Abraham (Sir 44:19-44:21)

“Abraham was the great father

Of a multitude of nations.

No one has been found

Like him in glory.

He kept the law

Of the Most High.

He entered into

A covenant with him.

He certified the covenant

In his flesh.

When he was tested,

He was found faithful.

Therefore the Lord assured him

With an oath.

The nations would be blessed

Through his offspring.

He would make them

As numerous as

The dust of the earth.

He would exalt his posterity

Like the stars.

He would give them

An inheritance

From sea to sea,

From the Euphrates River

To the ends of the earth.”

It is obvious why Abraham should show up as one of the famous holy men as indicated in the stories of Genesis, chapters 12-25. Abraham was considered to be the father of many nations, not just Israel. His glory was beyond anyone else. He kept the law of the Most High God, although it was not written anywhere. There is no mention of Yahweh. However Abraham entered into a covenant with the Most High God that was sealed with his flesh, the circumcision of the foreskin of his penis. Then there was his test about obeying God, when he was asked to kill his son. Abraham proved faithful to God. Thus the Lord, or Yahweh, assured him with an oath that he would have many blessed descendants as numerous as the dust on the earth. He also promised them an inheritance of the land from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea to the ends of the earth. Wow! This was a big chunk of land.

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General Holofernes speaks to Judith (Jdt 11:1-11:4)

“Then General Holofernes said to Judith.

‘Take courage, woman!

Do not be afraid in your heart.

I have never hurt anyone,

Who chose to serve Nebuchadnezzar,

The king of all the earth.

Even now,

If your people who live in the hill country had not slighted me,

I would never have lifted my spear against them.

They have brought this on themselves.

Now tell me,

Why you have fled from them?

Why have come over to us?

In any event,

You have come to safety.

Take courage!

You will live tonight and ever after.

No one will hurt you.

All will treat you well.

They will treat you as they do the servants of my lord,

King Nebuchadnezzar.’”

General Holofernes was very cordial. He told Judith to take courage and not be afraid. He has never hurt anybody who served his King Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king of the whole earth, certainly a humble title. He would not have lifted a spear against her people, but they brought this on themselves, by slighting him. He wanted to know why she had fled to his side. She could be assured that she would be safe tonight and forever. She would be treated like the other servants of King Nebuchadnezzar.