“All this is
In the book of the covenant
Of the Most High God.
This is the law
That Moses commanded us.
It is an inheritance
For the congregations of Jacob.
Do not cease to be strong
In the Lord!
Cling to him!
Thus he may strengthen you.
The Lord Almighty alone is God.
There is no savior.”
Sirach emphasizes the Law of Moses in the book of the covenant for the descendants of Jacob. You should cling to the Lord, the one and only God and savior who gives you strength.
“Better to be poor
Walking in integrity
Than to be crooked
In one’s ways
As a rich person.
Whoever keeps the law
Is a wise child.
But companions of gluttons
Shames their parents.”
It is better to be a poor man with integrity than a rich man with crooked ways as was indicated in chapter 19. If you keep the law, you are a wise child. However, if you are a companion of gluttons, you bring shame to your parents.
“Moreover by the law,
Your servant is warned.
In keeping the law,
There is a great reward.
But who can discern his errors?
Clear me from hidden faults!
Keep back your servant also from the insolent!
Do not let them have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless.
I shall be innocent of a great transgression.”
This then is prayer to follow the law of Yahweh. There is a reward for following the law of Yahweh. How can anyone discern their errors? How can they be clear from hidden faults? They have to stay away from the insolent ones. David does not want to let them have power over him. He wants to be blameless and innocent. Without the help of Yahweh it is not possible to follow the law.
“Thus observe, from generation to generation,
Those who put their trust in him,
They will not lack strength.
Do not fear the words of sinners.
The splendor of the sinners will turn into dung and worms.
Today they will be exalted.
However, tomorrow they will not be found,
They will have returned to the dust.
Their plans will perish.
Be courageous and grow strong in the law.
By the law,
You will gain honor.”
Mattathias wants his children to always follow the Mosaic Law. They are to grow strong in the law and thus gain honor. If they put their trust in God, they will not lack strength. They should never fear the words of the sinners because their splendor will turn into dung and worms. They may be exalted today but tomorrow they will be dust as their plans perish.