The three companions pray together (Dan 3:28-3:28)

“Then the three,

With one voice,

Praised,

Glorified,

Blessed God

In the furnace.”

After this brief description about the events in the furnace, this prayer then continued with all 3 companions together, not just Azariah. All 3 of them, Azariah, called Abednego, Shadrach who was Hananiah, and Meshach, originally Mishael, prayed together in the furnace, blessing, praising, and glorifying God.

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The wisdom of the scribes (Sir 39:6-39:11)

If the great Lord is willing,

He will be filled

With the spirit of understanding.

He will pour forth

Words of wisdom.

He will give thanks

To the Lord in prayer.

The Lord will direct his counsel.

The Lord will direct his knowledge.

He will meditate on his mysteries.

He will show the wisdom

Of what he has learned.

He will glory in the law

Of the Lord’s covenant.

Many will praise

His understanding.

It will never be blotted out.

His memory will not disappear.

His name will live

Through all generations.

Nations will speak of his wisdom.

The congregation

Will proclaim his praise.

If he lives long,

He will leave a name

Greater than a thousand.

If he goes to rest,

It is enough for him.”

Sirach continues his praise for the wise scribes like himself. Always it is the will of God that brings wisdom and understanding. These scribes will speak words of wisdom and give prayerful thanks to the Lord. The Lord directs their counsel and knowledge, as they meditate on the divine mysteries. These scribes will show their wisdom by glorifying the law and the covenant. However, many will praise these scribes, since their names will not disappear or be blotted out, but remain for generations to come. Many countries and congregations will praise them also. If they live long, their names will be remembered more than 1,000 others. If they die early, that will be okay also.

The prayer of Queen Esther to God (Greek text only)

“Queen Esther prayed to the Lord God of Israel.

‘O my Lord,

You only are our king.

Help me.

I am alone.

I have no helper but you.

My danger is in my hand.

Ever since I was born

I have heard in the tribe of my family

That you, O Lord, took Israel out of all the nations,

You took our ancestors from among all their forebears

For an everlasting inheritance.

You did for them all that you promised.

Now we have sinned before you.

You have handed us over to our enemies,

Because we glorified their gods.

You are righteous, O Lord!

Now they are not satisfied that we are in bitter slavery.

They have covenanted with their idols to abolish

What your mouth has ordained.

They want to destroy your inheritance.

They want to stop the mouths of those who praise you.

They want to quench your altar.

They want to quench your house.

They want to open the mouths of the nations to praise vain idols.

They want to magnify forever a mortal king.’”

In this Greek text, Queen Esther is saying that there only one king, the Lord of Israel. However, she is married to a king, the great king of 127 provinces. She has learned about the God of Israel from her family, which in this case was Mordecai. The Israelites were promised an everlasting inheritance. However, Queen Esther admits that the Israelites have sinned in glorifying foreign gods. Thus they were turned over to their enemies. The reality of the captivity was clear to her. Now, however, they wanted to destroy our mouths, God’s altar and his house. However, they had already been destroyed. In none of this prescription against the Jews was there any mention of a mortal king being magnified. The king has made no pretention of being immortal, only the Romans and Greek kings would do that, not this Persian king.