Chariots of fire (Isa 66:15-66:16)

“Yahweh will come in fire.

His chariots will be

Like a whirlwind.

He will pay back his anger in fury.

His rebuke will be in the flames of fire.

Yahweh will execute judgment By fire.

Yahweh will execute judgment

By his sword upon all flesh.

Those slain by Yahweh shall be many.”

The prophet portrays Yahweh coming in fire with chariots, so that we have the chariots of fire. His anger and fury will be in the flames of this fire. He will execute his judgment with fire and the sword on everyone. Yahweh will kill many people.

Eulogy for famous holy men (Sir 44:1-44:2)

“Let us now sing the praises

Of famous men,

Our ancestors,

In their generations.

The Lord apportioned to them

Great glory.

The Lord apportioned to them

His majesty from the beginning.”

Sirach then turned to a hymn to honor all his famous holy ancestors from past generations. Their lives, like the saints of the later Christian tradition, illustrated the glory of God. Notice how all are male. In their own generations, they were glorified by the Lord so that his majesty might shine in their lives from the beginning. For those familiar with the 1981 movie “Chariots of Fire” will recognize this verse from the opening scenes of the movie at the memorial services.