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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 44

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Praise of Israel’s Great Ancestors

1Now will I praise those godly men,* our ancestors, each in his own time:* 2The abounding glory of the Most High’s portion, his own part, since the days of old. Subduers of the land in kingly fashion, men of renown for their might, m Dt 32, 8f . 3Or counselors in their prudence, or seers of all things in prophecy; n Sir 39, 1 . 4Resolute princes of the folk, and governors with their staves; Authors skilled in composition, and forgers of epigrams with their spikes; 5Composers of melodious psalms, or discoursers on lyric themes; 6Stalwart men, solidly established and at peace in their own estates— 7All these were glorious in their time, each illustrious in his day. 8Some of them have left behind a name and men recount their praiseworthy deeds; 9But of others there is no memory, for when they ceased, they ceased. And they are as though they had not lived, they and their children after them. 10Yet these also were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; 11Their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants; 12Through God’s covenant with them their family endures, their posterity for their sake. 13And for all time their progeny will endure, their glory will never be blotted out; 14Their bodies are peacefully laid away, but their name lives on and on. o Wis 3, 3 . 15At gatherings their wisdom is retold, and the assembly proclaims their praise.

The Early Patriarchs

16[ENOCH * walked with the LORD and was taken up, p Sir 49, 14; Gn 5, 18–24; Heb 11, 5 . that succeeding generations might learn by his example.] 17 NOAH, found just and perfect, renewed the race in the time of devastation. q Gn 6, 8–9, 29; Heb 11, 7 . Because of his worth there were survivors, and with a sign to him the deluge ended; 18A lasting agreement was made with him, that never should all flesh be destroyed. 19 ABRAHAM, father of many peoples, kept his glory without stain: r Gn 12, 1–25, 10; Gal 3, 6; Heb 11, 8–19 . 20He observed the precepts of the Most High, and entered into an agreement with him; In his own flesh he incised the ordinance,* and when tested he was found loyal. s Gn 17, 10; 22, 1 . 21For this reason, God promised him with an oath that in his descendants the nations would be blessed, That he would make him numerous as the grains of dust, and exalt his posterity like the stars; That he would give them an inheritance from sea to sea, and from the River* to the ends of the earth. 22And for ISAAC he renewed the same promise because of Abraham, his father. The covenant with all his forebears was confirmed, and the blessing rested upon the head of JACOB. t Gn 26, 3. 5. 24; 27, 28f; 28, 14 . 23God acknowledged him as the firstborn, and gave him his inheritance. He fixed the boundaries for his tribes, and their division into twelve.

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