The futile activities of these temple priests (Bar 6:33-6:35)

“The priests

Take some

Of the clothing

Of their gods

To clothe

Their wives

Or their children.

Whether one does

Evil

To them

Or good,

They will not be able

To repay it.

They cannot

Set up a king.

They cannot

Depose a king.

Likewise

They are not able

To give

Either wealth

Or money.

If one makes a vow

To them,

Then does not

Keep it,

They will not

Require it.”

These priests of the temple take some of the clothing from their gods to give to their wives and children. Whether anyone does good or evil to them, they are not able to return the favor or resist. They are unable to set up or depose a king as the God of Israel can. They seem to have no control over wealth or money. If someone makes a vow, they do not require them to keep their vows.

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The trust worthy Roman Senate (1 Macc 8:12-8:16)

“The Romans kept their friendship with their friends and those who relied on them. They subdued kings far and near. As many as have heard of their fame, they have feared them. Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings. Those whom they wish, they depose. They have been greatly exalted. However, even with all this power, not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride. They built for themselves a senate chamber. Every day, three hundred twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land. They all heed the one man. There is no envy or jealousy among them.”

This biblical author explains that the Romans were a republic and not an empire. They were good friends to those who are friends and relied on them. They had the power to make or break kings. However, not one of them put on a crown or wore purple. This biblical author stated that they had a senate chamber, where 320 senators deliberated to govern their land and people every day. In fact, they met 3 times a month. They let one man rule for a year so that there was no jealously among them. Obviously, there was some jealously as Roman history seems to indicate. This biblical author had a very favorable view of the Romans.