Children (Sir 26:19-26:21)

My child!

Keep sound

The bloom of your youth!

Do not give your strength

To strangers.

Seek a fertile field

Within the whole plain.

Sow it

With your own seed.

Trust in your fine stock.

Your offspring will prosper.

Have confidence

In their good descent.

They will grow great.”

This section does not appear in some editions. Sirach wants you to remember your great youth. Do not give your strength to strangers. When you sow, you should use your own seed on a fertile plain. Apparently he is talking about producing children with sexual interactions. He then implies that you should trust your fine stock. You should have confidence that your offspring will prosper because they come from good descendants so that they will become great.

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Treat other people well (Prov 3:27-3:35)

“Do not withhold goods

From those to whom it is due,

When it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor.

‘Go!

Come again!

Tomorrow I will give it.’

If you have it with you.

Do not plan harm against your neighbor.

He lives trustingly beside you.

Do not quarrel with anyone without cause,

When no harm has been done to you.

Do not envy the violent!

Do not choose any of their ways!

The perverse are an abomination to Yahweh.

But the upright are in his confidence.

Yahweh’s curse is on the house of the wicked.

But he blesses the abode of the righteous.

Toward the scorners

He is scornful.

But to the humble

He shows favor.

The wise will inherit honor.

But stubborn fools will inherit disgrace.”

When you owe someone something, you should repay it if you are able. Do not tell your neighbor to come back tomorrow, if you already have it. Do not plan any harm against your trusting neighbor. Do not quarrel with anyone without cause if they have not done anything to you. Do not envy the violent or follow any of their ways. While the perverse are an abomination to Yahweh, the upright are in the confidence of God. Yahweh curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. To scorners, he is scornful. However, to the humble, he shows his favor. The wise will inherit honor but the stubborn fools will only find disgrace.

Keep wisdom (Prov 3:21-3:26)

“My child!

Do not let this escape from your sight!

Keep sound wisdom!

Be prudent!

They will be life for your soul.

They will be an adornment for your neck.

Then you will walk on your way securely.

Your foot will not stumble.

If you sit down,

You will not be afraid.

If you lie down,

Your sleep will be sweet.

Do not be afraid of a sudden panic!

Do not be afraid of the wicked attack!

Yahweh will be your confidence.

He will keep your foot from being caught.”

Once again, we are back at a parental admonition. We are to keep sound wisdom and prudence. Never let them out of your sight because they are the life of your soul. They are the decorations for your neck. You will then walk securely and not stumble. If you sit down, you will not be afraid. If you lie down, you will have a sweet sleep. Do not be afraid of a sudden panic or a wicked attack. Have confidence in God because he will keep your foot from getting caught in a trap.

David trusts Yahweh (Ps 31:14-31:18)

“But I trust in you!

Yahweh!

I say.

‘You are my God.’

My times are in your hand.

Deliver me

From the hand of my enemies!

Deliver me

From the hand of my persecutors!

Let your face shine on your servant!

Save me in your steadfast love!

Do not let me be put to shame!

Yahweh!

I call on you!

Let the wicked be put to shame!

Let them go dumbfounded to Sheol!

Let those who speak insolently

Against the righteous,

With pride and contempt,

May their lying lips be stilled!”

David trusted in Yahweh. Truly Yahweh was his God. He had full confidence in him. He placed his life in the hands of God. He hoped that he would be delivered from the hands of his enemies and persecutors. He wanted Yahweh’s face to shine on him to give him light. He wanted Yahweh to act out of his steadfast love and not put him to shame.   Instead he wanted the wicked to be put to shame. He wanted them to go dumbfounded into Sheol, the underworld of death. He wanted their lying lips stilled. He wanted those who had spoken insolently against the righteous ones with pride and contempt to be quiet. David wanted the tables turned on his enemies because he trusted in Yahweh.

Confidence in Yahweh (Ps 27:3-27:3)

“Although an army encamps against me,

My heart shall not fear.

Although war arise up against me,

Yet I will be confident.”

Nothing can sway David. Even if an army came against him, his heart would not fear anything. Even if the war was imminent, he would have confidence in Yahweh. His confidence was sky high.

Pride in the name of Yahweh (Ps 20:6-20:8)

“Now I know

That Yahweh will help his anointed one.

He will answer him

From his holy heaven.

He will provide mighty victories by his right hand.

Some take pride in chariots.

Some take pride in horses.

Our pride is in the name of Yahweh

Our God.

They will collapse and fall.

However we shall rise.

We shall stand upright.”

They had complete confidence in Yahweh that he would help his anointed one the king. Yahweh would answer him from heaven. He would provide victories with his right hand. While others take pride in their chariots and horses, they took pride in the name of Yahweh, their God. The others would collapse and fall, but they would rise and stand upright. Victory was theirs if Yahweh would be with them.

Confidence in Yahweh (Ps 11:1-11:3)

To the choirmaster leader, of David.

‘In Yahweh I take refuge.

How can you say to me?

‘Flee like a bird to the mountains!

Look!

The wicked bend the bow!

They have fitted their arrows to the string,

They shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.

If the foundations are destroyed,

What can the righteous do?’”

Once again in Psalm 11, the theme of confidence dominates. The opening remarks are only to the choirmaster leader as this is a generic psalm of David. David or the psalmist takes refuge in Yahweh. Are you really safe if you fly to a mountain like a bird? The faithful ones are often compared to birds. Mountains were considered a safe place. However, the problem was more immediate as the wicked ones had their bow and arrows ready to shoot at them. They could shoot in the dark. What can the righteous ones do?