“Woe to you!
You hide a plan too deep for Yahweh!
Your deeds are in the dark!
‘Who sees us?
Who knows us?’
You turn things upside down!
Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made
Say of its maker?
‘He did not make me.’
Shall the thing formed
Say of the one who formed it?
‘He has no understanding.’”
Yahweh seems to be mad at the leaders of Judah who are attempting to plot with Assyria. They have a hidden dark plan since they seem to say that no one sees them or knows about it. They have things upside down because they are the creatures, not the creators. They are the clay that thinks that they are the potters who mold the clay. They were made by the Creator God as in Genesis, chapter 2. They were the formed, not the formers. Why are they saying that the Creator God does not understand, since they are mere clay?
“Then the Creator of all things
Gave me a command.
My Creator chose the place for my tent.
‘Make your dwelling in Jacob.
Receive your inheritance.’
Before the ages,
In the beginning,
He created me.
For all the ages,
I shall not cease to be.
In the holy tent
I ministered before him.
I was established in Zion.
Thus in the beloved city,
He gave me a resting place.
Was my domain.
I took root in an honored people.
They are the portion of the Lord,
Continuing with wisdom speaking, Sirach has her find a new home in the land of Jacob and Israel, even more specifically at Zion in Jerusalem. The Creator God commands wisdom where to put her tent. Wisdom was definitely created, but before time began. She too would have an eternal existence that never ended. In this holy tent at Zion, she ministered to God as if she were a Levitical priest. Beloved Jerusalem was her resting place. She was rooted in this honored people of Israel, the Lord’s portion, and his heritage.
“If in bitterness of soul,
Some should curse you,
Their Creator will hear their prayer.
Endear yourself to the congregation.
Bow your head low to the great.
Give a hearing to the poor.
Return their greeting politely.
Rescue the oppressed from the oppressor.
Do not be hesitant in giving a verdict.
Be like a father to orphans.
Be like a husband to their mother.
You will then be like a son of the Most High.
He will love you more than does your mother.”
Now it may happen, that someone who is bitter might curse you. Let the Creator God judge you. Fit into your community. Bow your head to the people in charge. Listen to the poor. Greet them politely. Rescue those who are being abused. Do not be afraid to make a judgment. Be like a father to orphans and a husband to widows. If you do these things, you will be like a son of the Most High God. God, the Creator, will love you more than your mother does. This is a strong demand for a civil society.