The Qumran prayer of thanksgiving (Sir 51:13-51:20)

“Give thanks to the good Lord!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of praises!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the guardian of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who formed all things!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the redeemer of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who gathers the dispersed of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who rebuilt his city and sanctuary!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who makes a horn to sprout

For the house of David!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who had chosen the sons of Zadok

To be priests!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the shield of Abraham!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the rock of Isaac!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the mighty one of Jacob!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who has chosen Zion!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the King of the kings of kings!

His mercy endures forever.

He has raised up a horn for his people.

Praise for all his loyal ones.

The children of Israel praise the Lord!

The people close to him praise the Lord!”

This is called the Qumran hymn of thanksgiving because this Hebrew hymn was found in a Qumran cave there, but not in the Greek text. It is very reminiscent of Psalm 136, with the repeated chant of “his mercy endures forever.” However, they are thankful for other things than in Psalm 136. Obviously the Lord is good and merciful. The Lord is the guardian and redeemer of Israel who formed all things. However, he now has gathered the dispersed Israelites. He has rebuilt the Temple and the sanctuary. He has protected the royal sprout of David, but also the priestly sons of Zadok. The Lord also gave the shield of Abraham, the rock of Isaac, and the mighty Jacob. He chose Zion for the king of kings. He raised up a horn of plenty for his people and those loyal to him. Thus the children of Israel and those close to him should praise the Lord.

Jeremiah hides the cult material (2 Macc 2:4-2:8)

“It was also in the same document

Writing that the prophet,

Having received an oracle,

Ordered that the tent and the ark should follow with him.

He went out to the mountain

Where Moses had gone up.

He had seen the inheritance of God.

Jeremiah came and found a cave-dwelling.

He brought the tent there

With the ark and the altar of incense.

Then he sealed up the entrance.

Some of those who followed him

Came up intending to mark the way,

But they could not find it.

When Jeremiah learned of it,

He rebuked them and declared.

‘The place shall be unknown

Until God gathers his people together again

Until God shows his mercy.

Then the Lord will disclose these things.

The glory of the Lord

And the cloud will appear.

As they were shown in the case of Moses,

And as Solomon asked

That the place should be specially consecrated.’”

Once again, this letter refers to the Epistle of Jeremiah. However, this reference to Jeremiah is more about not being enticed by the idols of the gods that they will see in captivity. This implies that Jeremiah went to Mount Sinai to get the tent of Moses. He then hid it with the Ark of the Covenant and the altar of incense in some cave that was sealed. No one would know about this cave until the end of time when God would gather all his people. Here then is a hint of eschatology, the end times. People tried to find this cave but were unable to do so. King Solomon also had the Ark of the Covenant passed around. The glory and the cloud are how God appeared to Moses.