The questioning of the first elder (Dan 13:52-13:53)

“When they were separated

From each other,

He summoned one of them.

Daniel said to him.

‘You!

Old relic

Of wicked days!

Your sins have now

Come home.

You have committed them

In the past.

You pronounced

Unjust judgments.

You condemned

The innocent.

You acquitted

The guilty.

The Lord said.

‘You shall not

Put an innocent

Or righteous person

To death.’”

Daniel separated the two elders. He then asked the first one to come in. He then berated this elder by calling him an old relic of the former wicked days. Daniel claimed that this old judge was a sinner, since he had condemned innocent people to death, while letting the guilty ones go free. He had not obeyed the Lord’s command.

Evil wives (Sir 25:16-25:20)

“I would rather live with a lion.

I would rather live with a dragon

Than live with an evil wife.

A wife’s wickedness

Changes her appearance.

Her wickedness darkens her face

Like that of a bear.

Her husband sits

Among the neighbors.

He cannot help sighing bitterly.

Any iniquity is small

Compared to a wife’s iniquity.

May a sinner’s lot befall her!

A sandy ascent

For the feet of the aged,

Such is a garrulous wife

To a quiet husband.”

Sirach continues his diatribe against women, particularly evil wives. He would rather live with a lion or a dragon, rather than an evil wife. In fact, he insists that her appearance changes because of her wickedness since her face will become dark like that of a bear. That would be some sight. Her poor husband will have to sit and eat with his neighbors and sigh bitterly. The worse kind of iniquity or evil is that committed by your wife. She should be reckoned as a sinner. This evil wife talks too much for her quiet husband. Thus he is like an old man trying to climb up a sandy dune. Sirach wants you to have pity for this poor husband with the evil wife, as if it never happened the other way around. Or perhaps he had some personal experience that colored his attitude.

Elihu explained the advantage of being a sinner (Job 35:1-35:4)

“Elihu continued and said.

‘Do you think this to be just?

You say.

‘I am in the right before God.’

If you ask?

‘What advantage do I have?

How am I better off than if I had sinned?’

I will answer you

And your friends with you.”

Elihu was going to explain why it was better for Job to admit that he was a sinner. He wanted to show the difference between proclaiming that he was just and that of admitting that he had sinned. He was going to explain it to Job and his 3 friends that it was better to admit to sinning rather than proclaiming his righteous.