The prayer of the high priest Simon (Sir 50:22-50:24)

“Now bless

The God of all!

He works everywhere!

What great wonders!

He fosters our growth

From birth!

He deals with us

According to his mercy!

May he give us

Gladness of heart!

May there be peace

In our days in Israel!

As in the days of old!

May he entrust to us

His mercy!

May he deliver us

In our days!”

Sirach then inserts the prayer of Simon, the high priest. Simon prays that the God of all will bless the Israelites. God works great wonders. This merciful God fosters our growth from birth. He gladdens our heart. May he bring peace to Israel today and deliver Israel from its enemies, as in the old days. Thus it is a simple straightforward prayer for mercy today.

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Yahweh’s creation (Ps 136:4-136:9)

“Yahweh alone does great wonders.

His steadfast love endures forever.

By understanding he made the heavens.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He spread out the earth on the waters.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He made the great lights.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He made the sun to rule over the day.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He made the moon and the stars to rule over the night.

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Once again, the congregational refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse. This is a tribute to the creator Yahweh. He has done great wonders. He has made the heavens and put the earth on top of the waters. He made the great lights for the day and the night, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Therefore we cry out that his steadfast love endures forever.

The interpretation of Mordecai’s dream (Greek text only)

“Mordecai said.

‘These things have come from God.

I remember the dream that I had concerning these matters.

None of them has failed to be fulfilled.

There was the little spring that became a river.

There was light and sun with abundant water.

The river is Esther.

The king married her.

He made her queen.

The two dragons are Haman and myself.

The nations are those that gathered to destroy the name of the Jews.

My nation is Israel.

We cried out to God.

God saved us.

The Lord has saved his people.

The Lord has rescued us from all these evils.

God has done great signs and wonders.

These wonders have not occurred among the nations.

For this purpose he made two lots.

One was for the people of God.

One was for all the nations.

These two lots came to the hour.

They came to the moment.

They came to the day of decision

Before God and among all the nations.

God remembered his people.

God vindicated his inheritance.

Thus they will observe these days in the month of Adar,

On the fourteenth and fifteenth of that month,

With an assembly and joy and gladness before God,

From generation to generation forever among his people Israel.’”

Mordecai interpreted the dream he had at the beginning of this book that was in the Greek text only. Once again, this is only in the Greek text, not the Hebrew text. The little spring that became a river was Queen Esther. The 2 dragons were Haman and himself, Mordecai, as they fought with each other. The 2 sides were the Israelites and those who wanted to destroy Israel. They cried out to God and he saved them. God performed great wonders, never seen any other place. The Jews were rescued. There were 2 lots, one for Israel, and one for Israel’s enemies. The enemies lost. God remembered his people and vindicated them. Thus they must always recall this on the 14th and 15th of Adar each year. The Israelites will do this for generations to come.