“Bless the Lord!
He has crowned you
May the Lord
Grant you wisdom
May you judge his people
Thus their prosperity
May not vanish.
Thus their glory
Throughout all their generations.”
Sirach has this blessing at the end of this long section on Aaron and the Levitical priests. You should bless the Lord because he has crowned you with glory. Then the Lord may grant you wisdom to judge with justice. Thus your prosperity may have a glorious future throughout all generations to come.
Ahead of thunder.
A modest person.
Leave in good time!
Do not be the last!
Go home quickly!
Do not linger!
Amuse yourself there,
To your heart’s content.
But do not sin
Through proud speech.
But above all,
Bless your Maker
Who fills you With his good gifts.”
Sirach thinks that there is a proper time to leave a banquet. Just as lightening precedes thunder by a few seconds, so too does approval precede a modest person. Do not be the last one to leave a banquet. Do not hang around, but go home quickly. While you are there at the banquet, amuse yourself to your heart’s content, but do not use sinful proud speech. More than anything else, bless your creator who has given you all his good gifts and graces.
The enemies of Israel worship
Even the most hateful animals.
Some are worse than all others,
When judged by their lack of intelligence.
Even as animals,
They are not so beautiful in appearance
That one would desire them.
But they have escaped
Both the praise of God
And his blessing.”
This is a stinging attack on animal worship. These animals are at least living. However, they are hateful animals with little intelligence, and not even good looking. No one would desire them. God (τοῦ Θεοῦ) would not praise or bless them.
“There are those who curse their fathers.
They do not bless their mothers.
There are those who are pure in their own eyes.
Yet they are not cleansed of their filthiness.
There are those who have lofty eyes.
They lift their eyelids high.
There are those whose teeth are swords.
Their teeth are like knives.
They want to devour the poor from off the earth.
They want to devour the needy from among men.”
This interlude with Agur concludes as he considers four types of sinners. The first type of sinner is the disrespectful child who curses his father and does not bless his mother. Next are the self satisfied who pretend to be pure but are actually filthy. Thirdly, the arrogant lift their eyes and eye lids high in distain. Finally, there are the avarice ones with their sharp teeth. They want to devour the poor and the needy among us.
“My mouth will speak the praise of Yahweh.
All flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.”
This psalm ends with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet in italic. David would have his mouth speak praise to Yahweh. He wanted all flesh to bless his holy name forever.
“All your works shall give thanks to you!
All your faithful shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory
Of your kingdom.
They shall tell of your power.
They shall make known to all people
Your mighty deeds.
They shall make known
The glorious splendor
Of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is
An everlasting kingdom.
Your dominion endures
Throughout all generations.”
David wanted all the works of Yahweh to give thanks. He wanted all the faithful to bless him. They should speak of the glory and the power of his kingdom. They should tell everybody about his mighty deeds. They should let everyone know about the glorious splendor of his kingdom. Yahweh’s kingdom is everlasting and endures forever through all generations. The next 4 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found here in italic.
A song of praise of David
“I will extol you!
Bless your name forever and ever!
I will bless you!
I will praise your name forever and ever!
Great is Yahweh!
He is greatly to be praised.
His greatness is unsearchable!”
Psalm 145 is an acrostic or Hebrew alphabet praise psalm of David about the God of Israel. David would extol God as his king. He would bless his name forever. Every day he blessed and praised his name. Yahweh was great with an unsearchable greatness. The first 3 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found here in italic.
A song of ascents
All you servants of Yahweh!
You stand by night
In the house of Yahweh!
Lift up your hands to the holy place!
Psalm 134 is the last in this series of pilgrimage songs on the ascent to Jerusalem. This short psalm is a blessing. They were called to bless Yahweh. These were the servants of Yahweh, who stood in the house of Yahweh at night. They were to lift up their hands and bless Yahweh.
“May all who hate Zion
Be put to shame!
May they be turned backward!
Let them be like the grass on the housetops.
This grass withers before it grows.
The reapers do not fill their hands.
The binders of sheaves do not fill their arms.
Those who pass by do not say.
‘The blessing of Yahweh be upon you!
We bless you in the name of Yahweh!”
This short psalm ends with the hope that Yahweh will put the haters to shame. The psalmist wanted them put to shame. They were to be turned backwards. He wanted them to be like the grass on the housetops that withered before it grew. Thus the reapers and binders would not fill their hands and arms. In fact, anyone passing by would not bless them in the name of Yahweh.
“Yahweh blesses you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
All the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!”
Prosperity comes in two ways, one is in the city of Jerusalem and the other is your family. Yahweh will bless you from Mount Zion. You will see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Of course, we have the famous phrase, may you see your children’s children, and have grandchildren. This short psalm ends with the Shalom peace to all Israel. So we have Yahweh’s prosperity, peace in Israel, prosperity in Jerusalem, and a long life to see your grandchildren live.