Harvesting (Isa 28:7-28:29)

“Dill herbs are not threshed

With a threshing sledge.

Nor is a cart wheel rolled over carrot seeds.

But the dill herbs are beaten out with a stick.

The carrot seeds are beaten with a rod.

Grain is crushed for bread.

But one does not thresh it forever.

One drives the cart wheel with horses over it.

But he does not pulverize it.

This also comes from Yahweh of hosts.

He is wonderful in counsel.

He is excellent in wisdom.”

Each crop has a different form of harvesting. The dill herbs and carrot seeds are too fragile to be smashed with a threshing sledge hammer. You do not roll the cart wheels over the herbs and seeds like you do to the wheat and the barley. You beat the herbs and seeds with a stick or a rod that is gentler than the wheel cart. However, the threshing of the wheat and barley requires a heavy horse drawn cart wheel in order to provide grain for bread. However, you do not want to pulverize these grains into nothing. How do these farmers know how to do this? Why, the Lord of hosts, Yahweh has told them how to do it. Yahweh is wonderful in his counsel and excellent in his wisdom, as in the later wisdom tradition.

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Preparation (Sir 33:4-33:6)

“Prepare what to say!

Then you will be heard.

Draw upon your instruction!

Draw upon your training!

Give your answer!

The heart of a fool is

Like a cart wheel.

His thoughts are

Like a turning axle.

A mocking friend is

Like a stallion.

He neighs no matter

Who the rider is.”

Sirach wants you to prepare yourself before you speak. Then when you speak, others will listen to you. You should draw upon your experience, instruction, and training when you speak. Thus you can give a correct answer. On the other hand, the heart and the thoughts of a fool are like cart wheels or turning axles, just spinning around without saying or doing anything. If you have a mocking friend, he is like a stallion that sounds off against its rider, no matter who he is. So too, this fool will complain about anything you say.