The bad kings (Sir 49:4-49:5)

“Except for King David,

Except for King Hezekiah,

Except for King Josiah

All of them were

Great sinners.

They abandoned

The law of the Most High.

The kings of Judah

Came to an end.

They gave their power

To others.

They gave their glory

To a foreign nation.”

Sirach points out that all the kings, whether in Judah or Israel, were great sinners, except for King David, King Hezekiah, and King Josiah. But even these kings also committed some sins. The worst, of course, were the later kings, just before the exile. Somehow these bad kings were responsible for the downfall of the Israelite and Judah kingdoms because these great sinners abandoned the law of the Most High God. They lost their power and gave away their glory to foreign nations.

Job was kind to the needy (Job 31:16-31:23)

“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,

If I have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

If I have eaten my morsel alone,

If I have not let the orphan eat from it,

From my youth,

I have reared the orphan like a father.

From my mother’s womb I have guided the widow.

If I have seen any one perish for lack of clothing,

If there was a poor man without covering,

If his loins have not blessed me,

If he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,

If I have raised my hand against the orphan,

Because I saw I had supporters at the gate.

Then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder!

Let my arm be broken from its socket!

I was in terror of calamity from God.

I could not have faced his majesty.”

Job maintained that that he had always helped the poor, the widows, and orphans. He shared his food. He treated the orphans as if they were like his children. From his childhood he had always been kind to widows. He gave away his clothing, sometimes direct from the sheep. He had helped the orphans in all that they did. If he had not done these things, then his shoulder blades should fall off and the socket of his arm should be broken. He had always feared God and his majesty.