Parental advice (Prov 2:1-2:9)

“My child!

If you accept my words,

If you treasure my commandments within you,

You will make your ear attentive to wisdom.

You will incline your heart to understanding.

If you indeed cry out for insight,

If you raise your voice for understanding,

If you seek it like silver,

If you search for it as for hidden treasures,

Then you will understand the fear of Yahweh.

You will find the knowledge of God.

Yahweh gives wisdom.

From his mouth comes knowledge.

From his mouth comes understanding.

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.

He is a shield to those who walk blamelessly.

He guards the paths of justice.

He preserves the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand righteousness.

You will understand justice.

You will understand equity.

You will understand every good path.”

This chapter of Proverbs is a poem and lecture at the same time. If you search for wisdom, it will come. This is a father telling his children how to live their lives. This section used the structure of the “if” phrases. If they accept his words and treasure his commandments, then they will be attentive to wisdom and understanding. If they cry out for insight and understanding, like they were seeking money or a hidden treasure, then they will understand the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of God brings wisdom because God gives knowledge. wisdom, and understanding. He shields those who walk blamelessly. He guards the paths of justice. He preserves the faithful ones. With wisdom, you will be able to understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path. First, fear God, then everything else will fall into place.

Yahweh is the source of all (Ps 127:1-127:2)

A song of ascents, of Solomon

“Unless Yahweh builds the house,

Those who build it

Labor in vain.

Unless Yahweh guards the city,

The guard keeps watch in vain.

It is in vain

That you rise up early.

It is in vain

That you go late to rest.

It is in vain

To eat the bread of anxious toil.

He gives sleep to his beloved.”

Psalm 127 is another of these short pilgrimage songs or psalms sung on the way ascending to Jerusalem. However, this one has the name of Solomon since there is a little wisdom saying embedded here about God’s providence. Unless Yahweh builds the house, your work is in vain. Unless Yahweh guards your city, it is in vain to have guards watch it. You should not be anxious for your daily bread. It is in vain to rise up early to work or stay up late at night to work. Yahweh gives sleep to his beloved ones. Do not be anxious for Yahweh is the source of all things.

The righteous will be with Yahweh (Ps 97:10-90:12)

“Yahweh loves those who hate evil.

He guards the lives of his faithful.

He rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

Light dawns for the righteous.

Joy comes for the upright in heart.

Rejoice in Yahweh!

O you righteous!

Give thanks to his holy name!”

This psalm ends with the righteous rejoicing in Yahweh. Yahweh loves those who hate evil. He guards the lives of the faithful. He rescues them from the hands of the wicked. Light shines for the righteous as joy comes to their heart. The righteous are to rejoice in Yahweh. They are to give thanks to his holy name.

Judith meets General Holofernes (Jdt 10:20-10:23)

“Then the guards of General Holofernes and all his servants came out. They led her into the tent. General Holofernes was resting on his bed, under a canopy which was woven with purple and gold, emeralds, and other precious stones. When they told him of her, he came to the front of the tent, with silver lamps carried before him. When Judith came into the presence of General Holofernes and his servants, they all marveled at the beauty of her face. She prostrated herself and did obeisance to him. However, his slaves raised her up.”

The guards and slaves of the general took her into the tent. General Holofernes was lying on his bed that had a canopy of purple, gold, emeralds, and other precious stones. He came out to greet her with sliver lamps. Everyone marveled at her beauty. She then presented herself prostrate, giving him the proper obedience. However, the general’s slaves picked her up.

General Holofernes views the Israelites (Jdt 7:6-7:7)

“On the second day, General Holofernes led out all his cavalry in full view of the Israelites in Bethulia. He reconnoitered the approaches to their town. He visited the springs that supplied their water. He seized them and set guards of soldiers over them. Then he returned to his army.”

The next day, General Holofernes sent his 12,000 cavalry to show off before the Israelites. He reviewed the various approaches to their town. He also saw the spring water that supplied water to Bethulia. He had his soldiers guard the water. Then he returned to his army

The campaign against Israel (Jdt 7:1-7:5)

“The next day General Holofernes ordered his whole army, and all the allies who had joined him, to break camp. They were to move against Bethulia. They were to seize the passes up into the hill country. They were going to make war on the Israelites. All their warriors marched out that day. Their fighting forces numbered one hundred seventy thousand infantry and twelve thousand cavalry, not counting the baggage and the foot soldiers handling it, a very great multitude. They encamped in the valley near Bethulia, beside the spring. They spread out in breadth over Dothan as far as Balbaim, and in length from Bethulia to Cyamon, which faces Esdraelon. When the Israelites saw their vast numbers they were greatly terrified. They said to one another.

‘They will now strip clean the whole land.

Neither the high mountains, the valleys, nor the hills

Will bear their weight.’

Yet they all seized their weapons. When they had kindled fires on their towers, they remained on guard all that night.”

The very day after they got rid of Achior, General Holofernes ordered his army to break camp. They were going to invade Bethulia. They were going to seize the mountain passes and make war on the Israelites. This huge fighting army marched out. They had 170,000 foot soldiers, 12,000 cavalry, plus foot soldiers to take care of their baggage. They camped near Bethulia, close to Dothan with Esdraelon at their back. When the Israelites finally saw how big the army was, they were terrified. However, they lit fires in their towers to stand watch that night.