Against those who trust in Egypt (Isa 31:1-31:1)

“Woe to those

Who go down to Egypt

For help!

They rely on horses!

They trust in chariots

Because they are many!

They trust in horsemen

Because they are very strong!

But they do not look

To the Holy One of Israel!

They do not consult Yahweh!”

Isaiah has another strong warning about going to Egypt to get help. Those who go to Egypt will be cursed. They want help from horses, chariots, and cavalry horsemen because there are many strong ones in Egypt. However, they did not look to the Holy One of Israel. They did not consult with Yahweh before they set out on this mission. Besides many of this help would have been useless on the Israelite terrain.

Enjoy life (Eccl 9:7-9:10)

“‘Go!

Eat your bread

With enjoyment!

Drink your wine

With a merry heart!

God has long ago approved what you do.

Let your garments always be white!

Do not let oil be lacking on your head.

Enjoy life with the wife

Whom you love!’

All the days of your vain life

Are given you

Under the sun.

That is your portion in life.

That is your toil at which you toil

Under the sun.

Whatever your hand finds to do,

Do it with your might.

There is no work in Sheol.

There is no thought in Sheol.

There is no knowledge in Sheol.

There is no wisdom in Sheol.

That is where you are going.”

Qoheleth wants you to enjoy life now. Eat your bread and drink your wine. Enjoy them with a merry heart. God has already approved of what you are doing. Wear white garments with oil in your hair. Enjoy your life with your beloved wife. All the days of your life are in vain. All your work is in vain. Just do the best that you can with all your might. Where you are going, there will be no work, thought, knowledge, or wisdom. You are all headed to Sheol, the shadowy underworld of death.

Lies (Prov 14:5-14:8)

“A faithful witness does not lie.

But a false witness breathes out lies.

A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain.

But knowledge is easy for one who understands.

Leave the presence of a fool.

There you do not find words of knowledge.

It is the wisdom of the clever

To understand where they go.

But the folly of fools misleads.”

The problem of lying appears often. The faithful witness does not lie. However, the false witnesses breathe out lies without even thinking about it. The scoffer cynic will seek wisdom in vain. Knowledge, on the other hand, is easy for those people who understand what is going on. Stay away from fools because they do not have words of knowledge. The clever ones have wisdom so that they understand where they are going, but the folly of the fools will mislead you down the wrong path.

The agreement with the prostitute (Prov 7:21-7:23)

“With much seductive speech

She persuades him.

With her smooth talk

She compels him.

Right away he follows her.

He goes like

An ox goes to the slaughter.

He bounds like

A stag toward the trap.

He goes until

An arrow pierces its entrails.

He is like

A bird rushing into a snare.

He does not know

That it will cost him his life.”

Her seductive speech and smooth talk persuades and compels him. The simpleton follows her like an ox going to slaughter. He is like a male deer bounding towards a trap. He would keep going until arrows would pierce him. He was like a bird rushing into a trap. He was completely unaware that this action would cost him his life.

Happy to go to Jerusalem (Ps 122:1-122:2)

A song of ascents, of David

“I was glad when they said to me.

‘Let us go to the house of Yahweh!’

Our feet have been standing

Within your gates!

O Jerusalem!”

Psalm 122 is another of these short psalms or songs of those going up to Jerusalem, but this time it is associated with David. The psalmist or David was happy when the others said that they were going to the house of Yahweh. He with his friends was happy to be standing within the gates of Jerusalem.

Yahweh keeps them from evil (Ps 121:7-121:8)

“Yahweh will keep you from all evil.

He will keep your life.

Yahweh will keep

Your going out.

Yahweh will keep

Your coming in.

Yahweh will do this

From this time on and forevermore.”

This psalm ends with Yahweh keeping these pilgrims of Israel from evil. He would protect their lives, whether they were coming in or going out. He would be their eternal protector from this time on.

Judith stays with General Holofernes as he sleeps (Jdt 13:1-13:4)

“When evening came, General Holofernes’ slaves quickly withdrew. Bagoas closed the tent from outside. He shut out the attendants from his master’s presence. They went to bed. They all were weary because the banquet had lasted so long. Judith was left alone in the tent. General Holofernes was stretched out on his bed. He was dead drunk. Now Judith had told her maid to stand outside the bedchamber. She was to wait for her to come out, as she did on the other days. She said that she would be going out for her prayers. She said the same thing to Bagoas. So everyone went out. No one, either small or great, was left in the bedchamber.”

As the evening wore on, everyone was tired. They all began to leave. Bagoas closed the tent from the outside so that no one would disturb Judith and the general who were left alone. The problem was that the good general had over indulged and simply fell asleep on his bed because he was drunk. Judith told her maid to wait outside like she had done every other night. They would be going to say prayers. She told Bagoas the same thing. Everyone was gone. There was no one left there in the bedchamber except for Judith, who was then left alone with him. The plot thickens.