12), the land lies deso[...]
1: [Psalm 45] A song for the Davidic king's marriage to a foreign princess from Tyre in Phoenicia. Th[...] 2:  O god: the king, in courtly language, is called "god," i.e., more than human, representing God[...] 3:  Ivory-paneled palaces: literally, "palaces of ivory." Ivory paneling and furniture decoration[...] 4:  Ophir's gold: uncertain location, possibly a region on the coast of southern Arabia or easter[...] 5:  Forget your people and your father's house: the bride should no longer consider herself a dau[...]
1: [Psalm 46] A song of confidence in God's protection of Zion with close parallels to Psalm 48. The [...] 2:  Alamoth: the melody of the psalm, now lost. 3: [3-4] Figurative ancient Near Eastern language to describe social and political upheavals. 4:  The first line of the refrain is similar in structure and meaning to Isaiah's name for the roy[...] 5:  Jerusalem is not situated on a river. This description derives from mythological descriptions [...]
1: [Psalm 47] A hymn calling on the nations to acknowledge the universal rule of Israel's God (Psalm[...] 2:  Our heritage . . . the glory: the land of Israel (cf Isaiah 58:14), which God has given Israe[...] 3:  God mounts the throne: "has gone up to the throne," according to the context (Psalm 47:9). Ch[...]
1: [Psalm 48] A Zion hymn, praising the holy city as the invincible dwelling place of God. Unconquera[...] 2:  Korahites: Psalm 48: see note on Psalm 42:1. 3:  The heights of Zaphon: the mountain abode of the Canaanite storm-god Baal in comparable texts.[...] 4:  When they looked: the kings are stunned by the sight of Zion, touched by divine splendor. The [...] 5:  The ships of Tarshish: large ships, named after the distant land or port of Tarshish, probably[...] 6:  What we had heard we now see: the glorious things that new pilgrims had heard about the holy c[...] 7:  So mighty is God: Israel's God is like Zion in being eternal and invincible. The holy city is[...]
1: [Psalm 49] The psalm affirms confidence in God (cf Psalm 23; 27:1-6; 62) in the face of the appar[...] 2:  Korahites: see note on Psalm 42:1. 3:  Problem: the psalmist's personal solution to the perennial biblical problem of the prosperity [...] 4:  One cannot redeem oneself: an axiom. For the practice of redemption, cf Job 6:21-23. A play o[...] 5:  Will take me: the same Hebrew verb is used of God "taking up" a favored servant: Enoch in Ge[...]
1: [Psalm 51] A lament, the most famous of the seven Penitential Psalms, prays for the removal of the[...] 2:  A sinner, even as my mother conceived me: literally, "In iniquity was I conceived," an instanc[...] 3:  Hyssop: a small bush whose many woody twigs make a natural sprinkler. It was prescribed in the[...] 4:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 52] A condemnation of the powerful and arrogant (Psalm 52:3-6), who bring down upon themse[...] 2:  Like an olive tree: the righteous will flourish in the house of God like a well-watered olive[...]
1: [Psalm 56] Beset physically (Psalm 56:2-3) and psychologically (Psalm 56:6-7), the psalmist maint[...] 2:  Yonath elem rehoqim: Hebrew words probably designating the melody to which the psalm was to be[...] 3:  Are my tears not stored in your vial: a unique saying in the Old Testament. The context sugges[...]
1: [Psalm 57] Each of the two equal strophes contains a prayer for rescue from enemies, accompanied b[...] 2:  Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung. 3:  The shadow of your wings: probably refers to the wings of the cherubim (powerful winged animal[...] 4:  I will wake the dawn: by a bold figure the psalmist imagines the sound of music and singing wi[...]
1: [Psalm 58] A lament expressing trust in God's power to dethrone all powers obstructing divine rule[...] 2:  Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung. 3:  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:  A snail that oozes away: empty shells suggested to ancients that snails melted away as they le[...]
1: [Psalm 59] A lament in two parts (Psalm 59:2-9, 11b-17), each ending in a refrain (Psalm 59:10, [...] 2:  Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung. 3:  Who is there to hear?: a sample of the enemies' godless reflection. The answer is that God hea[...]
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:  I will apportion . . . measure out: God lays claim to these places. The valley of Succoth: pro[...] 4:  Judah, my own scepter: an allusion to the Testament of Jacob, Genesis 49:10. 5:  Moab is my washbowl: Moab borders the Dead Sea, hence a metaphor for the country. Upon Edom I[...] 6:  The fortified city: perhaps Bozrah, the fortified capital of Edom. Cf Isaiah 34:6; 63:1; Amo[...]
1: [Psalm 61] A lament of the king who feels himself at the brink of death (Psalm 61:3) and cries ou[...] 2:  Brink of Sheol: literally, "edge of the earth," "earth" being taken in its occasional meaning[...] 3:  In prayer: added for sense. Psalm 61:7-8 express the plea of Psalm 61:6. 4:  Then: Hebrew "just as," i.e., in accord with the vows referred to in Psalm 61:5.
1: [Psalm 62] A song of trust displaying serenity from experiencing God's power (the refrains of Psa[...] 2:  'Al Jeduthun: apparently the Hebrew name for the melody. 3:  On a balance they rise: precious objects were weighed by balancing two pans suspended from a [...] 4:  One thing . . . two things: parallelism of numbers for the sake of variation, a common device[...]
1: [Psalm 63] A psalm expressing the intimate relationship between God and the worshiper. Separated f[...] 2:  For your love is better than life: only here in the Old Testament is anything prized above lif[...] 3:  All who swear by the Lord: to swear by a particular god meant that one was a worshiper of tha[...]
1: [Psalm 65] The community, aware of its unworthiness (Psalm 65:3-4), gives thanks for divine bount[...] 2:  Vows: the Israelites were accustomed to promising sacrifices in the temple if their prayers we[...] 3:  To you all flesh must come: all must have recourse to God's mercy. 4:  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:  God's stream: the fertile waters of the earth derive from God's fertile waters in the heavenly[...] 7:  Paths: probably the tracks of God's storm chariot dropping rain upon earth.
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:  You let captors set foot on our neck: literally, "you let men mount our head." Conquerors pla[...] 4:  Holocausts: wholly burnt offerings. Cf Lev 1:3-13; 6:1-4; 22:17-20.
1: [Psalm 67] A petition for a bountiful harvest (Psalm 67:7), made in the awareness that Israel's p[...] 2:  May God be gracious to us: the people's petition echoes the blessing pronounced upon them by t[...]
1: [Psalm 68] The psalm is extremely difficult because the Hebrew text is badly preserved and the cer[...] 2:  The opening line alluding to Numbers 10:35 makes clear that God's assistance in the period of[...] 3:  Exalt the rider of the clouds: God's intervention is in the imagery of Canaanite myth in which[...] 4:  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:  Zalmon: generally taken as the name of a mountain where snow is visible in winter, perhaps to[...] 7:  The mountain: Mount Zion, the site of the temple. 8:  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:  The wild beast of the reeds: probably the Nile crocodile, a symbol for Egypt; see Psalm 68:3[...] 11:  Psalm 68:32[29-30] Lower Egypt is the delta area north of Cairo. Upper Egypt is the Nile-Val[...]
1: [Psalm 69] A lament complaining of suffering in language both metaphorical (Psalm 69:2-3; 15-16 t[...] 2:  "Lilies": apparently the name of the melody. 3:  Waters: the waters of chaos from which God created the world are a common metaphor for extreme[...] 4:  What I did not steal: the psalmist, falsely accused of theft, is being forced to make restitut[...] 5:  Zeal for your house consumes me: the psalmist's commitment to God's cause brings only opposit[...] 6:  That I may praise God's name in song: the actual song is cited in 33-35, the word "praise" in[...]
1: [Psalm 71] A lament of an old person (Psalm 71:9, 18) whose afflictions are interpreted by enemie[...] 2:  A portent to many: the afflictions of the sufferer are taken as a manifestation of God's anger[...]
1: [Psalm 72] A royal psalm in which the Israelite king, as the representative of God, is the instrum[...] 2:  The king . . . the son of kings: the crown prince is the king's son; the prayer envisages the [...] 3:  From sea to sea . . . the ends of the earth: the boundaries of the civilized world known at th[...] 4:  Tarshish and the islands: the far west (Psalm 48:6); Arabia and Seba: the far south (1 Kings[...] 5:  Their blood: cf Psalm 116:15. 6:  The translation of the difficult Hebrew is tentative. 7:  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.
1: [Psalm 73] The opening verse of this probing poem (cf Psalm 37:49) is actually the psalmist's har[...] 2:  They set their mouths against the heavens: in an image probably derived from mythic stories of[...] 3:  The Hebrew is obscure. 4: And came to understand their end: the psalmist receives a double revelation in the temple: 1) the [...] 5:  And at the end receive me with honor: a perhaps deliberately enigmatic verse. It is understoo[...]
1: [Psalm 74] A communal lament sung when the enemy invaded the temple; it would be especially approp[...] 2:  Forever: the word implies that the disaster is already of long duration. Cf Psalm 74:9 and no[...] 3:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 75] The psalmist gives thanks and rejoices (Psalm 75:2, 10) for the direct intervention of[...] 2:  You said: supplied for clarity here and in Psalm 75:11. The translation assumes in both place[...] 3:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 76] A song glorifying Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem where God destroyed Israel's enemie[...] 2:  Salem: an ancient name for Jerusalem, used here perhaps on account of its allusion to the Hebr[...] 3:  Ancient mountains: conjectural translation of a difficult Hebrew phrase on the basis of Genes[...] 4:  Edom . . . Hamath: conjectural translation. Israel's neighbors to the southeast and north. [...]
1: [Psalm 77] A community lament in which the speaker ("I") describes the anguish of Israel at God's [...] 2:  I conclude: literally, "I said." The psalmist, after pondering the present distress and God's[...] 3:  I will remember: the verb sometimes means to make present the great deeds of Israel's past by[...]
1: [Psalm 78] A recital of history to show that past generations did not respond to God's gracious de[...] 2:  Story: Hebrew mashal literally means "comparison" and can signify a story with a hidden meanin[...] 3:  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:  Remembered: invoked God publicly in worship. Their words were insincere (Psalm 78:36). 7:  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:  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. [...]
1: [Psalm 80] A community lament in time of military defeat. Using the familiar image of Israel as a [...] 2:  Lilies . . . . Eduth: the first term is probably the title of the melody to which the psalm wa[...] 3:  A vine: a frequent metaphor for Israel. Cf Isaiah 5:1-7; 27:2-5; Jeremiah 2:21; Hosea 10:1; [...] 4:  The sea: the Mediterranean. The river: the Euphrates. Cf Genesis 15:18; 1 Kings 5:1. The t[...] 5:  The man at your right hand . . . the one: the Davidic king who will lead the army in battle. [...]
1: [Psalm 81] At a pilgrimage feast, probably harvest in the fall, the people assemble in the temple [...] 2:  Upon the gittith: probably the title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung or a musi[...] 3:  New moon . . . full moon: the pilgrimage feast of harvest began with a great assembly (Lev 23[...] 4:  I hear a new oracle: literally, "a tongue I do not know I hear." A temple official speaks the [...] 5:  I relieved their shoulders of the burden: literally, "his [Israel's] shoulder," hence the plur[...] 6:  Meribah: place of rebellion in the wilderness; cf Exodus 17:7; Numbers 20:13. 7:  There must be no foreign god among you: as in Psalm 50 and 95, Israel is challenged to obey t[...]
1: [Psalm 82] As in Psalm 58, the pagan gods are seen as subordinate divine beings to whom Israel's G[...] 2:  The gods are blind and unable to declare what is right. Their misrule shakes earth's foundatio[...] 3:  I declare: "Gods though you be": in John 10:34 Jesus uses the verse to prove that those to wh[...] 4:  Judge the earth: according to Deut 32:8-9, Israel's God had originally assigned jurisdiction [...]
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.
1: [Psalm 84] Israelites celebrated three pilgrimage feasts in Jerusalem annually. The psalm expresse[...] 2:  The desire of a restless bird for a secure home is an image of the desire of a pilgrim for the[...] 3:  Baca valley: Hebrew obscure; probably a valley on the way to Jerusalem. 4:  Our shield . . . your anointed: the king had a role in the liturgical celebration. For the ki[...]
1: [Psalm 85] A national lament reminding God of past favors and forgiveness (Psalm 85:2-4) and begg[...] 2:  The prophet listens to God's revelation. Cf Hebrews 2:1. 3: [11-13] Divine activity is personified as pairs of virtues.
1: [Psalm 87] A song of Zion, like Psalms 46; 48; 76; 132. After the Exile of the sixth century B.C.,[...] 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[...]
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[...]
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:  The gods: literally, "the sons of gods," "the holy ones" and "courtiers" of Psalm 89:6, 8. Th[...] 4:  Rahab: a mythological sea monster whose name is used in the Bible mainly as a personification[...] 5:  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:  The sea . . . the rivers: geographically the limits of the Davidic Empire (the Mediterranean [...] 8:  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:  The doxology at the end of the third book of the Psalms; it is not part of Psalm 89.
1: [Psalm 90] A communal lament that describes only in general terms the cause of the community's dis[...] 2:  The translation reverses the order of the difficult Hebrew verses Psalm 90:3 and 4 to get the[...] 3:  Return: one word of God is enough to return mortals to the dust from which they were created. [...] 4:  You have brought them to their end: an interpretation of the unclear Hebrew. 5:  It is dry and withered: the transitory nature of the grass under the scorching sun was proverb[...]
1: [Psalm 91] A prayer of someone who has taken refuge in the security of the temple (Psalm 91:1-2).[...] 2:  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. [...]
1: [Psalm 92] A hymn of praise and thanks for God's faithful deeds (Psalm 92:2-5). The wicked, delud[...] 2:  Planted: the just are likened to trees growing in the sacred precincts of the temple, which i[...]
1: [Psalm 93] A hymn celebrating the kingship of God, who created the world (Psalm 93:1-2) by defeat[...] 2:  The LORD is king: literally, "the LORD reigns." This psalm, and Psalms 47; 96-99, are sometime[...] 3:  The flood: the primordial sea was tamed by God in the act of creation. It is a figure of chaos[...]
1: [Psalm 95] Twice the psalm calls the people to praise and worship God (Psalm 95:1-2, 6), the king[...] 2:  Meribah: literally, "contention"; the place where the Israelites quarreled with God. Massah: [...] 3:  My rest: the promised land as in Deut 12:9. Hebrews 4 applies the verse to the eternal rest [...]
1: [Psalm 97] The hymn begins with God appearing in a storm, a traditional picture of some ancient Ne[...] 2:  All gods: divine beings thoroughly subordinate to Israel's God. The Greek translates "angels,"[...]
1: [Psalm 98] A hymn, similar to Psalm 96, extolling God for Israel's victory (Psalm 98:1-3). All na[...] 2:  Marvelous deeds . . . victory: the conquest of all threats to the peaceful existence of Israel[...]
1: [Psalm 99] A hymn to God as the king whose grandeur is most clearly seen on Mount Zion (Psalm 99:[...] 2:  Enthroned on the cherubim: cherubim were composite beings with animal and human features, comm[...] 3:  Footstool: a reference to the ark. Cf 1 Chron 28:2; Psalm 132:7.
1: [Psalm 100] A hymn inviting the people to enter the temple courts with thank offerings for the God[...] 2:  Although the people call on all the nations of the world to join in their hymn, they are consc[...]
1: [Psalm 101] The king, grateful at being God's chosen (Psalm 100:1), promises to be a ruler after [...] 2:  Within my royal court: the king promises to make his own household a model for Israel, banning[...] 3:  I look to the faithful of the land: the king seeks companions only among those faithful to God[...] 4:  Each morning: the normal time for the administration of justice (2 Sam 15:2; Jeremiah 21:12) [...]
1: [Psalm 102] A lament, one of the Penitential Psalms. The psalmist, experiencing psychic and bodily[...] 2:  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:  In the midst of my days: when the normal span of life is but half completed. Cf Isaiah 38:10[...]
1: [Psalm 103] The speaker in this hymn begins by praising God for personal benefits (Psalm 103:1-5)[...] 2:  Your youth is renewed like the eagle's: because of the eagle's long life it was a symbol of pe[...]
1: [Psalm 104] A hymn praising God who easily and skillfully made rampaging waters and primordial nig[...] 2:  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:  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:  Hallelujah: a frequent word in the last third of the Psalter. The word combines the plural im[...]
1: [Psalm 105] A hymn to God who promised the land of Canaan to the holy people. Cf Psalm 78; 106; 13[...] 2:  Kings: Pharaoh and Abimelech of Gerar. Cf Genesis 12:17; 20:6-7. 3:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 106] Israel is invited to praise the God whose mercy has always tempered judgment of Israel[...] 2:  Withstood him in the breach: the image is that of Moses standing in a narrow break made in th[...] 3:  Moses suffered because of them: Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of h[...] 4:  The gods: Hebrew shedim, customarily translated "demons," occurs in parallelism with "gods" [...] 5:  A doxology ending Book IV of the Psalter. It is not part of the psalm.
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[...]
1: [Psalm 109] A lament notable for the length and vehemence of its prayer against evildoers (Psalm [...] 2:  An accuser: Hebrew satan, a word occurring in Job 1-2 and Zechariah 3:1-2. In the latter pass[...] 3:  May the LORD bring all this: the psalmist prays that God ratify the curses of 6-19 and bring [...]
1: [Psalm 110] A royal psalm in which a court singer recites three oracles in which God assures the k[...] 2:  The LORD says to you, my lord: literally, "The LORD says to my lord," a polite form of address[...] 3:  Like the dew I begot you: an adoption formula as in Psalm 2:7; 89:27-28. Before the daystar: [...] 4:  Like Melchizedek: Melchizedek was the ancient king of Salem (Jerusalem) who blessed Abraham ([...] 5:  Who drinks from the brook by the wayside: the meaning is uncertain. Some see an allusion to a [...]
1: [Psalm 111] A temple singer (Psalm 111:1) tells how God is revealed in Israel's history (Psalm 11[...] 2:  In the assembled congregation of the upright: in the temple. Cf Psalm 149:1. 3:  Your: the psalm refers to God in the third person throughout; the shift to the second person i[...] 4:  Food to those who fear you: probably a reference to the manna in the desert, which elsewhere i[...] 5:  Lands: literally, "inheritance, heritage." 6:  The fear of the LORD: reverence for God, the Hebrew term for religion.
1: [Psalm 112] An acrostic poem detailing the blessings received by those who remain close to God by[...] 2:  Happy are those: literally, "Happy the person." "Person" is used typically, hence the plural [...] 3:  Prosperity: literally, "justice." In the Second Temple Period the word acquired the nuance of[...] 4:  Their horn: the symbol for vitality and honor.
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:  The miracles of giving drink to the people in the arid desert. Cf Exodus 17:1-7; Isaiah 41:17[...]
1: [Psalm 115] A response to the enemy taunt, "Where is your God?" This hymn to the glory of Israel's[...] 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:  The heavens: literally "the heaven of heavens" or "the highest heavens," i.e., above the fir[...] 5:  See note on Psalm 6:5.
1: [Psalm 116] A thanksgiving in which the psalmist responds to divine rescue from mortal danger (Psa[...] 2:  The cords of death: death is personified here; it attempts to capture the psalmist with snares[...] 3:  The land of the living: the phrase elsewhere is an epithet of the Jerusalem Temple (cf Psalm [...] 4:  I kept faith, even when I said: even in the days of despair, the psalmist did not lose all ho[...] 5:  The cup of salvation: probably the libation of wine poured out in gratitude for rescue. Cf E[...] 6:  Too costly in the eyes of the LORD: the meaning is that the death of God's faithful is grievo[...]
1: [Psalm 118] A thanksgiving liturgy accompanying a victory procession of the king and the people in[...] 2:  Where the victors enter: their victory has demonstrated that God favors them; they are "just"[...] 3:  The stone the builders rejected: a proverb: what is insignificant to human beings has become [...] 4:  Grant salvation: the Hebrew for this cry has come into English as "Hosanna." This cry and the[...]
1: [Psalm 119] This psalm, the longest by far in the psalter, praises God for giving such splendid la[...] 2:  A sojourner in the land: like someone without the legal protection of a native inhabitant, th[...] 3:  For you open my docile heart: literally, "you make broad my heart." 4:  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.[...]
1: [Psalm 120] A thanksgiving, reporting divine rescue (Psalm 120:10) yet with fervent prayer for fu[...] 2:  Song of ascents: Psalm 120-134 all begin with this superscription. Most probably these fifteen[...] 3:  More besides: a common curse formula in Hebrew was "May the Lord do such and such evils to you[...] 4:  Coals of brushwood: coals made from the stalk of the broom plant burn with intense heat. The p[...] 5:  Meshech was in the far north (Genesis 10:2) and Kedar was a tribe of the north Arabian desert[...]
1: [Psalm 121] A blessing given to someone embarking on a dangerous journey whether a soldier going o[...] 2:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 122] A song of Zion, sung by pilgrims obeying the law to visit Jerusalem three times on a j[...] 2:  Walled round about: literally, "which is joined to it," probably referring both to the density[...]
1: [Psalm 125] In response to exilic anxieties about the ancient promises of restoration, the psalm e[...] 2:  The land given to the just: literally, "the lot of the just." The promised land was divided am[...]
1: [Psalm 126] A lament probably sung shortly after Israel's return from exile. The people rejoice th[...] 2:  Like the dry stream beds of the Negeb: the psalmist prays for rain in such abundance that the [...]
1: [Psalm 127] The psalm puts together two proverbs (Psalm 127:1-2, 3-5) on God establishing "houses[...] 2:  At the gate: the reference is not to enemies besieging the walls of a city but to adversaries [...]
1: [Psalm 128] A statement that the ever-reliable God will bless the reverent (Psalm 128:1). God's b[...] 2:  All who fear the LORD: literally, singular: "the one fearing," is used in a typical sense and[...]
1: [Psalm 129] A psalm giving thanks for God's many rescues of Israel over the long course of their h[...] 2:  The ropes of the yoke of the wicked: usually understood as the rope for yoking animals to the [...] 3:  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[...]
1: [Psalm 130] This lament, a Penitential Psalm, is the De profundis used in liturgical prayers for t[...] 2:  The depths: Sheol here is a metaphor of total misery. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel "li[...] 3:  And so you are revered: the experience of God's mercy leads one to a greater sense of God.
1: [Psalm 132] A song for a liturgical ceremony in which the ark, the throne of Israel's God, was car[...] 2:  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:  Ephrathah: the homeland of David. Cf Ruth 4:11. The fields of Jaar: poetic for Kiriath-jearim[...] 5:  A horn sprout for David's line: the image of the horn, a symbol of strength, is combined with[...]
1: [Psalm 133] A benediction over a peaceful community, most probably the people Israel, but appropri[...] 2:  The people: literally, "brothers," i.e., male and female members of a kin group or people - m[...] 3:  Ointment: oil was used at the consecration of the high priest (Exodus 30:22-33). 4:  Dew: dew was an important source of moisture in the dry climate (Genesis 27:28; Hosea 14:6). [...]
1: [Psalm 134] A brief liturgy exhorting the temple singers to acknowledge the great deeds of God at [...] 2:  Servants of the LORD: priests and Levites. Cf Deut 10:8; Psalm 113:1; 135:1; Azariah 1:62-63[...]
1: [Psalm 135] The hymn begins and ends with an invitation to praise God (Psalm 135:1-3, 19-20) for [...] 2:  Though all nations are God's, Israel has a special status as God's "treasured" people: Exodus[...]
1: [Psalm 136] The hymn praises Israel's God ("the God of gods," Psalm 136:2), who has created the w[...] 2:  A heritage for Israel: the land was given to Israel by God to be handed on to future generati[...]
1: [Psalm 137] A temple singer refuses to sing the people's sacred songs in an alien land despite dem[...] 2:  Poplars: sometimes incorrectly translated "willow." The Euphrates poplar is a high tree common[...] 3:  Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock: the infants represent the f[...]
1: [Psalm 138] A thanksgiving to God, who came to the rescue of the psalmist. Divine rescue was not t[...] 2:  Before the gods: i.e., heavenly beings, who were completely subordinate to Israel's God. The e[...]
1: [Psalm 139] A hymnic meditation on God's omnipresence and omniscience. The psalmist is keenly awar[...] 2:  When I sit and stand: in all my physical movement. 3:  Fly with the wings of dawn: go to the extremities of the east. Beyond the sea: uttermost bound[...] 4:  Night shall be my light: night to me is what day is to others. 5:  The depths of the earth: figurative language for the womb, stressing the hidden and mysteriou[...] 6:  My way . . . the ancient paths: the manner of living of our ancestors, who were faithful to G[...]
1: [Psalm 140] A lament seeking rescue from violent and treacherous foes (Psalm 140:2-6). The psalmi[...] 2:  Similar metaphors for a wicked tongue are used in Psalm 52:2; 55:20; 58:3. 3:  Have set a trap . . . have spread a net: the same figure, of hunters setting traps, occurs in [...]
1: [Psalm 141] A lament of an individual (Psalm 141:1-2) who is keenly aware that only the righteous[...] 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.
1: [Psalm 142] In this lament imploring God for help (Psalm 142:2-4), the psalmist tells how enemies[...] 2:  In the cave: cf 1 Sam 22:1; 24:1-3; Psalm 57:1. 3:  Then the just shall gather around me: in the temple, when the psalmist offers a thanksgiving s[...]
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 [...]
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:  Similar to Psalm 8:5. 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.[...]
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[...]
1: [Psalm 148] A hymn inviting the beings of heaven (Psalm 148:1-6) and of earth (Psalm 148:7-14) to[...] 2:  Highest heavens: literally, "the heavens of the heavens," i.e., the space above the firmament,[...] 3:  The LORD has lifted high the horn of his people: horn = strength, the concrete noun for the a[...]
1: [Psalm 149] A hymn inviting the people of Israel to celebrate their God in song and festive dance [...] 2:  Make music with tambourine and lyre: the verse recalls the great exodus hymn of Exodus 15:20.[...] 3:  At their banquet: literally, "upon their couches." The people reclined to banquet. 4:  The glory: what brings honor to the people is their readiness to carry out the divine will, he[...]
1: [Psalm 150] The psalm is a closing doxology both for the fifth book of the Psalms (Psalm 150:107-1[...] 2:  His holy sanctuary: God's temple on earth. The mighty dome of the heavens: literally, "[God's][...]
1: [1-6] This prologue explains the purpose of the book: to educate the inexperienced in knowledge an[...] 2:  Discipline: education or formation which dispels ignorance and corrects vice. 3:  Simple: immature and inexperienced, hence easily influenced for good or evil. 4:  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:  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:  Overtaken by doom, the foolish seek wisdom, but in vain because they do so too late. Cf John[...] 9:  Sinners are punished by the bad fruits which their sins produce. Cf Wisdom 11:16.
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.
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:  Corals: some precious stone may be intended. 4:  A tree of life: cf Proverb 11:30; 13:12; Genesis 2:9. 5:  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:  The ruin of the wicked: i.e., the ruin that comes upon the wicked.
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)Till perfect day: literally, "till the day is established"; this may refer to full dayli[...]
1: [1-20] Understanding and discretion guard a man against the wiles of an adulteress, which lead ast[...] 2:  Honor: the words "life" and "wealth" have also been read in this place. A merciless one: the [...] 3:  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.
1: [1-19] These verses interrupt the discourse of chapters Proverb 6:2-7, which should be read apart[...] 2:  Given your hand in pledge: literally, "struck your hands"; this was probably the legal method [...] 3:  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:  Some interpret the verse in a progressive sense, i.e., to satisfy the increasing demands of a[...]
1: [1-36] Wisdom is here personified as in Proverb 1:20-33, to confirm the words of the teacher of w[...] 2:  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:  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:  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:  His craftsman: furnishing God with the plan, as it were, for the creation of all things; cf [...]
1: [1-6,13-18] Wisdom and folly are represented as matrons, each inviting people to her banquet. Wisd[...] 2:  She calls: i.e., indirectly, through her maidens; but the text could also mean that wisdom her[...] 3:  The secrecy implies wrongdoing. 4:  The banquet chamber of folly is a tomb from which no one who enters it is released.
1: [10:1-22:16] The varied contents of this first collection of Solomon's proverbs apply mostly to [...] 2:  Love covers all offenses: a favorite maxim of the Apostles; cf 1 Cor 13:7; James 5:20; 1 Pet[...] 3:  The inspired author reflects upon the reality of the power of money and the defeat of poverty[...] 4:  The blessing of God rather than our own industry crowns our efforts with success; cf Psalm 1[...]
1:  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 [...]
1:  Words, like actions, often produce results different from those which were planned. 2:  Even the wicked, in their punishment, cannot escape glorifying God's justice. 3:  Decisions of supreme judicial authority were presumed disinterested and correct. 4:  The favorable or unfavorable result of chance depends on God. Deciding strifes and doubts by [...]
1:  Intelligence and ability are esteemed more highly than nobility of blood. 2:  To justify his own evil ways, a wicked man judges evil of others. Cf Matthew 7:1-5. 3:  Builds . . . high: a symbol of arrogance.
1: [10-11] Religion is a strong support and sure refuge in the struggle of life. The rich foolishly r[...] 2:  Compare the Savior's words: "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles him[...] 3:  To speak without first listening is characteristic of a fool; cf Proverb 10:14; Sirach 11:8.[...] 4:  See note on Proverb 16:33. 5: [20-21] Everyone must accept the consequences, of benefit or harm to himself, which his words prod[...]
1:  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:  What one wishes to buy is valued cheaply in order that it may be obtained at a low price; onc[...] 3:  Caution is again advised in the matter of becoming surety; cf Proverb 6:1-3. 4:  His lamp will go out: misfortune, even death, awaits him; cf Proverb 13:9; Exodus 21:17. 5:  Man is dependent upon God and cannot fully foresee his own course. 6:  This verse cautions against making vows without proper reflection; cf Deut 23:22-25; Eccl 5:[...]
1:  External rites or sacrifices do not please God unless accompanied by internal worship and righ[...] 2:  Assembly of the shades: cf note on Job 26:5. 3:  Wicked . . . ransom for the just: exemplified in the history of God's chosen people whom he r[...]
1:  To avoid the effort required for doing good, the sluggard exaggerates the difficulties that m[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  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:  Wine makes the drunkard insensible to bodily and moral harm. His one desire is to indulge aga[...]
1: [1-22] These verses continue an exhortation to wisdom (Proverb 24:3-7, 13-14), and against: viole[...] 2:  At the gate: of the city, where justice was administered and public affairs discussed; see not[...] 3:  Indifferent: to those who suffer unjustly. 4:  Rescue . . . death: most probably refers to the legal rescue of those unjustly condemned to d[...] 5:  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:  He gives a kiss on the lips: shows himself a true friend. 9:  This verse is commonly interpreted as advocating careful and practical preparation for marria[...] 10:  This verse indicates great progress from the principle of the law of Talion (see note on Exo[...]
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:  Nor . . . honor after honor: the text is uncertain.
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:  Seven abominations: many evil intentions.
1:  The meaning of this poorly preserved verse seems to be that frequent changes of rulers often r[...] 2:  The law: religious and moral teaching. 3:  Interest and overcharge were strictly forbidden in the old law among Israelites because it was[...] 4:  Prayers offered in bad faith are displeasing to God.
1: [1-3] Agur wishes to stress man's insignificance when he is compared to God; cf Job 38-39. 2:  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:  This verse portrays the indifference of an adulterous woman who thinks there is no trace of h[...] 7:  Rock-badgers: cf note to Psalm 104:18. 8: [32-33] The anger aroused by overweening pride threatens an awesome punishment.
1:  Good, and not evil: i.e., prosperity, not adversity. 2:  Merchant: literally, "Canaanite" (cf Proverb 31:24), probably because the merchant class had[...] 3:  Her lamp is undimmed: indicates abundance of productive work and its accompanying prosperity;[...] 4:  Laughs at the days to come: anticipates the future with gladness free from anxiety. 5:  The true charm of the ideal wife is her religious spirit, for she fears the LORD; cf note on [...]
1:  Qoheleth: see . 2:  Vanity of vanities: a Hebrew superlative expressing the supreme degree of futility and emptine[...] 3:  Under the sun: used throughout this book to signify "on the earth." 4:  All speech . . . man can say: or "All things are wearisome beyond man's power to tell." 5:  Men remember nothing long, God never forgets. 6:  Chase after wind: futility, like an attempt to corral the winds. Cf Hosea 12:2. The ancient [...]
1: [1-11] The author here assumes the role of Solomon. 2:  Though my mind . . . wisdom: while indulging in pleasure the author hopes to discover wherein [...] 3:  Unrestrained indulgence is not advocated here, but legitimate pleasure and the cheerfulness i[...]
1:  Consumes his own flesh: refuses to work for the necessities of life and consequently suffers h[...] 2:  Prison house: probably his mother's womb, from which the king issues without possessions. Cf [...] 3:  The king is no sooner dead than the people transfer their allegiance to his successor. 4:  The fools' . . . sacrifice: unacceptable to God because of their disobedience; cf 1 Sam 15:2[...]
1:  Nightmares: literally, "dreams." 2:  The wording of this verse has perhaps never been adequately explained. 3:  The meaning is that the joys of life, though temporary, keep a man from dwelling on the ills [...]
1:  A large family, a long life, an honorable burial, all were highly esteemed by the Hebrews, and[...] 2:  Same place: the grave. 3:  Mouth: appetite, and therefore, body. 4:  Better . . . wander after: the good that is present to us is better than that which is absent [...] 5:  The one who is stronger than man is God.
1:  Ointment: applied to the child at birth; a good name remains even after death. 2:  St. Jerome explains the warning against excessive justice in reference to the self-righteous [...] 3:  Untimely death was traditionally recognized as a divine punishment of the wicked; cf 1 Sam 2[...] 4:  This rule . . . that one: the sayings cited in Eccl 7:16-17. Others refer this and that to r[...] 5:  This is to be understood in the sense of Romans 5:12. See note there. 6:  The author found sincerity rare among men, but among women still more rare. 7:  Calculations: the many vain attempts and schemes of men to attain happiness by their own effo[...]
1:  The text is obscure. The Latin has "wicked men buried, who, while still alive, were in the ho[...] 2:  Shadowy: perhaps an addition here; cf Eccl 6:12. 3:  See notes on Eccl 2:24; 5:19.
1: [1-10] These statement are based on a very imperfect concept of life beyond the grave. With Christ[...] 2:  Love from hatred: divine favor or disfavor. 3:  His own time: the time of death or sudden disaster.
1:  This may refer to a spirit of adventure in business or to generosity in almsgiving. Waters: of[...] 2:  This verse refers either to almsgiving or to the wisdom of not putting all one's cargo into a [...] 3:  Dawn . . . fleeting: literally, "youth and the dawn [of life] are vanity."
1:  The sun . . . return: the cloudy and rainy Palestinian winter, a natural symbol of old age. [...] 2:  Guardians: the arms; strong men: the legs; grinders: the teeth; they who . . . windows: the ey[...] 3:  Doors: the tightly compressed lips; sound of the mill: perhaps the sound of mastication; daugh[...] 4:  The almond tree blooms: resembling the white hair of age. The locust . . . sluggish: an image [...] 5:  The golden bowl suspended by the silver cord was a symbol of life; the snapping of the cord an[...] 6:  Goads . . . one collector: the sayings were stimulants to thought and also spikes or centers [...] 7:  Man's all: St. Jerome explains: "Unto this is every man born that, knowing his Maker, he may [...]
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:  Daughters of Jerusalem: the chorus whom the bride addresses and who ask her questions (Song 5[...] 4:  Swarthy: tanned by the sun from working in her brothers' vineyards. My own vineyard: the bride[...] 5:  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:  Nard: a precious perfume, a figure of the bride; cf Song 4:14. 8:  Myrrh: produced from aromatic resin of balsam or roses. 9:  Henna: a plant which bears white scented flowers. 10:  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[...]
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:  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:  The bride is addressed as though she were a dove in a mountain fastness out of sight and reac[...] 6:  A snatch of song in answer to the request of Song 2:14; cf Song 8:13, 14. Foxes: all who th[...] 7:  Breathes cool: in the evening when the sun is going down. Cf Genesis 3:8. Bether: a very obs[...]
1:  Teeth: praised for whiteness and regularity. 2:  Pomegranate: a fruit somewhat like an orange, with a firm skin and deep red color. The girl's [...] 3:  The ornaments about her neck are compared to the trophies on the city walls. Cf 1 Kings 10:10[...] 4:  Mountain of myrrh. . . hill of incense: spoken figuratively of the bride; cf Song 8:14. 5:  Cf St. Paul's description of the Church in Eph 5:27. This verse is also applied to Our Lady, [...] 6:  Amana . . . Senir and Hermon: these rugged heights symbolize obstacles that would separate the[...] 7:  Sister: a term of endearment; it forms part of the conventional language of love used in this [...] 8:  Honey: sweet words. Cf Proverb 5:3. 9:  Enclosed garden . . . fountain sealed: reserved for the bridegroom alone. The bride's fidelit[...] 10:  These plants are all known for their sweet scent. 11:  The last two lines of the verse are spoken by the girl, inviting her lover to herself, the ga[...]
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:  The disappearance of the lover seems to be a deliberate trial and test inflicted on the girl. [...] 5:  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). [...]
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:  The text is obscure in Hebrew and in the ancient versions. The Vulgate reads: "I did not know[...]
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:  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:  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[...]
1:  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 [...]
1:  Justice: not merely the cardinal virtue of that name (cf Wisdom 8:7), but the universal moral[...] 2:  Discipline: here and elsewhere, another name for Wisdom; injustice: the opposite of the virtue[...] 3:  This verse is applied to the Holy Spirit in the liturgy at Pentecost. 4:  Calumny: speech against God and his providence is meant.
1:  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:  Law: the law of Moses; training has the same meaning.
1: [1-8] Verses frequently applied to the martyrs. 2:  Offerings: the image is that of the holocaust, in which the victim is completely consumed by f[...] 3:  Visitation: God's loving judgment of those who have been faithful to him; the same word is use[...] 4:  To match their thoughts: a fate as empty as that which they describe; cf Wisdom 2:1-5. 5:  Visitation of souls: that is, the last judgment. Cf Wisdom 3:7-9. 6:  Fidelity's choice reward: cf Isaiah 56:1-8. More gratifying: better than sons and daughters;[...]
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:  The verse here omitted repeats the last two lines of Wisdom 3:9. 4:  Counting up: the last judgment.
1:  First man formed on earth: Adam. The author omits throughout the book the proper names of the [...] 2:  In a ten-months' period: thus the ancients were accustomed to reckon the period of pregnancy. [...] 3:  Discipline: cf note on Wisdom 1:5.
1:  End to end: from one end of the heavens to the other. 2:  Moderation . . . fortitude: what are now known as the cardinal virtues. 3:  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:  Possess her: in the Latin, "be continent." Though this verse has often been cited in connecti[...]
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:  Cain. 4:  Noah. 5:  Abraham. 6:  Lot. Pentapolis: the five cities, including Sodom; cf Genesis 14:2. 7:  Disbelieving soul: Lot's wife; cf Genesis 19:26. 8: [10-12] Jacob. 9:  Devotion to God: in the Greek this signifies "piety" or "religion," and is the equivalent of[...] 10: [13-14] Joseph. 11:  Moses. 12:  Cast them up: their bodies, on the shore.
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:  Dumb: that is, irrational. 4:  Grain from a balance: a tiny particle used for weighing on sensitive scales.
1:  And of blood, from the midst of . . .: this line is obscure in the current Greek text and in a[...] 2:  The brunt of God's anger and vindictive justice is borne by those who know him and yet defy h[...]
1:  Him who is: the Hebrew sacred name of God; cf Exodus 3:14. 2:  Luminaries of heaven: the Latin interprets, "sun and moon"; governors: cf Genesis 1:16. 3:  The blame is less: the greater blame is incurred by those mentioned in Wisdom 13:10; 15:14-16[...]
1:  Noah. 2:  Often applied to the Cross of our Lord. 3:  Piety: the sanctity of oaths. 4:  Perjury is a form of deceit which calls for punishment even though it be practiced in the nam[...]
1: [18-20] The author here returns to the main theme of Wisdom 10-19 which was interrupted by the dig[...] 2:  For . . . rest: this may mean that the creatures worshiped by the Egyptians (e.g., crocodiles[...]
1:  The difference between them: God's distinctive manner of treating the Israelites and the Egypt[...] 2:  Single boy: Moses. 3:  Praises of the fathers: cf Sirach 44-50; Wisdom 10. 4:  People: the Hebrews. 5:  Blameless man: Aaron, acting according to his office of high priest and intercessor. 6:  Smiter: the destroying angel; cf Wisdom 18:25. 7:  Glories . . . grandeur: the name of God and the names of the tribes were inscribed on the hig[...]
1:  He: i.e., God. 2:  Them: the Hebrews. 3:  They: the Egyptians. 4:  Glorious: more precisely, "wondrous," but the word reflects glorified in 18:8; 19:22. 5:  More grievous: than that of the people of Sodom; cf Genesis 19. 6:  Theirs: the people of Sodom.
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[...]
1: [1-8] The Lord is the source and preserver of wisdom (Sirach 1:1); he created her from eternity, [...] 2:  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:  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[...]
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[...]
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:  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[...]
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[...]
1: [1-10] The vices of the rich are pride and independence (Sirach 5:1-2), presumption (Sirach 5:3),[...] 2:  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 [...]
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:  Discipline (musar, in the sense of wisdom) is a perfect homonym for musar, "removed, withdraw[...] 5:  Some forms of the text speak also of the "yoke" of wisdom under the imagery of golden ornamen[...]
1: [1-17] In the conduct of social relations wisdom forbids evil and injustice (Sirach 7:1-3), pride[...] 2:  Him who exalts and humbles: God; cf 1 Sam 2:7; Psalm 75:8; Luke 1:52. 3:  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:  Ophir was the port, at present unidentified, to which the ships of Solomon sailed and from wh[...] 6:  After six years of service a Hebrew slave was entitled to freedom, cf Exodus 21:2; Deut 15:1[...] 7:  Bend their necks: keep them from rebellious pride; so with the Greek. Cf Sirach 30:12. The p[...] 8:  First fruits . . . holy offerings: cf Exodus 29:27; Lev 7:31-34; Numbers 18:8-20; Deut 18:1[...] 9:  This seems to refer to the observances ordained toward the dead, that is, proper mourning and[...]
1: [1-19] A prudent man will be circumspect, avoiding conflict with the powerful, the rich and insole[...] 2:  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:  To give in to the wicked in one instance becomes an occasion of sin for the future.
1: [1-9] Prudence and reserve in dealing with women are the best defense of morality. To preserve the[...] 2:  Unjust suspicions often engender hatred between husband and wife and may prompt a wife to comm[...] 3:  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[...]
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[...]
1:  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:  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:  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[...]
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:  Brazen mirror: see note on Exodus 38:8.
1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Sir.14.2]14:2[ETML-C:/]] By means of various figures Sirach indicates the practical [...] 2:  The hostility between the dogs which guard the flocks at night and the rapacious hyenas is pr[...]
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. [...]
1: [1-21] Sinful offspring are a great misfortune (16:1-4), for history and experience show how God [...] 2:  For Korah and his band (Sirach 16:6, 7), see Numbers 16:35; Psalm 106:18; for the disgruntle[...] 3:  The leaders of old: the "mighty men of old" who were destroyed by the flood: Genesis 6:4; Wis[...] 4:  The people of Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 19:24-25; Ezekiel 16:49- 50. 5:  The Canaanites: Exodus 23:23-24, 27-31; 33:2; Deut 7:1; Wisdom 12:3. 6:  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[...]
1:  An everlasting covenant . . . his commandments: the various covenants which God entered into [...] 2:  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:  Obscure: literally, evil; compare Genesis 6:5. Though moral fault is not excluded, the thoug[...]
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:  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[...]
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[...]
1: [1-7] Wisdom indicates the proper times for speech and silence, that is, the occasions when the mo[...] 2:  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:  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[...]
1: [1-10] Under various figures, the consequences of sin are described as destructive of wealth, and [...] 2:  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:  Adversary: this can be understood in the sense that, if a man curses one who led him into sin[...]
1: [1-15] To Sirach, a lazy person and an unruly child are a cause of shame and disgrace; everyone wi[...] 2:  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[...]
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:  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:  Two types . . . a third: three kinds of sins of impurity, with increasing degrees of gravity:[...] 6:  Cf Lev 20:19; Deut 22:22. 7:  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[...]
1: [1-27] In this chapter Wisdom speaks in the first person, describing her origin, her dwelling plac[...] 2:  These substances were associated with worship, being mentioned in Exodus 30:22, 23, 34 as t[...] 3:  Compare the words of the Savior in Matthew 11:28-30. 4:  So pleasing is wisdom to man that, far from being satiated, he will always desire more. 5:  Here the author begins to speak once more, Wisdom having ended her discourse in the preceding[...] 6:  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[...]
1: [1-11] While praising brotherly love, love of neighbor, and conjugal love, the sage condemns their[...] 2:  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:  According to the account in Genesis 3 to which Ben Sirach refers, sin, the cause of death, or[...]
1: [1-4, 13-18] A good wife is as a gift from God, bringing joy and peace, happiness and contentment [...] 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:  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[...]
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[...]
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:  Preferable is death . . . constant illness: the true value of human suffering was revealed th[...]
1: [1-11] Solicitude for acquiring wealth and anxiety over preserving it disturb repose and easily le[...] 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:  Emptied your stomach: the practice of induced vomiting, well-known among pagan Romans, and le[...]
1:  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[...]
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[...]
1: [1-24] Keeping the commandments of the law and avoiding injustice constitute sacrifice pleasing an[...] 2:  Fine flour, together with oil and frankincense, was a prescribed offering to God; cf Lev 2:1-[...] 3:  Cf Lev 19:15.
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 [...]
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[...]
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[...]
1: [1-16] The former idyllic description of the universe is contrasted with the picture of the evils [...] 2:  Mother of all the living: the earth from which man was taken. Cf Genesis 2:7; 3:19-20; Job 1:[...] 3:  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[...]
1: [1-13] Whether death seems bitter to one who enjoys peace, success and pleasure, or welcome to one[...] 2:  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[...]
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, [...]
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:  Enoch: because of his friendship with God and also by reason of his unusual disappearance fro[...] 4:  In his own flesh . . . ordinance: the covenant of circumcision; cf Genesis 17:10-14. And whe[...] 5:  The River: the Euphrates; cf Genesis 2:14.
1: [1-5] Moses manifested God's power through miracles (Sirach 45:1-3), God's authority through the [...] 2:  God's honor devolved upon him: Moses was actually God's substitute in dealing with Pharaoh, he[...] 3:  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:  The priesthood of Aaron was superseded by the priesthood of Christ; cf Hebrews 7:18-28.
1: [1-6] Joshua, whose name means "the Lord is savior" (Sirach 46:1), was the instrument through whi[...] 2:  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, [...]
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:  Cf 2 Sam 12:25 where Solomon is called Jedidiah, "beloved of the Lord." The same term is use[...] 4:  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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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:  Not even a people: the Samaritans. 5:  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,[...]
1: [1-12] A canticle of praise and thanks to God for delivering the author from slander, dangers, des[...] 2:  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:  In the Greek of 13f there is an expansion introducing Solomon as the speaker. This deviates f[...]
1:  The title of the book: an editorial addition. Isaiah: meaning "the salvation of the LORD," or [...] 2:  Israel: not the northern kingdom, as in Isaiah 9:11 exclusively, which Isaiah usually calls "[...] 3:  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:  Daughter Zion: Jerusalem. Hut . . . shed: for the shelter of watchmen and laborers. 6:  LORD of hosts: God, who is the Creator and Ruler of the heavenly armies of the angels, stars, [...] 7:  The number of your sacrifices: however numerous, they are not acceptable without the right di[...] 8:  Octaves with wickedness: the solemnity of the feasts marred by evil deeds. 9:  Spread out your hands: in prayer. 10:  A picture of Jerusalem, once so faithful to God. Apostasy from the covenant is often likened [...] 11:  This verse is the key to the whole Book of Isaiah. Zion's defiant persistence in sin has dema[...] 12:  Terebinths which you prized . . . groves which you chose: as popular shrines for idolatrous w[...]
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:  Zion . . . Jerusalem: types of the earthly center of the messianic kingdom. 4:  Fortune-tellers and soothsayers: divination was strictly forbidden; cf Deut 18:9-14. 5:  That day: the day of the Lord, a day of retribution, often referred to, especially by the min[...] 6:  Lebanon: Mount Lebanon in Syria, famed for its cedars. Bashan: the wooded uplands east of the[...] 7:  Tarshish: cf note on Psalm 48:8.
1: [1-12] Anarchy will reign in Jerusalem and Judah. In the prevailing desperation, even the most unw[...] 2:  Bare their heads: a mark of social disgrace; cf Numbers 5:18. 3:  Nose rings: of gold, a feminine ornament in the East; cf note on Genesis 24:22.
1:  Seven women . . . one man: the disproportion of the sexes due to war leaves the female populat[...] 2:  Branch of the LORD: divine blessings in general, which later culminated in the Messiah; cf Je[...] 3:  Marked down for life: in God's list of his elect; cf Exodus 32:32.
1:  My friend had a vineyard: the Lord and his chosen people. 2:  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:  Ten acres: a field requiring ten days of plowing by a yoke of oxen. Liquid measure: in Hebrew[...] 5:  (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. [...]
1: [1-3] Temple: the holy place, just in front of the holy of holies. Seraphim: literally "the burnin[...] 2:  In the year King Uzziah died: 742 B.C. 3:  Smoke: reminiscent of the clouds which surrounded God at Mount Sinai; cf Exodus 19:16-19; Deu[...] 4:  Doomed: it was popularly believed that to see God would lead to one's death; cf Genesis 32:31[...] 5:  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:  Several limited deportations in the time of Isaiah would later culminate in the Babylonian ex[...]
1:  Days of Ahaz: who ruled from 735 to 715 B.C. This attack against Jerusalem by the kings of Ara[...] 2:  Shear-jashub: this name means "a remnant will return." 3:  Son of Tabeel: an adherent of Jerusalem's enemies. His appointment would interrupt the lawful [...] 4:  Within sixty years and five: if the text is correct, its reference is unknown. 5:  Deep . . . sky: an extraordinary or miraculous sign that would prove God's firm will to save [...] 6:  Tempt the LORD: Ahaz expresses in this hypocritical way his preference for depending upon the[...] 7:  The sign proposed by Isaiah was concerned with the preservation of Judah in the midst of dist[...] 8:  Curds and honey: the restricted diet of those who remain after devastation has changed the on[...] 9:  God will use the Assyrians from across the River (the Euphrates) as his instrument (razor) to[...]
1:  Ordinary letters: easily read by all. Maher-shalal-hash-baz: a symbolic name to be given to an[...] 2:  Reliable witnesses: who would testify that Isaiah had indeed prophesied the future destruction[...] 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:  The plan of Israel's enemies will be thwarted because, as the name "Immanuel" signifies, With[...] 6:  Kept among my disciples: for preservation and transmission. 7:  Signs: Isaiah and his sons had symbolic names. 8:  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)Zebulun . . . Naphtali: northern Palestine, which was first to be attacked by the Assyria[...]
1:  A child: the Immanuel of Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 8:8; cf Isaiah 11:1, 2, 9. In Christian trad[...] 2:  Aram: the Syrian kingdom, with its capital at Damascus. 3:  Manasseh . . . Ephraim: two of the leading tribes of the northern kindgom.
1: [6-7] Impious nation: Israel. It was God's intention to use Assyria merely to punish, not to destr[...] 2:  Calno . . . Damascus: cities captured by the Assyrians. 3:  His fat ones: the strong men of the king of Assyria. 4:  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[...]
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:  Pathros . . . sea: where God's people lived in exile. Pathros: upper Egypt. Elam: east of Bab[...] 5:  Kedemites: tribes in the Arabian Desert. 6:  Tongue . . . Egypt: the body of water between Egypt and Palestine.
1:  To them: the Medes (Isaiah 13:17) and Persians, who would destroy Babylon. Gates of the volun[...] 2:  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:  Ophir: cf note to Psalm 45:9. 5:  Satyrs: in the popular mind, demons of goatlike form dwelling in ruins, symbols of immorality[...]
1: [4-21] This taunt-song, or satire, is one of the finest in the Bible. 2:  Morning star: the king of Babylon. The Vulgate has "Lucifer," a name applied by the Church F[...] 3:  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:  The year that King Ahaz died: 715 B.C. 6:  Rod: an Assyrian oppressor whose identity is uncertain. Flying saraph: a poisonous serpent, d[...]
1:  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:  Raisin cakes: masses of dried compressed grapes used as food (cf 2 Sam 6:19; 1 Chron 16:3; So[...] 5:  Desert: to the east. Sea: the Dead Sea. 6:  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 [...]
1:  Damascus: capital of Syria, destroyed in 732 B.C. 2:  Ephraim: Israel, leagued with Syria against Assyria and Judah; destroyed in 721 B.C. Aram: Syr[...] 3:  Valley of Rephaim: a fertile plain to the southwest of Jerusalem; cf Joshua 15:8; 2 Sam 5:18.[...] 4:  Olives not easily picked by hand were knocked from the tree by means of a long stick; cf Isai[...] 5:  Sacred poles: see note on Exodus 34:13. Incense stands: small altars on which incense was bur[...] 6:  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 [...]
1: [1-2] Papyrus boats: light and serviceable vessels made of bundles of papyrus stalks and sealed wi[...] 2:  Land of buzzing insects: the region of the Upper Nile where these multiplied with great rapidi[...]
1:  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:  Head or tail, palm branch or reed: the leaders or the people; cf Isaiah 9:13, 14. 4:  Five cities: colonies of Jews living together and speaking their languages, Hebrew and Aramai[...]
1:  Wastelands by the sea: Babylonia. Negeb: the desert south of Judah. 2:  Elam . . . Media: nations which, under the leadership of Cyrus, captured Babylon in 538 B.C. E[...] 3:  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:  Year . . . of a hireling: see note on 16:14. Kedar: a nomad tribe in Arabia; cf Isaiah 42:11[...]
1: [1-8] Valley of Vision: while the people live in revelry and disorder, the prophet foresees the im[...] 2:  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:  Shebna: referred to as the scribe in Isaiah 36:3. 5:  Eliakim: also referred to in Isaiah 36:3; he is described as loyal to God. 6:  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[...]
1: [1-4,12-14] These verses refer to Sidon, Isaiah 23:5-11 to Tyre. 2:  Kittim: Cyprus. 3:  Shihor: a synonym for the Nile. 4:  The sea: brings to distant coasts the news that Sidon must disown her children; her people are[...] 5:  Canaan's strongholds: the fortresses of Phoenicia. 6:  The gloss here identifies she whom the impious founded with the land of the Chaldeans. 7:  Seventy years: a conventional period of time indicating simply a long disaster; cf Jeremiah [...] 8:  Describes the conversion of Tyre.
1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Isa.27.13]27:13[ETML-C:/]] This section, probably composed at a later date, contains[...] 2:  Ancient covenant: God's commandments to all mankind. 3:  City of chaos: a symbol of godlessness as opposed to Jerusalem, the city of God. 4:  These: the saved. 5:  Host of the heavens: the stars, which were regarded by the pagans as gods; cf Deut 4:19; Jer[...] 6:  His elders: the heavenly courtiers surrounding the throne of God.
1:  Leviathan . . . dragon: symbols of the forces of evil which God vanquishes even as he overcame[...] 2:  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:  The Euphrates and the Wadi of Egypt: the ideal borders of Israel; cf Genesis 15:18; 2 Kings [...] 6:  The triumph of God's people is described in eschatological language; they will gather in Jeru[...]
1:  Ephraim: the northern kingdom. Its capital, Samaria, was built upon a hill, suggestive of a ma[...] 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:  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:  A stone in Zion: the true and sure foundation of salvation promised by God to the Davidic dyn[...] 7:  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:  Gith . . . cumin: herbs used in seasoning food. Spelt: a variety of wheat.
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:  Who redeemed Abraham: by freeing him from the idolatry of his native land.
1:  Flying saraph: see note on Numbers 21:6. 2:  Rahab: Egypt, here as elsewhere (cf Psalm 87:4), is compared to the stormy, impetuous sea mon[...] 3:  Isaiah will write down his condemnation of the people so that (Isaiah 30:12-18) its fulfillme[...] 4:  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[...]
1:  Satyrs: see note on Isaiah 13:21; cf Isaiah 34:14. 2:  Lilith: a female demon thought to roam about the desert. 3:  Book of the LORD: God's list of all his creatures; cf Psalm 69:29 "the book of the living"; [...]
1: [36:1-39:8] Except for 38:9-20 this historical appendix describing the siege, etc., is parallele[...] 2:  The Assyrians pretend that Hezekiah's removal of the high places and altars (illegal sanctuari[...] 3:  The Jewish emissaries ask that the conversation be carried on in Aramaic, not in Judean, for [...]
1:  A proverbial expression. In the Bible the pangs of childbirth often typify extreme anguish; cf[...] 2:  Tirhakah: may have been general of the Egyptian army in 701 B.C.; later he became king, one of[...] 3:  In contrast to the empty boasting of the Assyrians, Hezekiah proclaims the Lord as God over a[...] 4:  You: Hezekiah. A sign: it is difficult to know the nature of this sign. Either it is merely a[...] 5:  The destruction of Sennacherib's army is also recorded by Herodotus, a Greek historian of the[...] 6:  The violent death of Sennacherib (681 B.C.) is also mentioned in non-biblical sources. It occ[...]
1: [38:1-39:8] The events of this section-sickness and recovery of Hezekiah, embassy of Merodach-ba[...] 2:  In those days: a time prior to the siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C. 3:  Since Hezekiah died in 687 B.C., this sickness of his seems to have been in 702 B.C., that is,[...] 4:  Stairway to the terrace of Ahaz: this interpretation is based on a reading of the Hebrew text [...] 5:  In the noontime of life: long before the end of a full span of life; cf Psalm 55:23; 102:24.[...] 6:  See the LORD: go to the Temple and take part in its service. 7:  These two metaphors emphasize the suddenness and finality of death. 8:  What am I to say or tell him?: a rhetorical question, as if the poet were at a loss in giving[...] 9:  Yours . . . the life of my spirit: the current Hebrew text is corrupt. The revised Latin psal[...] 10:  You cast behind your back all my sins: figurative language to express the divine forgiveness [...] 11: [18-19] See note on Psalm 6:5.
1:  Merodach-baladan: twice king of Babylon, probably from 721 to 710 B.C., and again for nine mon[...] 2:  Because Judah preferred to follow a pro-Babylonian policy, instead of trusting in God, it woul[...] 3:  Favorable: for the exile would not occur in his lifetime.
1:  Service: servitude and exile. 2: [3-5] The figurative language here describes the actual return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerus[...] 3:  Span: the distance between the extended little finger and the thumb. Measure: literally, "thi[...] 4:  Lebanon . . . fuel: the famed cedars would not be enough to keep the fires of sacrifice burni[...] 5:  (41:6-7)These two verses have been transposed from Isaiah 40. 6:  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[...]
1: [1-4] It is generally agreed that these verses describe the vocation and victory of Cyrus, whom th[...] 2:  Cyrus is the champion of justice and God's attendant. 3:  Redeemer: in Hebrew, goel, one who frees another from slavery and avenges his sufferings; cf [...] 4: [21-24] An indictment of idols. 5:  I summon him: Cyrus.
1: [1-4] Servant: there are three other "Servant-of-the-Lord" oracles, 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12[...] 2:  A reference to the mercy of Christ. 3:  Coastlands: the lands of the Mediterranean. In the Old Testament the word often refers to the [...] 4:  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:  A people: Israel in exile. 7:  Despoilers: the Assyrians and Babylonians.
1: [3-4] Egypt . . . Ethiopia and Seba: countries which God permitted the Persians to conquer in retu[...] 2:  Only God can know and predict future events; cf Isaiah 41:1-5, 21-29. 3: [14-17] The destruction of Babylon. 4:  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:  Sweet cane: a fragrant substance used in making incense and the sacred anointing oil; cf Exo[...] 7:  First father: Adam or Jacob, or collectively "early ancestors." Spokesmen: leaders, priests, [...]
1:  The darling: see note on Deut 32:15; cf also Deut 33:5, 26. 2:  Write on his hand: an allusion to the Babylonian custom of tatooing the owner's name on the ha[...] 3:  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:  Chasing ashes: exerting efforts in vain; cf Hosea 12:2; Eccl 1:14; 2:11, 17. 6:  Cyrus: king of Persia (559-529 B.C.) and conqueror of Babylon (538 B.C.), who liberated the J[...]
1:  Anointed: in Hebrew, meshiah, from which the word "Messiah" is derived; from its Greek transla[...] 2:  Bronze doors: of Babylon. 3:  The Gentiles will come to know the true God; cf also 45:20-25. 4:  Create woe: God permits evil for the sake of a greater good. 5:  The Vulgate rendering gives a more precise messianic sense to this verse, using "just one" and[...] 6:  No one may challenge God's freedom of action, exemplified here by the selection of Cyrus as hi[...] 7:  One: Cyrus, called by God for the deliverance and restoration of Israel. 8:  Egypt . . . Ethiopia . . . Sabeans: the Egyptians and their allies who, when conquered by Cyr[...] 9:  God is hidden: he dwells invisibly in the holy of holies. 10:  Waste: an allusion to the beginning of creation, when the earth was waste and void (Genesis [...] 11:  Who bear wooden idols: in their religious processions. The gods of the pagans have feet but c[...]
1: [1-7] The second of the four "Servant-of-the-Lord" oracles. 2:  Gave me my name: designated me for a special office (cf Jeremiah 1:5), or perhaps, made me re[...] 3:  The Servant was made ready and fit for the preaching of God's word. 4:  Israel: the Servant is identified with the people of Israel as their ideal representative; how[...] 5:  The Servant's vocation will be not only the restoration of Israel but the conversion of the wo[...] 6:  Syene: now called Aswan, at the first cataract of the Nile in southern Egypt. 7:  Upon the palms . . . name: for continual remembrance; cf Exodus 13:9, 16; Deut 6:6-9.
1:  Responding to the people's complaint of utter abandonment by God, the prophet shows that their[...] 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:  The Servant does not refuse the divine vocation. 5:  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 [...]
1:  Rock . . . pit: your glorious ancestry. 2: [4-5] The conversion of the Gentiles. 3:  God's salvation and justice are eternal, in contrast to the impermanence of the heavens and th[...] 4:  Rahab: see note on Isaiah 30:7. The dragon: see notes on Isaiah 27:1; Psalm 74:13. 5:  Great deep: another reference to the primeval chaos of Genesis 1:2.
1: [7-10] God leads his people back from Babylon to Zion, from whose ruined walls watchmen . . . shou[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  Only God appreciated his Servant's true greatness. 2:  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[...]
1:  Jerusalem, pictured as a wife who had been barren and deserted, now suddenly finds herself wit[...] 2:  Redeemer: cf note on Isaiah 41:14. 3: [11-12] Cf Rev 21. Afflicted one: Jerusalem; carnelians: reddish quartz, hard and durable, carbunc[...]
1: [1-3] God's salvation is freely extended to his people and to all nations; through him will the be[...] 2:  Thornbush . . . nettles: suggestive of the desert and therefore symbolic of suffering and har[...]
1: [1-8] Participation in the future messianic salvation is offered to all who believe in the Lord an[...] 2:  Eunuchs had originally been excluded from the community of the Lord; cf Deut 23:2; Wisdom 3:1[...] 3:  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:  Wild beasts: foreign nations, which are invited to come and ravage Israel.
1:  Smooth stones: the Hebrew word for this expression has the same consonants as the word for "p[...] 2:  The king: the pagan god Moloch. Ambassadors: children sent to him through a sacrificial death.[...] 3:  Justice: here used ironically. 4:  All these: the wicked mentioned in 57:3-10.
1:  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.
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:  Glory of Lebanon: the cedars, together with the cypress, the plane and the pine, all precious[...]
1:  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:  The command is given to the workmen to begin the reconstruction of the city.
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 [...]
1:  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:  See note on Isaiah 11:6-9.
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:  God's enemies lie dead outside the walls of the New Jerusalem; just as in the past, corpses, [...]
1:  Anathoth: a village about three miles northeast of Jerusalem, where Solomon exiled Abiathar ([...] 2:  Until the downfall: these words were originally prefixed as a title to a collection of Jeremia[...] 3:  Jeremiah was destined to the office of prophet before his birth; cf Isaiah 49:1, 5; Luke 1:1[...] 4:  I am too young: Jeremiah's youth (he was less than thirty years old) must not be an obstacle t[...] 5:  The watching-tree: the almond tree, which is the first to blossom in the springtime as though[...] 6:  Boiling cauldron . . . the north: symbol of an invasion from the north; cf Jeremiah 1:14-15.[...]
1: [1-3, 5] These verses probably contain the earliest of Jeremiah's preachings. The covenant relatio[...] 2:  Devotion: Israel's gratitude, fidelity, and love for God. 3:  First fruits: an offering to God which became his exclusive property, and could therefore not [...] 4:  Those who dealt with the law: the priests. The shepherds: the kings and nobles. 5:  Kittim: a Phoenician colony in Cyprus. Kedar: a nomad tribe of the Syrian desert. These two n[...] 6:  Bondman by birth: a perpetual slave, different from the debt-slave, who was to be freed after[...] 7:  Memphis: the capital of Lower Egypt. Tahpanhes: A frontier city of Egypt, east of the Delta. [...] 8:  Egypt and Assyria were the protecting foreign powers favored by rival parties within Judah. T[...] 9:  Harlotry: idolatry (because Israel is the bride of God). 10:  The Valley: of Ben-hinnom, south of Jerusalem, site of the infamous sanctuary of Topheth whe[...]
1:  Such remarriage of divorced spouses was forbidden by Deut 24:1-4. Under this figure the proph[...] 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:  Shame-god: literally, shame, a term commonly substituted for Baal, the Canaanite god with man[...]
1:  As the LORD lives: this oath, made sincerely, implies Israel's return to God and loyal adheren[...] 2:  The mere external rite of circumcision avails nothing unless accompanied by the removal of bli[...] 3:  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.
1:  They denied the LORD: the people act as though God does not exist and will not interfere. [...] 2:  Rain early and late: autumn and spring rains respectively. Appointed weeks of harvest: the se[...]
1:  Shepherds . . . with their flocks: foreign invaders with their armies. 2:  As though it were nought: the false assurance of well-being given by priest and prophet canno[...] 3:  Earliest roads . . . pathways of old: history and the lessons to be learned from it. 4:  Watchmen: the prophets who, like Jeremiah, had upheld God's moral law.
1: [1-15] The temple of the LORD will not serve as a place of refuge for the Jews against their enemi[...] 2:  The resident alien: specially protected by law; cf Exodus 20:10; Numbers 9:14; 15:14; Deut 5[...] 3:  Shiloh: original place of worship from the time of Joshua to that of Samuel. The sanctuary wa[...] 4:  Queen of heaven: the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar, goddess of fertility, whose worship was introd[...] 5:  I gave them no command: right conduct rather than mere external cult was God's will concernin[...] 6:  Dedicated hair: the unshorn hair of the nazirite, regarded as sacred because of a vow, tempor[...]
1:  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:  Daughter of my people: the people itself personified as a woman. 4:  Gilead: noted for its healing balm but unable to heal the moral wound of the people.
1:  Jacob, the supplanter: in Hebrew, a play on words. Jacob, as his name indicates ("he supplant[...] 2:  Desert dwellers . . . temples: Arab tribesmen who cut off their hair and shaved their temples[...]
1:  Jeremiah does not seek private vengeance but the punishment of the wicked by the Lord; cf Jer[...] 2:  (11:19-23) These verses have been transposed from Jer 11. 3:  My evil neighbors: nations surrounding Israel, the land belonging to the Lord; cf Isaiah 8:8[...]
1: [12-14] These verses are omitted in the text because Jeremiah 15:12 in the Hebrew is a dittograph[...] 2:  A treacherous brook: that dries up when its waters are needed. The prophet complains that he [...]
1: [1-12] The lesson of the potter is not that God deals arbitrarily with his people, but that he is [...] 2:  Lebanon: here apparently including Mount Hermon, whose snow-capped peak can be seen from part[...] 3:  In the Old Testament a man's family was regarded as part of his personality, to be rewarded o[...]
1:  Chief officer in the house of the LORD: head of the temple police; cf Jeremiah 29:26. By ente[...] 2:  Terror on every side: Pashhur will share the fate of doomed Jerusalem and will experience pers[...] 3:  Babylon: mentioned here for the first time as the land of exile. The prophecy probably dates f[...] 4:  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[...]
1:  Zedekiah: brother of Jehoiakim, appointed king by Nebuchadnezzar after he had carried Jehoiach[...] 2:  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:  Valley-site, Rock of the Plain: Mount Zion, surrounded by valleys, was regarded by the royal [...] 5:  Its forest: probably the royal palace, built of cedar wood; cf Jeremiah 22:14; in 1 Kings 7:[...]
1:  Gilead . . . Lebanon: both were known for their trees; cf Jeremiah 22:7. 2:  Him who is dead: Josiah. His successor, Jehoahaz, who is going away, was deported by Pharaoh [...] 3:  Shallum: Jehoahaz is called this only here. Presumably it was his name at birth, while Jehoah[...] 4:  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:  "Alas! my brother"; "Alas! sister": customary cries of mourning. 7:  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:  Coniah: a shortened form of Jeconiah, the name which Jeremiah gives the king called elsewhere[...] 10:  You and the mother who bore you: the queen mother held a special position in the monarchy of [...] 11:  Childless: Jehoiachin is so considered because none of his descendants will be king. From the[...]
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:  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[...]
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:  Uz: the homeland of Job, in Edomite or Arabian territory. 4:  The shores beyond the sea: Phoenician commercial colonies planted throughout the Mediterranea[...] 5:  Dedan and Tema and Buz: North Arabian tribes. 6:  Sheshach: Babylon. The word is formed from babel by substituting letters of the Hebrew alphab[...]
1:  The beginning of the reign: a technical expression for the time between a king's accession to [...] 2:  Micah of Moresheth: the prophet Micah, who appears among the canonical minor prophets (cf Mi[...] 3:  Ahikam, son of Shaphan: one of Josiah's officials (2 Kings 22:12) and father of Gedaliah, Je[...]
1: [1-29, 32] A special collection of Jeremiah's prophecies dealing with false prophets. From stylist[...] 2:  [In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim . . . Judah]: this gloss cannot be correct because[...] 3:  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.
1:  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[...]
1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Jer.31.40]31:40[ETML-C:/]] These two chapters do not belong chronologically to those[...] 2:  David, their king: the messianic King of the Davidic line, often called David by the prophets;[...] 3:  His leader: probably not the messianic King, but simply any one of the rulers of the restored[...]
1:  The people that escaped the sword: the exiles who were not killed but deported; they have foun[...] 2:  Ramah: a village about five miles north of Jerusalem, where Rachel was buried (1 Sam 10:2). [...] 3:  The woman must encompass the man: the words "with devotion," not in the Hebrew, are added for[...] 4:  I awoke . . . sweet to me: probably said by the prophet himself. 5:  "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:  From the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate: from the northeast to the northwest. 8:  Valley of corpses and ashes: the Valley of Ben-hinnom, which joins the Kidron at the southea[...]
1: [1-44] This chapter recounts a prophecy "in action." At the Lord's command, Jeremiah fulfills his [...] 2:  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:  The first right of purchase: the obligation of the closest relative to redeem the property of [...] 5:  The sealed copy . . . and the open one: the legal deed of sale was written on a scroll, which[...] 6:  In an earthen jar: the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in such a jar. 7:  Molech: the god to whom human sacrifice was offered in the Valley of Ben-hinnom. Here, as in[...]
1:  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[...]
1:  The Rechabites: reactionaries who believed that the Lord could not be well served except by ma[...] 2:  The sons of Hanan: probably the disciples of this man of God or prophet. Maaseiah: possibly th[...] 3:  Jonadab: a contemporary of King Jehu; cf 2 Kings 10:15-17. 4:  The army of Aram: Nebuchadnezzar enlisted the help of Judah's foreign neighbors in his assaul[...]
1:  I am prevented: probably because of his temple sermon (Jeremiah 7:1-15), or because of tempor[...] 2:  Gemariah: member of a family friendly to Jeremiah, which had rights to a room in the fortress[...] 3:  The scribe's chamber: the office of the royal secretary. 4:  A scribe's knife: used to sharpen the reeds which were employed as pens. 5:  Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin was named king, but reigned only three months; he was known better[...]
1:  Put into prison: as described in Jeremiah 32:1-3. Chronologically, the present episode follow[...] 2:  Pharaoh's army: the force sent by Pharaoh Hophra which caused the Chaldeans momentarily to lif[...]
1:  Jeremiah enjoyed sufficient liberty in the quarters of the guard (Jeremiah 37:21) to speak to[...] 2:  He demoralizes the soldiers: literally, "he weakens their hands." One of the Lachish ostraca ([...] 3:  A Cushite: an Ethiopian. Ebed-melech evidently held a position of some authority at court.
1:  The tenth month of the ninth year: the month Tebet (mid-December to mid-January) of the year 5[...] 2:  The ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year: in July of 587 B.C. 3:  The Royal Garden Road: along the southeast side of the city; the royal garden was in the Kidro[...] 4:  Riblah: Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters in Syria, which had also been used by Pharaoh Neco (2 K[...]
1:  This word: actually, no further word of the Lord is recorded until 42:7-9. This is a title af[...] 2:  Mizpah: some five miles northwest of Jerusalem, where Israel chose its first king (1 Sam 10:1[...] 3:  Jezaniah: the seal ring of a high official of this name was discovered in 1932 at the site usu[...] 4:  The Ammonites: they resented the survival of their ancient enemy, Judah. Ishmael: their willi[...]
1:  The princesses: of the royal house of Judah. They had not been deported to Babylon with the m[...] 2:  Gibeon: today called El-Jib; it is northwest of Jerusalem. The most recent excavations have r[...]
1: [2-30] Chronologically, this is the last of Jeremiah's prophecies to his countrymen. The narrative[...] 2:  Hophra: killed by his own people. The ruler of Egypt at the time of its conquest by Nebuchadn[...]
1: [46-51] In these chapters most of Jeremiah's oracles against the foreign nations have been gathere[...] 2:  Carchemish on the Euphrates: the western terminus of the Mesopotamian trade route, where Nebuc[...] 3:  In 601 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar advanced against Egypt and even entered the country, but finally h[...] 4:  Apis: the chief god of Memphis, venerated in the form of a black bull. 5:  "The noise . . . go by": in Hebrew there is wordplay here on the name Hophra, who still made [...] 6:  Tabor . . . Carmel: outstanding mountains of Palestine, symbols of strength, to which Nebuch[...] 7:  Amon: the sun-god worshiped at Thebes, in Upper Egypt.
1: [2-7] This prophecy was fulfilled in 605/4 B.C. 2:  Tyre and Sidon: Phoenician cities associated commercially with the Philistines, and enemies of[...] 3:  Of the ancient Philistine cities, neither Gath nor Ekron (Jeremiah 25:20) is mentioned in thi[...] 4:  Words of the Philistines.
1:  Milcom: chief god of the Ammonites. The Transjordan tribe of Gad bordered on Ammon, and after [...] 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:  Teman: a district of Edom, used here for the whole country; it was famous for its wise men; cf[...] 5:  Esau: Jacob's brother, the traditional ancestor of the Edomites; cf Genesis 36. 6:  Bozrah: capital of Edom, southeast of the Dead Sea. 7:  Hamath and Arpad: independent Aramean states to the north of Damascus; the invasion is concei[...] 8:  The palaces of Ben-hadad: the royal palaces in Damascus where at least three kings bore this [...] 9:  Elam: the ancient kingdom to the east of Babylonia.
1: [1-51, 58] a collection of miscellaneous prophecies against Babylon which now stands as the introd[...] 2:  Bel: originally the name of the god of Nippur in Mesopotamia, then identified with Merodach (M[...] 3:  Her walls are torn down: the prophet is not predicting the details of Babylon's downfall, but[...] 4:  Merathaim, "twice bitter," and Pekod, "punishment," are here symbolic terms for Babylonia, t[...]
1:  Media's kings: the Medes dwelt with the Persians in the land now known as Iran. At the time t[...] 2:  Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: regions or people in what is now Armenia, subject at this time t[...] 3:  Me, my: refers to Jerusalem. 4:  Seraiah: the brother of Baruch; cf Jeremiah 32:12. The king: Zedekiah. Perhaps Seraiah went [...] 5:  Jeremiah prophesied against Babylon, even as he foretold Judah's release from Babylon's power[...] 6:  To "weary themselves" are the words of Jeremiah: an editorial remark concerning the end of J[...]
1: [1-34] This supplement to the Book of Jeremiah was taken by the final editor from 2 Kings 24:18-2[...] 2:  In the tenth month of the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the month: January 15, [...] 3:  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:  The other kings: who had also been brought as captives to Babylon.
1: [1-22] In this poem the poet first describes Jerusalem's miserable state after the destruction wro[...] 2:  They have been plaited . . . my neck: the sins of the people have been bound together and lai[...] 3:  My lovers: Zion's foreign allies, who failed to help her, as the prophets had warned. 4:  Zion fully acknowledges her guilt and the justness of divine punishment; nevertheless, she pl[...]
1:  The glory of Israel: the temple. His footstool: the ark of the covenant (1 Chron 28:2; Psalm [...] 2:  Horn: symbol of power and strength; cf Lam 2:17; 1 Sam 2:10; Luke 1:69; etc. 3:  The measuring line: used not only in building, but in deciding what must be destroyed; cf Isa[...] 4:  They strew dust: as a sign of penance; cf Job 2:12. 5:  My gall is poured out on the ground: I am afflicted with bitter sorrow; cf Job 16:13. 6:  Must women eat their offspring: extreme famine in a besieged city sometimes led to this form [...]
1: [1-21] The author identifies Zion's sufferings with his own. 2:  To bear the yoke: to do God's will; cf Jeremiah 2:20. 3:  Let him put his mouth to the dust: in humble submission; cf Psalm 72:9.
1:  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:  A nation: Egypt, which failed to give effective aid against Babylon. 4:  Our breath of life: the king. This is a royal epithet borrowed from Egyptian usage, while the[...] 5:  Uz: see note on Jeremiah 25:20.
1:  In its state of abjection, Judah was forced to depend on its traditional enemies to the west a[...] 2:  Our fathers: collective responsibility, for good and for evil, was recognized in the Old Testa[...] 3:  Administrations imposed by foreign powers were notoriously corrupt and inept. The Hebrew word [...] 4:  The gate: the place of assembly, where city decisions were made and judgment given by the eld[...]
1:  In the fifth year on the seventh day of the month: Jerusalem fell on the seventh day of the fi[...] 2:  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:  Nebuchadnezzar . . . Belshazzar, his son: as in Daniel 5:1-2. Later Jewish tradition seems to[...]
1:  One after another of us should eat: see note on Lam 2:20. 2:  They lie exposed: probably an allusion to Jeremiah 36:30; see note on Jeremiah 22:19. 3:  The house which bears your name: the temple of Jerusalem. What it is today: during the exile [...]
1:  Trample upon their necks: love of enemies was not an Old Testament ideal. The Babylonians are[...] 2:  Deserts and desolate places were looked upon as the special habitations of demons; Tobit 8:3[...]
1:  The thirtieth year, which corresponds to the fifth year of exile (Ezekiel 1:2), has never bee[...] 2:  The fifth day of the fourth month, the fifth year: July 31, 593 B.C.; cf Ezekiel 1:1. 3:  The North: the abode of God; see notes on Job 37:22; Psalm 48:3. Electrum: an alloy of gold a[...] 4:  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:  One who had the appearance of a man: God appearing in human form (Ezekiel 1:28); cf Exodus 3[...]
1:  Son of man: a formal way of saying simply "man"; God's habitual way of addressing the prophet [...] 2:  Spirit: vital power, coming from God, which enables the prophet to hear the word of God; cf E[...] 3:  When you sit on scorpions: the prophet must be prepared for the bitterest opposition.
1:  As sweet as honey: though the prophet must foretell terrible things, the word of God is sweet [...] 2:  The glory of the LORD: the divine presence, manifested here in visible form. 3:  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:  Dumb: unwilling to speak to the people in exile while Jerusalem was being besieged; Ezekiel [...] 7:  (3:16) At the end of seven days . . . : the incomplete sentence probably contained some such[...]
1: [5-6] Three hundred and ninety days . . . forty days: symbolically representing the respective len[...] 2:  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) Breaking the staff of bread: reducing the supply of bread which sustains the life of man[...]
1:  The city: the one drawn on the tablet. 2:  I am coming at you: an expression borrowed from the language of warfare in which enemies attac[...] 3:  Fathers . . . shall eat sons, and sons . . . fathers: see note on Lam 2:20.
1:  High places: the sanctuaries on the mountaintops where illegal worship, whether of the Lord or[...] 2:  Scatter their bones . . . altars: dead men's bones defiled a place; cf 2 Kings 23:14. 3:  Clap your hands, stamp your feet: here evidently signs of mourning; in Ezekiel 25:6, signs o[...] 4:  Every green tree and leafy oak: sacred groves had a long history in Palestine as places of wo[...] 5:  From the desert to Riblah: the whole land, from the far south to the far north.
1: [12-13] Mundane affairs will cease to have any meaning in view of the disaster that is to come. [...] 2:  Baldness: shaving the head was a sign of mourning. 3:  My treasure: the temple of Jerusalem.
1:  The statue of jealousy which stirs up jealousy: the statue which provokes the Lord's jealousy [...] 2:  He: an angel accompanies Ezekiel in these visions and represents the voice of the Lord; cf Ez[...] 3:  Creeping things and loathsome beasts: probably Egyptian deities, which were represented in an[...] 4:  Weeping for Tammuz: the withering of trees and plants in autumn was thought to be due to the [...] 5:  Bowing down to the sun: sun worship had been made an important part of Judahite idolatry by t[...] 6:  Put the branch to my nose: the meaning is uncertain. Perhaps it refers to an Egyptian practic[...]
1:  Ezekiel is pre-eminently the prophet of personal retribution; the innocent inhabitants of Jeru[...] 2:  (11:24, 25) These verses have been transposed from chapter 11 and placed after Ezekiel 9:11[...]
1: [10:1-11:25] In these chapters of the current Hebrew text, several visions involving the temple [...] 2:  The dots suppose the omission of some words describing the prophet's being transported in his [...] 3:  (2)The burning coals within the wheelwork under God's throne, a sign of the divine presence (c[...]
1: [22-23] These verses have been transposed from Ezekial 11. 2:  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[...]
1:  Dig a hole in the wall: the exiles are to leave Jerusalem through the broken walls of the ruin[...] 2:  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[...]
1:  (10) To the confidence which the people had in their defenses against the Chaldeans, the fals[...] 2:  (18) Sew bands . . . make veils: magical practices believed to give to the sorceresses power [...] 3:  (19) Handfuls of barley and crumbs of bread: used in divination and forecasting the future. [...]
1:  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:  Noah, Daniel, and Job: proverbially virtuous men. The Daniel named here may be the traditiona[...]
1: [3-4] By origin and birth . . . Canaan . . . Amorite . . . Hittite: the inhabitants of Jerusalem a[...] 2:  I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness: and also to signify the inte[...] 3:  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:  A platform and a dais: associated with ritual prostitution, which the Israelites borrowed fro[...] 6:  True daughter of the mother: Jerusalem has followed in the footsteps of its heathen forebears[...] 7:  Your elder sister was Samaria: Samaria can be called an elder sister in view of the relativel[...]
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[...]
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[...]
1: [2-4] The southern kingdom, Judah, is likened to a forest about to be burned; cf Jeremiah 21:14. [...] 2:  Cut off from you the virtuous and the wicked: a more complete devastation of Jerusalem than th[...] 3:  A report: the news of the fall of Jerusalem; cf Ezekiel 33:21- 22. 4:  Slap your thigh: a gesture signifying grief and dread. 5:  Brush one hand against the other: a gesture signifying the rejection of responsibility; cf E[...] 6:  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:  (33-37) In the preceding section Nebuchadnezzar is represented as deciding whether to attack [...]
1:  Oholah . . . Oholibah: symbolic names. The first, standing for Samaria, may be read to mean "h[...] 2:  Pekod, Shoa and Koa: peoples living about the Tigris, part of "greater Babylonia." 3:  Men who had to come from afar: ambassadors from Assyria and Babylon. Alliances with these cou[...]
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:  Blood . . . to be covered with dust: since blood was sacred to God, it had to be covered with [...] 4:  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[...]
1:  The Easterners: nomadic tribes to the east of Ammon and Moab. 2:  The shoulder of Moab: the edge of the Moabite plateau. 3:  Cherethites: a people forming part of the Philistine nation; cf Zephaniah 2:5.
1: [4-5] A bare rock: the Tyre of Ezekiel's time was situated on a rocky island just off the Phoenici[...] 2:  Her daughters: tributary towns and villages on the mainland. 3:  The princes of the sea: the rulers of the islands and coastal cities leagued commercially wit[...] 4:  Those who descend into the pit: the dead, pictured as dwelling in a place or cave of darkness[...]
1:  Senir: another name for Mount Hermon; cf Deut 3:9. 2:  Bashan: northern Transjordan, which, like Lebanon, was noted for its great forests. Kittim: pr[...] 3:  Elishah: probably another term for Cyprus. 4: [8-9] Sidon . . . Arvad . . . Zemer . . . Gebal: Phoenician cities in Tyre's orbit of influence; t[...]
1:  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:  The holy mountain of God: the residence of God was sometimes designated as a mountain; cf Is[...]
1:  The twelfth day of the tenth month in the tenth year: January 7, 587 B.C. The siege of Jerusal[...] 2:  Egypt was allied with Judah against the Chaldeans. 3:  Niles: the many rivulets of the Nile as it branches out into the Delta. 4:  From Migdol to Syene: from the northern to the southern extremity of Egypt. Syene is the mode[...] 5:  Pathros, the land of their origin: upper Egypt, that is, southern Egypt, where the Egyptians [...] 6:  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[...]
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:  The fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecies about Jerusalem was responsible for this temporary en[...]
1: [1-15] After the fall of Jerusalem, Edom assisted the Chaldeans in devastating the land and subdui[...] 2:  The two nations and the two lands: the superseded kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their terr[...]
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[...]
1: [38:1-39:20] These three oracles against Gog may refer either to a specific foreign invasion in [...] 2:  Gog: the name is almost certainly a symbolic one taken from that of Gyges, king of Lydia, whet[...] 3:  Who dwell at the navel of the earth: the people of Israel (cf Ezekiel 38:15(18); Ezekiel 5:5[...]
1: [40:1-48:35] This lengthy vision of the new Israel is dated (Ezekiel 40:1) April 28, 573 B.C. It [...] 2:  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:  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:  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[...]
1:  The building: the function of this structure lying behind the temple is never specified. 2:  A wooden altar: the altar of incense, standing in the nave at the entrance to the holy of hol[...]
1:  They placed their threshold against my threshold: the preexilic temple and the royal palace be[...] 2:  The altar: of holocausts, standing in the inner court of the temple area; cf Ezekiel 40:47. [...]
1:  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:  Thus they will not transmit holiness to the people: holiness was thought of as something phys[...] 5:  Under the ban: dedicated to the Lord, withdrawn from profane use.
1: [9-12] Besides the land monopoly fostered by royal greed and collusion with the wealthy (Micah 2:[...] 2:  Kor: both a liquid and a dry measure, corresponding to the homer. 3:  Hin: a sixth part of the liquid measure called a bath.
1: [1-12] The wonderful and superabundant stream flowing from the temple, restoring to fertility tra[...] 2:  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 [...]
1:  Shinar: ancient name for Babylonia, a deliberate archaism in this text; cf Genesis 10:10; 11:[...] 2:  The young men are given Babylonian names as a sign of their adoption by the king. 3:  This defilement: the bread, meat, and wine of the Gentiles, which were unclean (Hosea 9:3; To[...] 4:  The first year of King Cyrus: the year of this Persian king's conquest of Babylon, 539/8 B.C.[...]
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:  Chaldeans: here probably astrologers, who were so associated with the Chaldeans in the Hebrew [...] 3:  Aramaic: from Daniel 2:4-7:28 the text of Daniel is in Aramaic, not Hebrew, as indicated by t[...] 4:  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[...]
1:  Dura: several places in Babylonia bore this name. Probably the present reference is to one a f[...] 2:  Satraps: the Persian major governors. 3:  Psaltery: a harplike instrument. 4:  Death by fire was not unknown as a punishment in Babylonia; cf Jeremiah 29:22. 5:  If our God . . . can save us: the youths do not question the efficacy of the divine power, bu[...] 6:  3,24-90: These verses are inspired additions to the Aramaic text of Daniel, translated from t[...] 7:  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[...]
1:  After the name of my god: Belteshazzar, the Babylonian name given to Daniel at the king's orde[...] 2:  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:  "This dream . . . for your foes": Daniel speaks as a courtier. 5:  The description is of a form of insanity called lycanthropy, in which the patient acts like a[...] 6:  A classic Scriptural text for the efficacy of good works. 7:  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. [...]
1:  King Belshazzar: Belshazzar was actually the crown prince, but he had been given royal authori[...] 2:  Nebuchadnezzar, his father: several kings of Babylon intervened between Nebuchadnezzar and Bel[...] 3:  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 [...]
1:  Darius the Mede: unknown in profane history. The Median kingdom had already been conquered by [...] 2:  Immutable and irrevocable: the passages in Esther 1:19 and 8:8 also refer to the immutability[...] 3:  The lions' den: a pit too deep to be easily scaled; its opening was blocked with a stone (v 1[...]
1: [1-27] The significance of this vision is the same as that of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2; [...] 2:  The great sea: the primordial ocean beneath the earth, according to primitive cosmology (Gene[...] 3:  The representation of the Babylonian empire as a winged lion, a common motif in Babylonian art[...] 4:  A bear: represents the Median empire, its three tusks symbolizing its destructive nature; henc[...] 5:  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:  The reference is to the persecutions of Antiochus IV and his attempt to force the Jews to giv[...] 10:  This verse ends the Aramaic part of the Book of Daniel.
1: [1-27] This vision repeats the major part of the preceding one, though in a more explicit fashion.[...] 2:  The fortress of Susa: the royal palace of the Persian kings in the ancient territory of Elam, [...] 3:  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:  The desolating sin: the Hebrew contains a wordplay (shomem) on the name Baal Shamem ("lord of[...] 6:  The angel Gabriel is mentioned here for the first time in the Bible. There is wordplay in the[...] 7:  The end time: the day of the Lord, when God sits in judgment on his enemies (Daniel 8:19). [...]
1:  Darius: see the note on Daniel 6:1. 2:  Seventy years: the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10) prophesied a Babylonian captivity[...] 3:  As it is written: the first time that this formula of Scriptural citation is used in the Bibl[...] 4:  At the time of the evening sacrifice: between three and four in the afternoon. 5:  Seventy weeks: i.e., of years. Just as Jeremiah's seventy years was an approximation (see not[...] 6:  From the utterance . . . to be rebuilt: from the time of Jeremiah's prophecy. One . . . anoin[...] 7:  An anointed: doubtless the high priest Onias III, murdered in 171 B.C., from which the author[...] 8:  One week: the final phase of the period in view, the time of Antiochus' persecution; he is An[...]
1: [10:1-12:13] This final vision repeats some of the material contained in the others. It is conce[...] 2:  Mourned: perhaps the author intends to recall the interruption in the rebuilding of the temple[...] 3:  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:  The prince of the kingdom of Persia: the guardian angel of Persia. The later Judaism ascribed[...]
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:  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[...]
1:  Written in the book: the book of God's predestination. 2:  The first Israelites who have fallen (Daniel 11:33-35) shall awake, that is, rise to live for[...] 3:  A year, two years, a half-year: see note on Daniel 7:25. The author's perspective is the end [...]
1:  13, 1-14, 42: The short stories in these two chapters may have originally been about some othe[...] 2:  13, 55-59: The contrast between the mastic tree, which is small, and the majestic oak emphasi[...] 3:  13, 57: Besides the evident moral intent of this story, it appears to have served the purpose[...]
1: 14, 1: King Astyages: the last of the Median kings, defeated by Cyrus in 550 B.C. This story prese[...] 2:  14, 2: This verse in the Septuagint Greek text reads: "There was once a priest, Daniel by name[...] 3:  14, 3: Bel: see the note on 4, 5.
1: [Hosea 1-3] This section is ordinarily thought to be biographical, the prophet's personal tragedy [...] 2:  A harlot wife: this does not necessarily mean that Gomer was a harlot when Hosea married her; [...] 3:  Jezreel: the strategic valley in northern Israel where Jehu brought the dynasty of Omri to an [...] 4:  Lo-ruhama: "she is not pitied." The "pity" that is here withheld from Israel is God's gratuit[...] 5:  The terrible punishments announced by the prophets were so fully realized that later generatio[...] 6:  Lo-ammi: "not my people."
1:  The Lord speaks of Israel, still using the example of Hosea's wife. 2:  I will strip her naked: contemporary documents indicate that this was a conventional punishmen[...] 3:  My lovers: the local fertility deities to whom, rather than to the Lord (Hosea 2:8(10)), the [...] 4:  (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:  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[...]
1: [1-5] Hosea is instructed to take Gomer back, redeeming her from her paramours. On condition of he[...] 2:  Raisin cakes: offerings to the fertility goddess Ashera, the female counterpart of Baal; cf J[...] 3:  Homer: about ten bushels. Lethech: a half-homer. 4:  Sacred pillar: the stone massebah, originally perhaps a phallic symbol, representing Baal. The[...] 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[...]
1: [4-6] Hosea is particularly severe with the priests in the northern kingdom, who had led the way i[...] 2:  Wood . . . wand: an idol used in divination. 3:  With prostitutes you offer sacrifice: the ritual prostitution practiced at the Canaanite shri[...] 4:  Gilgal: not the Gilgal of the south (Joshua 4:19-20), but a sanctuary north of Bethel where [...] 5:  Ephraim: the heartland of the northern kingdom. During the latter part of Hosea's prophetic c[...] 6:  The Israelites shall be carried from their country as by a whirlwind. To this their idolatry [...]
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:  A vision of invasion, from Gibeah and Ramah in northern Judah, into Israel. 4:  Like those that move a boundary line: comparison of the invaders to a classic case of social [...] 5:  Gone after filth: by allying himself with Aram. 6:  Moth . . . maggots: internal corruption will work the Lord's punishment on both Israel and Ju[...] 7:  Ephraim went . . . the great king: in 738 B.C. the Israelite King Manahem had to pay tribute [...] 8:  The Lord withdraws himself from Israel, hoping for its repentance.
1:  In . . . me: this is the last line of Hosea 5. 2:  After two days; on the third day: after a short lapse of time. 3:  Piety: the word is translated "love" in Hosea 2:21 and in Hosea 6:6. 4:  Harvest: when the land will reap the consequences of its sins.
1: [3-7] This passage refers to the dynastic upheavals of Israel's declining days. Between the death [...] 2:  A hearth cake unturned: burnt on one side, half baked on the other, and therefore useless. Isr[...] 3:  They lacerated themselves: a common oriental practice in prayers of earnest impetration (1 K[...]
1: [4-6] Israel's monarchy and separate sanctuary are here associated, as in 1 Kings 12:20-33; both [...] 2:  The very multiplicity of sanctuaries throughout the land was a danger to the purity of worshi[...]
1: [1-2] Upon every threshing floor: an allusion to harvest festivals in honor of Baal, to whom the I[...] 2:  Mourners' bread: bread eaten at funeral rites; cf Deut 26:13-14. Contact with a corpse made a[...] 3:  The LORD'S feast: doubtless the autumn feast of Booths, the most important of the Israelite pu[...] 4:  The days of Gibeah: a reference to the outrage committed at Gibeah in the days of the Judges [...] 5:  At Baal-peor (Numbers 25:1-5) the Israelites consecrated themselves to Baal, here called the[...] 6:  An unfruitful womb: this appears to be a reversal of the ancient blessing of Joseph contained[...] 7:  Gilgal: see note on Hosea 4:15.
1:  Sacred pillars: see note on Hosea 3:4. 2:  Justice . . . like wormwood: the administration of justice, which should have been the mainsta[...] 3:  The calf of Beth-aven: see notes on Hosea 4:15; 8:4-6. 4:  Their two crimes: possibly the outrage described in Jdgs 19 is conceived as a double crime, o[...] 5:  As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel: allusion to an invasion not otherwise mentioned in the Bible. S[...]
1:  Out of Egypt: Hosea, like most of the prophets, dates the real beginning of Israel from the ti[...] 2:  I drew them . . . with bands of love: not forcing them like draft animals, but drawing them wi[...] 3:  Admah . . . Zeboiim: cities destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah (Deut 29:22).
1:  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:  A prophet: Moses.
1:  I give you a king . . . in my wrath: the Lord punishes the people of the northern kingdom by [...] 2:  Israel's sin is such as to warrant its destruction (Hosea 13:12), because it refuses to do p[...] 3:  Shall . . . nether world: a vigorous affirmation of the Lord's determination to destroy Israe[...]
1:  The priests stood in the open space between the outdoor altar of holocausts and the temple bu[...] 2:  The northerner: the locusts, that are compared to an invading army, which in Palestine came f[...] 3:  The teacher of justice: the rain sent by God to show his fidelity to his promises, and to tea[...]
1:  Valley of Jehoshaphat: a symbolic name of the place of final judgment (Joel 4:14). The name J[...] 2:  Sabeans: a south Arabian people known for their commerce. 3:  This imagery is used in the reverse sense in Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3. Here the warlike weapons[...] 4:  Warriors: the angels; cf Zechariah 14:5. 5:  Because of their numerous crimes, the nations are ripe for punishment. The use of warlike wea[...] 6:  The Valley of Shittim, or "the ravine of the acacia trees": perhaps a part of the Kidron Vall[...]
1:  The earthquake: which according to Hebrew tradition marked the crime of Uzziah when he attempt[...] 2:  For three crimes . . . four: crime after crime, an indefinite number; cf Amos 1:6. The series[...] 3:  Fire: devastation caused by the Assyrians (Amos 1:7, 10, 12, 14; 2:2, 5); cf 1 Sam 15:18. [...] 4:  Bar of Damascus: the beam securing the main gate of the city against invaders, symbol of its d[...] 5:  Pact of brotherhood: Hiram of Tyre had made a pact with Solomon and called him brother (1 Kin[...] 6:  Pursued his brother: the Edomites were descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob (Genesis 25-[...] 7:  Teman and Bozrah: two of the chief cities of Edom; cf Jeremiah 49:20. 8:  Rabbah: now called Amman, the modern capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
1:  Here the prophet stresses the gravity of Moab's violation of the Semitic custom of providing h[...] 2:  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:  A pair of sandals: indicating how cheaply the rich regarded the poor. 5:  Upon garments . . . any altar: usurers kept the garments taken as pledges from the poor; but i[...] 6:  Nazirites: see note on Numbers 6:1-3.
1:  God's choice of Israel brought its own responsibility. 2:  The sufferings which sinful man experiences through the permissive will of God are presented h[...] 3:  Israel's southern neighbors, beyond Judah, are invited by the prophetic orator to witness the [...] 4:  Ivory apartments: rooms containing furniture inlaid in ivory, similar to the pieces discovere[...]
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:  Pestilence like that of Egypt: plagues were well known in Egypt; cf Deut 7:15; 28:27, 60. St[...]
1:  House of Joseph: the kingdom of Israel or northern kingdom, the chief tribes of which were des[...] 2:  At the gate: see note on Psalm 127:5. 3:  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:  The meaning is not certain; according to some, the idea is that during the forty years' wande[...] 6:  Sakkuth . . . star god: although the text is uncertain, it seems quite probable that referenc[...]
1: [1-7] The luxury of the people in Samaria will be punished by exile. They failed to learn the less[...] 2:  The complacent in Zion . . . the overconfident . . . of Samaria: the proud and self-interested[...] 3:  Can horses . . . oxen?: one cannot change the course of nature, as the Israelites attempted t[...] 4:  Lodebar . . . Karnaim: in Transjordan; they had been captured by the Israelites. Perhaps it i[...] 5:  A nation: Assyria.
1:  The king's mowing: the first mowing, a portion of which was payable to the king as a tax. 2:  Fire: understood by many as a burning drought. 3:  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[...]
1:  Ephah: a standard of measure; a little more than a bushel. 2:  The pride of Jacob: the sinful pride detested by God (Amos 6:8), in contrast to God himself, [...] 3:  The figure is based on the annual flooding of the river Nile. 4:  Dan and Beer-sheba: the extreme northern and southern limits of the country, where idolatrous[...]
1: [1-8] There will be no escape from God's punishment, symbolized here by the destruction of a build[...] 2:  Serpent: the sea monster of familiar legend, subdued by God at the time of creation and lurkin[...] 3:  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 [...]
1:  Something of value may escape the robber, and the vintager always leaves something for the gle[...] 2:  There is no understanding in him: Edom's faithless allies assure one another that he does not [...] 3:  The wise men: Edom was proverbial for its wise men; cf Jeremiah 49:7. 4:  Teman: one of the names used for the land southeast of Palestine, here synonymous with Edom. E[...] 5:  Your brother Jacob: Esau, also called Edom, and Jacob, the father of Judah, were the sons of [...] 6:  After the devastation of Judah, Edom occupied the southern part of its territory. Edomites al[...] 7:  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:  Zarephath: a town in Phoenicia, north of Tyre; cf 1 Kings 17:10. Ezekiel's ideal boundaries [...] 10:  Saviors:the victorious Israelites who will rule over their enemies after the fashion of the a[...]
1:  Jonah, son of Amittai: a prophet of this name lived at the time of Jeroboam II (786-746 B.C.).[...] 2:  Tarshish: identified by many with Tartessus, an ancient Phoenician colony in southwest Spain; [...] 3:  Since it has pleased the Lord to punish Jonah, the mariners ask that in ridding themselves of[...]
1:  Shall be destroyed: the Hebrew expression reminds the reader of the "overthrowing" of the wick[...] 2:  Beast . . . sackcloth: the animals carried the signs of this repentance, as on occasions of jo[...]
1:  Shall be destroyed: the Hebrew expression reminds the reader of the "overthrowing" of the wick[...] 2:  Beast . . . sackcloth: the animals carried the signs of this repentance, as on occasions of jo[...]
1:  He became angry: because of his narrowly nationalistic vindictiveness, Jonah did not wish the [...] 2:  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[...]
1:  His holy temple: God's heavenly temple; the prophet pictures a theophany (Micah 1:3-4). 2:  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:  Shaving the head was a sign of mourning; cf Isaiah 3:24; Amos 8:10.
1:  Land monopoly, also denounced by Isaiah, was a chronic vice in Judah. To protect the poor agai[...] 2:  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:  The honor I gave them: their dignity as free Israelites. 5:  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[...]
1: [1-3] See note on Isaiah 2:2-4. 2:  Magdal-eder: "tower of the flock," an ancient place name (cf Genesis 35:21), here used symbol[...] 3:  For now . . . your enemies: probably a later addition to the text, when the prediction of exi[...] 4:  Bat-gader: "fenced-in maiden," another symbolic name for Jerusalem, then under siege from the[...]
1:  In contrast to Bat-gader (Micah 4:13(14)), where the ruler of Israel, the reigning king, is i[...] 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:  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.
1:  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:  Shall I give my first-born: through Canaanite influence the abominable practice of human sacri[...] 4:  The city: Jerusalem as the embodiment of the crimes of the entire land. 5:  Judah has followed the example of the northern kingdom epitomized in the semipaganism of Omri[...]
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[...]
1: [2-8] A poem written in the style of the alphabetic psalms; cf Psalm 9A;25;111;119. Here, however,[...] 2:  A jealous . . .God: see note on Exodus 20:5. 3:  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:  What are you imputing to the LORD?: the people of Judah are asked what they think God has in m[...] 6:  (12,13)They: the enemies of Judah. You: Judah. His yoke: the dominion of the Assyrian king ov[...] 7:  (11)From you . . . the scoundrel planner: addressed to Nineveh, the capital city of Sennacher[...] 8:  You: the king of Assyria.
1:  (2)The hammer comes up against you: the enemy is about to crush Nineveh. 2:  Mantelet: a movable shelter protecting the besiegers. 3:  Mistress . . . and her handmaids: either the queen of Nineveh with the ladies of her court, or[...] 4:  The lion: the king of Assyria.
1: [5-6] The punishment of adulteresses. 2:  No-amon: No was the Egyptian name of the capital of Upper Egypt, called Thebes by the Greeks; [...] 3:  An ironic exhortation to prepare the city for a futile defense. Go down . . . brick mold: mak[...]
1: [2-4] Traditionally, these verses have been taken as the prophet's complaint against the internal [...] 2:  Look over the nations and see: after Nebuchadnezzar's defeat of Egypt in 605 B.C., there could[...] 3:  Wolves at evening: the wolf is apparently thought of as more rabid and vicious in the evening [...] 4:  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:  O Rock: an ancient title celebrating the Lord's power; cf Psalm 18:32. 7:  The he of this and the following verses, to whom is attributed such extensive evil and the de[...] 8:  He sacrifices to his net: in Habakkuk 1:15 the wicked ruler in question is represented as ca[...]
1:  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:  Peoples toil for the flames: they build only to have fire consume their work, when they build[...] 4:  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[...]
1:  A later liturgical rubric. So also the end of Habakkuk 3:19. 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:  Teman: a region in Edom. Mount Paran: in the territory of Edom: or the northern part of the Si[...] 5:  Your anointed one: the theocratic king, the head of God's people.
1:  The host of heaven: the stars, the worship of which was introduced into Judah by the Assyrians[...] 2:  He has consecrated his guests: God has prepared those whom he has invited to share as soldiers[...] 3:  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:  The men who thicken on their lees: those who are overconfident because, like bottles of wine [...]
1:  Nation without shame: Judah. 2:  Gaza . . . Ashkelon . . . Ashdod . . . Ekron: four of the five cities of the Philistine confed[...] 3:  Cretan folk: the Philistines, who came from Crete; see note on Deut 2:23. 4:  Cushites: the Egyptians, at this time under a Cushite or Ethiopian dynasty. 5:  The exultant city: Nineveh.
1:  The sixth month in the second year: August/September in 520 B.C. 2:  The luxury of the homes of the wealthy with their paneled houses contrasts sadly with the ruin[...] 3:  The remnant of the people: a technical term in Haggai and Zechariah for the returned exiles. [...]
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:  The ninth month: the ordinal ninth has been copied incorrectly from Haggai 2:10. This note c[...] 5:  The month: probably again the sixth month, as in Haggai 1:15; 2:18; see note on the latter. [...] 6:  This promise to Zerubbabel, reversing the punishment of his grandfather (Jeremiah 22:24), is[...]
1:  The second year . . . eighth month: October/November, 520 B.C. 2:  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:  These seventy years: see note on Jeremiah 25:1-14. 5:  The complacent nations: the neighbors of Judah; especially Edom, which enjoyed their present [...] 6:  Measuring line: not for devastation, as in Isaiah 34:11 but for reconstruction.
1: [1-4] Four horns: symbolic of the hostile forces which, from the four corners of the earth, invade[...] 2:  That young man: the angel or man with a measuring line of Zechariah 2:5. 3:  The land of the north: Babylonia (Zechariah 2:11).
1:  Filthy garments: symbolic of mourning for the dead, or of national catastrophe, and implying a[...] 2:  Men of good omen: the restoration of the priesthood is a sign of the coming of the messianic t[...] 3:  One stone with seven facets: apparently the same as the select stone of Zechariah 4:7(10) whi[...]
1:  Great mountain: figure of the obstacles confronting Zerubbabel in building the temple. A plain[...] 2:  The two anointed: literally, "the two sons of oil," Joshua, the anointed high priest, and Ze[...]
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[...]
1: [1-8] The four chariots represent the angelic hosts sent by the Lord to the four ends of the earth[...] 2:  Make a crown; place it on the head of [Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest] Zerubbabel:[...]
1: [1-8] Divine judgment is about to fall on the surrounding hostile peoples: Aram (Syria), including[...] 2:  The baseborn: people of mixed ancestry. 3:  Remnant: see note on Haggai 1:12. The Jebusites: the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Jerusalem, [...] 4:  My house: the Holy Land; cf Hosea 8:1; 9:15; Jeremiah 12:7. 5:  The Messiah will come, not as a conquering warrior, but in lowliness and peace. Not like the l[...] 6:  The River: The Euphrates; see note on Psalm 72:8. 7:  The blood of your covenant with me: the covenant between the Lord and Israel sealed with sacr[...] 8:  The waiting prisoners: the exiles awaiting the return to their country, where they will recei[...]
1: [1-9] Under the image of the deliverance of Judah and Jerusalem from invading enemies, the prophet[...] 2:  The divine blessings (a spirit of grace and petition) will be poured out on God's people thro[...] 3:  The mourning for the pierced victim in Jerusalem is compared to a lamentation in the plain of[...]
1:  A fountain to purify from sin: in contrast to the lustral water used in ritual purification; c[...] 2:  Hairy mantle: worn by prophets as a mark of their calling; cf 2 Kings 1:8; Matthew 3:4. 3:  Wounds on your chest: literally, "wounds between your hands." The false prophets, like the pr[...] 4:  When the shepherd is killed, the sheep are scattered. In Matthew 26:31 the Evangelist quotes [...]
1: [3-5] The thought passes from the person Esau to his descendants, Edom, and from the person Jacob [...] 2:  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 [...]
1:  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[...]
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:  Storehouse: the temple treasury. 4:  Record book: see note on Exodus 32:32. 5:  (23)Elijah: described in 2 Kings 2:11 as taken heavenward in a fiery chariot. Here his retur[...] 6:  (24)The words in fine print, a repetition of Malachi 3:23 have been added by the scribes so [...]
1: [1:1-2:23] The infancy narrative forms the prologue of the gospel. Consisting of a genealogy and [...] 2:  The Son of David, the son of Abraham: two links of the genealogical chain are singled out. Alt[...] 3:  The successor of Abijah was not Asaph but Asa (see 1 Chron 3:10). Some textual witnesses read[...] 4:  Amos: some textual witnesses read Amon, who was the actual successor of Manasseh (see 1 Chro[...] 5:  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:  Betrothed to Joseph: betrothal was the first part of the marriage, constituting a man and wom[...] 8:  A righteous man: as a devout observer of the Mosaic law, Joseph wished to break his union wit[...] 9:  The angel of the Lord: in the Old Testament a common designation of God in communication with[...] 10:  Jesus: in first-century Judaism the Hebrew name Joshua (Greek Iesous) meaning "Yahweh helps" [...] 11:  God is with us: God's promise of deliverance to Judah in Isaiah's time is seen by Matthew as [...] 12:  Until she bore a son: the evangelist is concerned to emphasize that Joseph was not responsibl[...]
1: [1-12] The future rejection of Jesus by Israel and his acceptance by the Gentiles are retrojected [...] 2:  In the days of King Herod: Herod reigned from 37 to 4 B.C. Magi: originally a designation of t[...] 3:  We saw his star: it was a common ancient belief that a new star appeared at the time of a rule[...] 4:  Herod's consultation with the chief priests and scribes has some similarity to a Jewish legend[...] 5:  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:  Flee to Egypt: Egypt was a traditional place of refuge for those fleeing from danger in Pales[...] 8:  The fulfillment citation is taken from Hosea 11:1. Israel, God's son, was called out of Egyp[...] 9:  Jeremiah 31:15 portrays Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob, weeping for her children taken [...] 10:  For those who sought the child's life are dead: Moses, who had fled from Egypt because the Ph[...] 11:  With the agreement of the emperor Augustus, Archelaus received half of his father's kingdom, [...] 12:  Nazareth . . . he shall be called a Nazorean: the tradition of Jesus' residence in Nazareth w[...]
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:  Repent: the Baptist calls for a change of heart and conduct, a turning of one's life from rebe[...] 4:  See the note on John 1:23. 5:  The clothing of John recalls the austere dress of the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). The expec[...] 6:  Ritual washing was practiced by various groups in Palestine between 150 B.C. and A.D. 250. Joh[...] 7:  Pharisees and Sadducees: the former were marked by devotion to the law, written and oral, and [...] 8:  Baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: the water baptism of John will be followed by an [...] 9:  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:  The Spirit . . . coming upon him: cf Isaiah 42:1. 13:  This is my beloved Son: the Marcan address to Jesus (Mark 1:11) is changed into a proclamati[...]
1: [1-11] Jesus, proclaimed Son of God at his baptism, is subjected to a triple temptation. Obedience[...] 2:  Forty days and forty nights: the same time as that during which Moses remained on Sinai (Exod[...] 3:  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:  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:  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:  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:  Their synagogues: Matthew usually designates the Jewish synagogues as their synagogue(s) (Ma[...] 12:  Syria: the Roman province to which Palestine belonged. 13:  The Decapolis: a federation of Greek cities in Palestine, originally ten in number, all but o[...]
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:  The poor in spirit: in the Old Testament, the poor (anawim) are those who are without material[...] 5:  Cf Isaiah 61:2 "(The Lord has sent me) . . . to comfort all who mourn." They will be comforte[...] 6:  Cf Psalm 37:11,". . . the meek shall possess the land." In the psalm "the land" means the lan[...] 7:  For righteousness: a Matthean addition. For the meaning of righteousness here, see the note on[...] 8:  Cf Psalm 24:4. Only one "whose heart is clean" can take part in the temple worship. To be wi[...] 9:  Righteousness here, as usually in Matthew, means conduct in conformity with God's will. 10:  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:  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:  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:  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:  Anger is the motive behind murder, as the insulting epithets are steps that may lead to it. [...] 19:  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:  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:  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:  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:  Tax collectors: Jews who were engaged in the collection of indirect taxes such as tolls and [...] 29:  Jesus' disciples must not be content with merely usual standards of conduct; see Matthew 5:2[...] 30:  Perfect: in the gospels this word occurs only in Matthew, here and in Matthew 19:21. The Luc[...]
1: [1-18] The sermon continues with a warning against doing good in order to be seen and gives three [...] 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:  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:  Our Father in heaven: this invocation is found in many rabbinic prayers of the post-New Testam[...] 7:  Your kingdom come: this petition sets the tone of the prayer, and inclines the balance toward[...] 8:  Give us today our daily bread: the rare Greek word epiousios, here daily, occurs in the New T[...] 9:  Forgive us our debts: the word debts is used metaphorically of sins, "debts" owed to God (see[...] 10:  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:  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:  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:  Life-span: the Greek word can also mean "stature." If it is taken in that sense, the word her[...] 18:  Of little faith: except for the parallel in Luke 12:28, the word translated of little faith [...] 19:  Righteousness: see the note on Matthew 3:14-15.
1: [1-12] In Matthew 7:1 Matthew returns to the basic traditional material of the sermon (Luke 6:37-[...] 2:  This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly comp[...] 3:  Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the [...] 4:  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:  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:  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:  Not as their scribes: scribal instruction was a faithful handing down of the traditions of ea[...]
1: [8:1-9:38] This narrative section of the second book of the gospel is composed of nine miracle s[...] 2:  A leper: see the note on Mark 1:40. 3:  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:  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:  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:  By a word: a Matthean addition to Mark 1:34; cf 8:8. 11:  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:  The other side: i.e., of the Sea of Galilee. 14:  Teacher: for Matthew, this designation of Jesus is true, for he has Jesus using it of himself[...] 15:  Son of Man: see the note on Mark 8:31. This is the first occurrence in Matthew of a term tha[...] 16:  Let the dead bury their dead: the demand of Jesus overrides what both the Jewish and the Hell[...] 17:  His disciples followed him: the first miracle in the second group (Matthew 8:23-9:8) is intr[...] 18:  Storm: literally, "earthquake," a word commonly used in apocalyptic literature for the shaki[...] 19:  The reverent plea of the disciples contrasts sharply with their reproach of Jesus in Mark 4:[...] 20:  You of little faith: see the note on Matthew 6:30. Great calm: Jesus' calming the sea may be[...] 21:  Gadarenes: this is the reading of Codex Vaticanus, supported by other important textual witne[...] 22:  What have you to do with us?: see the note on John 2:4. Before the appointed time: the notio[...] 23:  The tending of pigs, animals considered unclean by Mosaic law (Lev 11:6-7), indicates that t[...]
1:  His own town: Capernaum; see Matthew 4:13. 2:  Scribes: see the note on Mark 2:6. Matthew omits the reason given in the Marcan story for the[...] 3:  It is not clear whether "But that you may know . . . to forgive sins" is intended to be a con[...] 4:  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:  A man named Matthew: Mark names this tax collector Levi (Mark 2:14). No such name appears in [...] 7:  His house: it is not clear whether his refers to Jesus or Matthew. Tax collectors: see the no[...] 8:  Teacher: see the note on Matthew 8:19. 9:  See the note on Mark 2:17. 10:  Go and learn . . . not sacrifice: Matthew adds the prophetic statement of Hosea 6:6 to the M[...] 11:  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:  Official: literally, "ruler." Mark calls him "one of the synagogue officials" (Mark 5:22). M[...] 15:  Tassel: possibly "fringe." The Mosaic law prescribed that tassels be worn on the corners of [...] 16:  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:  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:  This spiteful accusation foreshadows the growing opposition to Jesus in Matthew 11; 12. 21:  See the notes on Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 8:1-9:38. 22:  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[...]
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:  The greeting of peace is conceived of not merely as a salutation but as an effective word. If[...] 7:  Shake the dust from your feet: this gesture indicates a complete disassociation from such unb[...] 8:  The persecutions attendant upon the post-resurrection mission now begin to be spoken of. Here[...] 9:  See Micah 7:6 which is cited in Matthew 10:35, 36. 10:  To the end: the original meaning was probably "until the parousia." But it is not likely that[...] 11:  Before the Son of Man comes: since the coming of the Son of Man at the end of the age had not[...] 12:  Beelzebul: see Matthew 9:34 for the charge linking Jesus with "the prince of demons," who is[...] 13:  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:  The first mention of the cross in Matthew, explicitly that of the disciple, but implicitly th[...] 16:  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:  A prophet: one who speaks in the name of God; here, the Christian prophets who proclaim the g[...]
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:  In prison: see Matthew 4:12; 14:1-12. The works of the Messiah: the deeds of Matthew 8-9. [...] 4:  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:  John's preeminent greatness lies in his function of announcing the imminence of the kingdom [...] 9:  The meaning of this difficult saying is probably that the opponents of Jesus are trying to pr[...] 10:  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:  Tyre and Sidon were pagan cities denounced for their wickedness in the Old Testament; cf Joe[...] 13:  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:  Who labor and are burdened: burdened by the law as expounded by the scribes and Pharisees (M[...] 17:  In place of the yoke of the law, complicated by scribal interpretation, Jesus invites the bur[...]
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:  See the note on Matthew 9:13. 6:  The ultimate justification for the disciples' violation of the sabbath rest is that Jesus, the[...] 8:  Matthew omits the question posed by Jesus in Mark 3:4 and substitutes one about rescuing a s[...] 9:  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:  Jesus' knowledge of the Pharisees' plot and his healing all are peculiar to Matthew. 12:  The servant's not contending is seen as fulfilled in Jesus' withdrawal from the disputes narr[...] 13:  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:  See the note on Matthew 9:27. 16:  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:  Besides pointing out the absurdity of the charge, Jesus asks how the work of Jewish exorcists[...] 19:  The Q parallel (Luke 11:20) speaks of the "finger" rather than of the "spirit" of God. While[...] 20:  A short parable illustrates what Jesus is doing. The strong man is Satan, whom Jesus has tied[...] 21:  This saying, already attached to the preceding verses in Q (see Luke 11:23), warns that ther[...] 22:  Blasphemy against the Spirit: the sin of attributing to Satan (Matthew 12:24) what is the wo[...] 23:  Declare: literally, "make." The meaning of this verse is obscure. Possibly it is a challenge[...] 24:  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:  Teacher: see the note on Matthew 8:19. In Matthew 16:1 the request is for a sign "from heave[...] 28:  Unfaithful: literally, "adulterous." The covenant between God and Israel was portrayed as a [...] 29:  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:  This verse is omitted in some important textual witnesses, including Codex Sinaiticus (origi[...]
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:  In parables: the word "parable" (Greek parabole) is used in the LXX to translate the Hebrew m[...] 4:  Since a parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding, only those wh[...] 5:  In the New Testament use of this axiom of practical "wisdom" (see Matthew 25:29; Mark 4:25; [...] 6:  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:  Weeds: darnel, a poisonous weed that in its first stage of growth resembles wheat. 11:  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:  See Daniel 4:7-9, 17-19 where the birds nesting in the tree represent the people of Nebuchad[...] 14:  Except in this Q parable and in Matthew 16:12, yeast (or "leaven") is, in New Testament usag[...] 15:  Only in parables: see Matthew 13:10-15. 16:  The prophet: some textual witnesses read "Isaiah the prophet." The quotation is actually from[...] 17:  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:  The field is the world: this presupposes the resurrection of Jesus and the granting to him of[...] 20:  The end of the age: this phrase is found only in Matthew (13:40, 49; 24:3; 28:20). 21:  His kingdom: the kingdom of the Son of Man is distinguished from that of the Father (Matthew[...] 22:  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:  In the unsettled conditions of Palestine in Jesus' time, it was not unusual to guard valuable[...] 25:  Matthew typically speaks of the understanding of the disciples. 26:  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:  After the Sermon on the Mount the crowds are in admiring astonishment at Jesus' teaching (Ma[...]
1: [1-12] The murder of the Baptist by Herod Antipas prefigures the death of Jesus (see Matthew 17:1[...] 2:  Herod the tetrarch: Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. When the latter died, his territory[...] 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:  The taking, saying the blessing, breaking, and giving to the disciples correspond to the acti[...] 6:  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:  The fourth watch of the night: between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Romans divided the twelve hours [...] 9:  It is I: see the note on Mark 6:50. 10:  You of little faith: see the note on Matthew 6:30. Why did you doubt?: the verb is peculiar [...] 11:  This confession is in striking contrast to the Marcan parallel (Matthew 6:51) where the disc[...]
1: [1-20] This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus' disciples are[...] 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:  See the note on Mark 7:11. 5:  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:  Matthew specifies Peter as the questioner, unlike Mark 7:17. Given his tendency to present t[...] 8:  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:  See the note on Matthew 10:5-6. 11:  The children: the people of Israel. Dogs: see the note on Matthew 7:6. 12:  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:  Gave thanks: see Matthew 14:19, "said the blessing." There is no difference in meaning. The [...]
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:  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:  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:  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:  Caesarea Philippi: situated about twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee in the territory r[...] 10:  John the Baptist: see Matthew 14:2. Elijah: cf Malachi 3:23-24; Sirach 48:10; and see the n[...] 11:  The Son of the living God: see Matthew 2:15; 3:17. The addition of this exalted title to the[...] 12:  Flesh and blood: a Semitic expression for human beings, especially in their weakness. Has not[...] 13:  You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: the Aramaic word kepa - meaning roc[...] 14:  The keys to the kingdom of heaven: the image of the keys is probably drawn from Isaiah 22:15[...] 15:  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:  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:  Deny himself: to deny someone is to disown him (see Matthew 10:33; 26:34-35) and to deny one[...] 21:  See the notes on Matthew 10:38, 39. 22:  The parousia and final judgment are described in Matthew 25:31 in terms almost identical wit[...] 23:  Coming in his kingdom: since the kingdom of the Son of Man has been described as "the world" [...]
1: [1-8] The account of the transfiguration confirms that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 17:5) and[...] 2:  These three disciples are also taken apart from the others by Jesus in Gethsemane (Matthew 26[...] 3:  His face shone like the sun: this is a Matthean addition; cf Daniel 10:6. His clothes became [...] 4:  See the note on Mark 9:5. 5:  Three tents: the booths in which the Israelites lived during the feast of Tabernacles (cf Joh[...] 6:  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:  In response to the disciples' question about the expected return of Elijah, Jesus interprets t[...] 9:  The vision: Matthew alone uses this word to describe the transfiguration. Until the Son of Man[...] 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:  See Matthew 11:14. 13: [14-20] Matthew has greatly shortened the Marcan story (Matthew 9:14-29). Leaving aside several d[...] 14:  A lunatic: this description of the boy is peculiar to Matthew. The word occurs in the New Tes[...] 15:  Faithless and perverse: so Matthew and Luke (Matthew 9:41) against Mark's faithless (Matthew[...] 16:  The demon came out of him: not until this verse does Matthew indicate that the boy's illness [...] 17:  The entire verse is an addition of Matthew who (according to the better attested text) omits [...] 18:  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:  The temple tax: before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70 every male Jew abov[...] 22:  From their subjects or from foreigners?: the Greek word here translated subjects literally me[...] 23:  Then the subjects are exempt: just as subjects are not bound by laws applying to foreigners, [...] 24:  That we may not offend them: though they are exempt (Matthew 17:26), Jesus and his disciples[...]
1: [1-35] This discourse of the fourth book of the gospel is often called the "church order" discours[...] 2:  The initiative is taken not by Jesus as in the Marcan parallel (Mark 9:33-34) but by the disc[...] 3:  Become like children: the child is held up as a model for the disciples not because of any sup[...] 4:  Cf Matthew 10:40. 5:  One of these little ones: the thought passes from the child of Matthew 18:2-4 to the disciple[...] 6:  This is a Q saying; cf Luke 17:1. The inevitability of things that cause sin (literally, "sca[...] 7:  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:  Their angels in heaven . . . my heavenly Father: for the Jewish belief in angels as guardians[...] 10:  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:  Your brother: a fellow disciple; see Matthew 23:8. The bracketed words, against you, are wid[...] 13:  Cf Deut 19:15. 14:  The church: the second of the only two instances of this word in the gospels; see the note on[...] 15:  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:  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:  Seventy-seven times: the Greek corresponds exactly to the LXX of Genesis 4:24. There is prob[...] 20:  A huge amount: literally, "ten thousand talents." The talent was a unit of coinage of high bu[...] 21:  Pay you back in full: an empty promise, given the size of the debt. 22:  A much smaller amount: literally, "a hundred denarii." A denarius was the normal daily wage [...] 23:  Since the debt is so great as to be unpayable, the punishment will be endless. 24:  The Father's forgiveness, already given, will be withdrawn at the final judgment for those wh[...]
1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mat.23.39]23:39[ETML-C:/]] The narrative section of the fifth book of the gospel. Th[...] 2:  In giving Jesus' teaching on divorce (Matthew 19:3-9), Matthew here follows his Marcan source[...] 3:  When Jesus finished these words: see the note on Matthew 7:28-29. The district of Judea acros[...] 4:  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:  See Deut 24:1-4 7:  Moses' concession to human sinfulness (the hardness of your hearts, Matthew 19:8) is repudiat[...] 8:  [This] word: probably the disciples' "it is better not to marry" (Matthew 19:10). Jesus agre[...] 9:  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:  Gain eternal life: this is equivalent to "entering into life" (Matthew 19:17) and "being sav[...] 13:  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:  Young man: in Matthew alone of the synoptics the questioner is said to be a young man; thus t[...] 16:  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:  This saying, directed to the Twelve, is from Q; see Luke 22:29-30. The new age: the Greek wo[...] 20:  Different interpretations have been given to this saying, which comes from Mark 10:31. In vi[...]
1: [1-16] This parable is peculiar to Matthew. It is difficult to know whether the evangelist compose[...] 2:  What is just: although the wage is not stipulated as in the case of those first hired, it will[...] 3:  Beginning with the last . . . the first: this element of the parable has no other purpose than[...] 4:  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:  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:  You do not know what you are asking: the Greek verbs are plural and, with the rest of the ver[...] 11:  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:  [Lord]: some important textual witnesses omit this, but that may be because copyists assimila[...]
1: [1-11] Jesus' coming to Jerusalem is in accordance with the divine will that he must go there (cf [...] 2:  Bethphage: a village that can no longer be certainly identified. Mark mentions it before Betha[...] 3:  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:  Upon them: upon the two animals; an awkward picture resulting from Matthew's misunderstanding [...] 6:  Spread . . . on the road: cf 2 Kings 9:13. There is a similarity between the cutting and stre[...] 7:  Hosanna: the Hebrew means "(O Lord) grant salvation"; see Psalm 118:25, but that invocation h[...] 8:  Was shaken: in the gospels this verb is peculiar to Matthew where it is used also of the eart[...] 9:  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:  These activities were carried on in the court of the Gentiles, the outermost court of the tem[...] 12:  "My house . . . prayer': cf Isaiah 56:7. Matthew omits the final words of the quotation, "fo[...] 13:  The blind and the lame: according to 2 Sam 5:8 (LXX) the blind and the lame were forbidden t[...] 14:  The wondrous things: the healings. 15:  "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:  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:  These things: probably his entry into the city, his cleansing of the temple, and his healings[...] 20:  To reply by counterquestion was common in rabbinical debate. 21:  We fear . . . as a prophet: cf Matthew 14:5. 22:  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:  Entering . . . before you: this probably means "they enter; you do not." 25:  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:  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:  Acquire his inheritance: if a Jewish proselyte died without heir, the tenants of his land wou[...] 30:  Threw him out . . . and killed him: the change in the Marcan order where the son is killed an[...] 31:  They answered: in Mark 12:9 the question is answered by Jesus himself; here the leaders answ[...] 32:  Cf Psalm 118:22-23. The psalm was used in the early church as a prophecy of Jesus' resurrect[...] 33:  Peculiar to Matthew. Kingdom of God: see the note on Matthew 19:23-24. Its presence here ins[...] 34:  The majority of textual witnesses omit this verse. It is probably an early addition to Matth[...] 35:  The Pharisees: Matthew inserts into the group of Jewish leaders (Matthew 21:23) those who re[...]
1: [1-14] This parable is from Q; see Luke 14:15-24. It has been given many allegorical traits by Ma[...] 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:  See the note on Matthew 22:1-14. 5:  Bad and good alike: cf Matthew 13:47. 6:  A wedding garment: the repentance, change of heart and mind, that is the condition for entran[...] 7:  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:  The Pharisees: while Matthew retains the Marcan union of Pharisees and Herodians in this acco[...] 10:  Herodians: see the note on Mark 3:6. They would favor payment of the tax; the Pharisees did n[...] 11:  Is it lawful: the law to which they refer is the law of God. 12:  They handed him the Roman coin: their readiness in producing the money implies their use of i[...] 13:  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:  Saying that there is no resurrection: in the Marcan parallel (Matthew 22:12, 18) the Sadduce[...] 16:  "If a man dies . . . his brother': this is known as the "law of the levirate," from the Latin[...] 17:  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:  [A scholar of the law]: meaning "scribe." Although this reading is supported by the vast maj[...] 21:  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:  Jesus goes beyond the extent of the question put to him and joins to the greatest and the fir[...] 24:  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:  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:  Since Matthew presents Jesus both as Messiah (Matthew 16:16) and as Son of David (Matthew 1:[...]
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:  Tie up heavy burdens: see the note on Matthew 11:28. 4:  To the charge of preaching but not practicing (Matthew 23:3), Jesus adds that of acting in or[...] 5:  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:  You lock the kingdom of heaven: cf Matthew 16:19 where Jesus tells Peter that he will give h[...] 9:  Some manuscripts add a verse here or after Matthew 23:12 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,[...] 10:  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:  The Mosaic law ordered tithing of the produce of the land (Lev 27:30; Deut 14:22-23), and th[...] 13:  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[...]
1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mat.25.46]25:46[ETML-C:/]] The discourse of the fifth book, the last of the five aro[...] 2:  As in Mark, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple. By omitting the Marcan story of the [...] 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:  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:  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:  The desolating abomination: in 167 B.C. the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the[...] 11:  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:  On the sabbath: this addition to in winter (cf Mark 13:18) has been understood as an indicat[...] 14:  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:  The answer to the question of Matthew 24:3b "What will be the sign of your coming?" Immediat[...] 17:  The sign of the Son of Man: perhaps this means the sign that is the glorious appearance of th[...] 18:  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:  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:  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:  To distribute . . . proper time: readiness for the master's return means a vigilance that is [...] 28:  My master . . . delayed: the note of delay is found also in the other parables of this sectio[...] 29:  Punish him severely: the Greek verb, found in the New Testament only here and in the Lucan pa[...]
1: [1-13] Peculiar to Matthew. 2:  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:  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:  It will be as when . . . journey: literally, "For just as a man who was going on a journey." [...] 8:  Talents: see the note on Matthew 18:24. 9:  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:  See the note on Matthew 13:12 where there is a similar application of this maxim. 13:  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:  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:  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[...]
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:  Caiaphas was high priest from A.D. 18 to 36. 4:  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:  To prepare me for burial: cf Mark 14:8. In accordance with the interpretation of this act as[...] 7:  Iscariot: see the note on Luke 6:16. 8:  The motive of avarice is introduced by Judas's question about the price for betrayal, which i[...] 9:  The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: see the note on Mark 14:1. Matthew omits Mar[...] 10:  By omitting much of Mark 14:13-15, adding My appointed time draws near, and turning the ques[...] 11:  Given Matthew's interest in the fulfillment of the Old Testament, it is curious that he omits[...] 12:  It would be better . . . born: the enormity of the deed is such that it would be better not t[...] 13:  Peculiar to Matthew. You have said so: cf Matthew 26:64; 27:11. This is a half-affirmative. [...] 14:  See the note on Mark 14:22-24. The Marcan-Matthean is one of the two major New Testament tra[...] 15:  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:  Although his death will interrupt the table fellowship he has had with the disciples, Jesus c[...] 18:  See the note on Mark 14:26. 19:  Will have . . . shaken: literally, "will be scandalized in me"; see the note on Matthew 24:9[...] 20:  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:  Gethsemane: the Hebrew name means "oil press" and designates an olive orchard on the western [...] 23:  Peter and the two sons of Zebedee: cf Matthew 17:1. 24:  Cf Psalm 42:5, 11. In the Septuagint (Psalm 41:4, 11) the same Greek word for sorrowful is [...] 25:  My Father: see the note on Mark 14:36. Matthew omits the Aramaic 'abba' and adds the qualifi[...] 26:  Undergo the test: see the note on Matthew 6:13. In that verse "the final test" translates th[...] 27:  Your will be done: cf Matthew 6:10. 28:  Rabbi: see the note on Matthew 23:6-7. Jesus is so addressed twice in Matthew (Matthew 26:25[...] 29:  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:  Caiaphas: see the note on Matthew 26:3. 32:  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:  Silent: possibly an allusion to Isaiah 53:7. I order you . . . living God: peculiar to Matth[...] 35:  + You have said so: see the note on Matthew 26:25. From now on . . . heaven: the Son of Man [...] 36:  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:  Denied it in front of everyone: see Matthew 10:33. Peter's repentance (Matthew 26:75) saves [...] 39:  Your speech . . . away: Matthew explicates Mark's "you too are a Galilean" (Mark 14:70).
1: [1-31] Cf Mark 15:1-20. Matthew's account of the Roman trial before Pilate is introduced by a con[...] 2:  There is scholarly disagreement about the meaning of the Sanhedrin's taking counsel (symboulio[...] 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:  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:  Cf Mark 14:10. This is an example of the tendency, found in varying degree in all the gospel[...] 11:  Jesus' innocence is declared by a Gentile woman. In a dream: in Matthew's infancy narrative, [...] 12:  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:  He had Jesus scourged: the usual preliminary to crucifixion. 15:  The praetorium: the residence of the Roman governor. His usual place of residence was at Caes[...] 16:  Scarlet military cloak: so Matthew as against the royal purple of Mark 15:17 and John 19:2. [...] 17:  Crown out of thorns: probably of long thorns that stood upright so that it resembled the "rad[...] 18:  Spat upon him: cf Matthew 26:67 where there also is a possible allusion to Isaiah 50:6. 19:  See the note on Mark 15:21. Cyrenian named Simon: Cyrenaica was a Roman province on the nort[...] 20:  Wine . . . mixed with gall: cf Mark 15:23 where the drink is "wine drugged with myrrh," a na[...] 21:  The clothing of an executed criminal went to his executioner(s), but the description of that [...] 22:  The offense of a person condemned to death by crucifixion was written on a tablet that was di[...] 23:  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:  King of Israel: in their mocking of Jesus the members of the Sanhedrin call themselves and th[...] 26:  Peculiar to Matthew. He trusted in God . . . wants him: cf Psalm 22:9. He said . . . of God:[...] 27:  Cf Amos 8:9 where on the day of the Lord "the sun will set at midday." 28:  Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?: Jesus cries out in the words of Psalm 22:2, a psalm of lament t[...] 29:  Elijah: see the note on Matthew 3:4. This prophet, taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2:11), was [...] 30:  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:  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:  The next day . . . preparation: the sabbath. According to the synoptic chronology, in that ye[...] 37:  This last imposture . . . the first: the claim that Jesus has been raised from the dead is cl[...] 38:  The guard is yours: literally, "have a guard" or "you have a guard." Either the imperative o[...]
1: [1-20] Except for Matthew 28:1-8 based on Mark 16:1-8, the material of this final chapter is pecu[...] 2:  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:  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:  The eleven: the number recalls the tragic defection of Judas Iscariot. To the mountain . . . [...] 10:  But they doubted: the Greek can also be translated, "but some doubted." The verb occurs elsew[...] 11:  All power . . . me: the Greek word here translated power is the same as that found in the LXX[...] 12:  Therefore: since universal power belongs to the risen Jesus (Matthew 28:18), he gives the el[...] 13:  All that I have commanded you: the moral teaching found in this gospel, preeminently that of [...]
1: [1-13] The prologue of the Gospel according to Mark begins with the title (Mark 1:1) followed by [...] 2:  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:  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:  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:  What have you to do with us?: see the note on John 2:4. 14:  A leper: for the various forms of skin disease, see Lev 13:1-50 and the note on Lev 13:2-4. [...]
1: [1-[ETML-C:=.Mar.3.6]3:6[ETML-C:/]] This section relates a series of conflicts between Jesus and t[...] 2:  He was at home: to the crowds that gathered in and outside the house Jesus preached the word, [...] 3:  It was the faith of the paralytic and those who carried him that moved Jesus to heal the sick [...] 4:  Scribes: trained in oral interpretation of the written law; in Mark's gospel, adversaries of J[...] 5:  He is blaspheming: an accusation made here and repeated during the trial of Jesus (Mark 14:60[...] 6:  But that you may know that the Son of Man . . . on earth: although Mark 2:8-9 are addressed [...] 7:  He taught them: see the note on Mark 1:21-45. 8:  As he passed by: see the note on Mark 1:16-20. Levi, son of Alphaeus: see the note on Matthe[...] 9:  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:  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:  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:  The sabbath was made for man: a reaffirmation of the divine intent of the sabbath to benefit [...] 17:  The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath: Mark's comment on the theological meaning of the [...]
1: [1-5] Here Jesus is again depicted in conflict with his adversaries over the question of sabbath-d[...] 2:  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:  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:  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:  He came home: cf Mark 2:1-2 and see the note on Mark 2:15. 10:  By Beelzebul: see the note on Matthew 10:25. Two accusations are leveled against Jesus: (1) [...] 11:  Whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit: this sin is called an everlasting sin because it [...] 12:  Your brothers: see the note on Mark 6:3.
1: [1-34] In parables (2): see the note on Matthew 13:3. The use of parables is typical of Jesus' en[...] 2:  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:  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:  Quiet! Be still!: as in the case of silencing a demon (Mark 1:25), Jesus rebukes the wind and[...] 10:  Jesus is here depicted as exercising power over wind and sea. In the Christian community this[...]
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:  What have you to do with me?: cf Mark 1:24 and see the note on John 2:4. 4:  Legion is my name: the demons were numerous and the condition of the possessed man was extreme[...] 5:  Herd of swine: see the note on Matthew 8:30. 6:  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:  Lay your hands on her: this act for the purpose of healing is frequent in Mark 6:5; 7:32-35;[...] 9:  Both in the case of Jairus and his daughter (Mark 5:23) and in the case of the hemorrhage vi[...] 10:  The faith of Jairus was put to a twofold test: (1) that his daughter might be cured and, now [...] 11:  Not dead but asleep: the New Testament often refers to death as sleep (Matthew 27:52; John 1[...] 12:  Arise: the Greek verb egeirein is the verb generally used to express resurrection from death [...]
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:  Is he not the carpenter?: no other gospel calls Jesus a carpenter. Some witnesses have "the ca[...] 4:  A prophet is not without honor except . . . in his own house: a saying that finds parallels in[...] 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:  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:  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:  Herodias: see the note on Matthew 14:3. 14:  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:  See the note on Matthew 14:13-21. Compare this section with Mark 8:1-9. The various accounts[...] 17:  The people . . . in rows by hundreds and by fifties: reminiscent of the groupings of Israelit[...] 18:  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:  To the other side toward Bethsaida: a village at the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee[...] 21:  He went off to the mountain to pray: see Mark 1:35-38. In John 6:15 Jesus withdrew to evade [...] 22:  Walking on the sea: see the notes on Matthew 14:22-33 and on John 6:19. 23:  It is I, do not be afraid!: literally, "I am." This may reflect the divine revelatory formula[...] 24:  They had not understood . . . the loaves: the revelatory character of this sign and that of t[...]
1: [1-23] See the note on Matthew 15:1-20. Against the Pharisees' narrow, legalistic, and external p[...] 2:  Carefully washing their hands: refers to ritual purification. 3:  Tradition of the elders: the body of detailed, unwritten, human laws regarded by the scribes a[...] 4:  Qorban: a formula for a gift to God, dedicating the offering to the temple, so that the giver[...] 5:  Mark 7:16, "Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear," is omitted because it is lacking in [...] 6:  Away from the crowd . . . the parable: in this context of privacy the term parable refers to [...] 7:  (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:  The more they proclaimed it: the same verb proclaim attributed here to the crowd in relation [...]
1: [1-10] The two accounts of the multiplication of loaves and fishes (Mark 8:1-10; 6:31-44) have eu[...] 2:  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:  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:  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:  For my sake and that of the gospel: Mark here, as at Mark 10:29 equates Jesus with the gospe[...]
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:  Moses and Elijah represent respectively law and prophecy in the Old Testament and are linked t[...] 4:  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:  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:  Everyone will be salted with fire: so the better manuscripts. Some add "every sacrifice will [...]
1: [2-9] In the dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees on the subject of divorce, Jesus declares th[...] 2:  Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child: i.e., in total dependence upon and o[...] 3:  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:  See the notes on Matthew 9:27-31 and 20:29-34.
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:  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[...]
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.
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:  The gospel . . . to all nations: the period of the Christian mission. 4:  The participle standing is masculine, in contrast to the neuter at Matthew 24:15. 5:  Son of Man . . . with great power and glory: Jesus cites this text from Daniel 7:13 in his r[...]
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:  At Bethany on the Mount of Olives, a few miles from Jerusalem, in the house of Simon the leper[...] 3:  The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread . . . the Passover lamb: a less precise design[...] 4:  A man . . . carrying a jar of water: perhaps a prearranged signal, for only women ordinarily [...] 5:  One of you will betray me, one who is eating with me: contrasts the intimacy of table fellows[...] 6:  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:  Which will be shed: see the note on Matthew 26:27-28. For many: the Greek preposition hyper [...] 9:  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:  Abba, Father: an Aramaic term, here also translated by Mark, Jesus' special way of addressing[...] 13:  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: the spirit is drawn to what is good yet found in[...] 14:  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:  [Then the cock crowed]: found in most manuscripts, perhaps in view of Mark 14:30, 72 but omi[...]
1:  Held a council: the verb here, poieo, can mean either "convene a council" or "take counsel." [...] 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:  Barabbas: see the note on Matthew 27:16-17. 5:  Crucify him: see the note on Matthew 27:22. 6:  See the note on Matthew 27:26. 7:  Praetorium: see the note on Matthew 27:27. 8:  They pressed into service . . . Simon, a Cyrenian: a condemned person was constrained to bear[...] 9:  See the notes on Matthew 27:35 and John 19:23-25a. 10:  It was nine o'clock in the morning: literally, "the third hour," thus between 9 a.m. and 12 [...] 11:  The inscription . . . the King of the Jews: the political reason for the death penalty falsel[...] 12:  This verse, "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "And he was counted among the wicked,[...] 13:  See the note on Matthew 27:39-40. 14:  An Aramaic rendering of Psalm 22:2. See also the note on Matthew 27:46. 15:  Elijah: a verbal link with Eloi (Mark 15:34). See the note on Mark 9:9-13; cf Malachi 3:23-[...] 16:  See the note on Matthew 27:51-53. 17:  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:  Joseph of Arimathea: see the note on Matthew 27:57-61.
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:  THE SHORTER ENDING - [And they reported all the instructions briefly to Peter's companions. A[...]
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:  In the days of Herod, King of Judea: Luke relates the story of salvation history to events in [...] 4:  They had no child: though childlessness was looked upon in contemporaneous Judaism as a curse [...] 5:  Do not be afraid: a stereotyped Old Testament phrase spoken to reassure the recipient of a he[...] 6:  He will drink neither wine nor strong drink: like Samson (Judges 13:4-5) and Samuel (1 Sam 1[...] 7:  He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah: John is to be the messenger sent bef[...] 8:  I am Gabriel: "the angel of the Lord" is identified as Gabriel, the angel who in Daniel 9:20[...] 9:  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:  Son of the Most High: cf Luke 1:76 where John is described as "prophet of the Most High." "M[...] 12:  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:  Even before his birth, Jesus is identified in Luke as the Lord. 15:  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:  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:  A horn for our salvation: the horn is a common Old Testament figure for strength (Psalm 18:3[...] 21:  You will go before the Lord: here the Lord is most likely a reference to Jesus (contrast Luk[...] 22:  The daybreak from on high: three times in the LXX (Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12), the[...]
1: [1-2] Although universal registrations of Roman citizens are attested in 28 B.C., 8 B.C., and A.D.[...] 2:  Caesar Augustus: the reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus is usually dated from 27 B.C. [...] 3:  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:  The basic message of the infancy narrative is contained in the angel's announcement: this chi[...] 6:  On earth peace to those on whom his favor rests: the peac