The king’s counselors,
That the fire
Had not had any power
Over the bodies
Of these men.
Of their heads
Was not singed.
Their tunics were
Not even the smell of fire
Came from them.
King Nebuchadnezzar said.
‘Blessed be the God
Who has sent
He has delivered
Who trusted in him.
The king’s command.
They yielded up
Rather than serve,
Rather than worship,
Except their own God.’”
All the important people of the Babylonian kingdom were gathered together, including the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors. They all marveled that the 3 men had survived the fire unscathed. Their hair was not even singed and their clothes were not harmed. They did not even smell like smoke from the fire. King Nebuchadnezzar then praised them and their God. He blessed God, just as they had done in the fiery furnace. The king noted that an angel of God had saved the 3 of them. They had trusted in their God by disobeying the king’s command. Then they suffering the consequences. They gave up their bodies, rather than serve and worship another god. They were truly blessed by their God.
“Whoever speaks the truth
Gives honest evidence.
But a false witness
Rash words are like sword thrusts.
But the tongue of the wise
Truthful lips endure forever.
But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil.
But those who counsel peace have joy.
No harm happens to the righteous.
But the wicked are filled with trouble.
Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh.
But those who act faithfully are his delight.”
Truth is important. Telling the truth is giving honest evidence. The false witness was full of deceitful speech. Their rash words were like sword swipes. The tongue of the wise truthful one brings healing and endures forever. The lying tongue only lasts a moment. The deceitful people plan their evil deeds. If you counsel peace, you will bring joy. The righteous are not harmed, but the wicked are full of trouble. Yahweh hates lying lips, but loves faithful true lips.
“Swift are they on the face of the waters.
Their portion in the land is cursed.
No one who treads turns toward their vineyards.
Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters.
Sheol snatches away those who have sinned.
The womb forgets them.
The worm finds them sweet.
They are no longer remembered.
Wickedness is broken like a tree.’
They harm the childless woman.
They do no good to the widow.”
These are difficult passages since they are later in the Jerusalem Bible, after chapter 27, in order to connect to the curse of Zophar. It is difficult to say whether this is Job or one of his comforters speaking. This may have been an inserted poem. These wicked are quick, but their land is cursed. No one walks, tramples, or treads in their vineyards. The snow waters do not reach their land. Sheol eventually takes them. Their mothers forget them. They are not remembered. The worms like their sweetness like a broken tree. They have harmed the childless woman and the widows.