Restoration of Israel (Sir 36:13-36:22)

“Gather all the tribes of Jacob!

Give them their inheritance!

As at the beginning,

Have mercy!

O Lord!

On the people called by your name!

Have mercy on Israel!

You have likened them

To your first-born son.

Have pity on the city of your sanctuary!

Have pity on Jerusalem!

The place of your restful dwelling,

Fill Zion with your majesty!

Fill your temple with your glory!

Bear witness

To those whom you created

In the beginning!

Fulfill the prophecies

Spoken in your name!

Reward those who wait for you!

Let your prophets

Be found trustworthy!

Hear!

O Lord!

The prayer of your servants,

According to your good will

Toward your people!

All who are on the earth

Will know

That you are the Lord,

The God of the ages.”

The goal of Sirach and many Israelites was the restoration of Israel, the unification of the tribes of Jacob. They were to get their original inheritance since the Lord had called them as his firstborn son. Jerusalem on Mount Zion was the chosen city for the sanctuary and the temple dwelling of the Lord. Sirach wanted all the trustworthy prophecies fulfilled. The Lord should listen to the prayers of his servants here on earth. They have recognized that the Lord is the God for all ages, but now they want everyone to know this. In this chapter, there is a discrepancy with the numbering of the verses.

Jerusalem shall be the light to the world (Tob 13:11-13:13)

“A bright light will shine to all the ends of the earth.

Many nations will come to you from far away.

The inhabitants of the remotest parts of the earth,

They will come to your holy name.

They will bear gifts in their hands.

For the King of heaven.

Generation after generation will give joyful praise in you.

The name of the chosen city will endure forever.

Cursed are all who speak a harsh word against you.

Cursed are all who conquer you.

Curses are all who pull down your walls.

Cursed are all who overthrow your towers.

Cursed are all who set your homes on fire.

Blessed forever will be all who revere you.

Go then!

Rejoice over the children of the righteous.

The righteous will be gathered together.

The righteous will praise the Lord of the ages.”

Jerusalem will be the light of the world. Every nation will come to Jerusalem. The people from the most remote part of the earth will come to Jerusalem. They will bring gifts to the king of heaven. For generations, people will give praise to this chosen city. However, people will be cursed who speak against Jerusalem. Anyone who tries to conquer it or pull down its walls will be cursed. People will be cursed who try to set fire to Jerusalem or overthrow its towers. The righteous people, on the other hand, will gather together in Jerusalem to praise the Lord of all ages.