Prayer to Elijah (Sir 48:4-48:8)

“How glorious you were!

O Elijah!

In your wondrous deeds!

Whose glory is equal to yours?

You raised a corpse

From death.

You raised him From Hades

By the word of the Most High.

You sent kings

Down to destruction.

You sent famous men

From their sickbeds.

You heard the rebuke

At Sinai.

You heard the judgments

Of vengeance at Horeb.

You anointed kings

To inflict retribution.

You anointed prophets

To succeed you.”

Sirach continues with his eulogy to Elijah with this second person singular prayer to him. In fact, Sirach almost treats Elijah like a god when he is talking about his great deeds. However, he carefully points out that Elijah raised the dead son of the widow by the word of the Most High, and not by himself as in 1 Kings, chapter 17. At the same time, he brought kings to destruction and saved people from their sick beds. Then Elijah went to where Moses got the 10 commandments, Horeb or Mount Sinai. Thus he is like a second Moses, certainly not in the Levitical line of Aaron, when he speaks with Yahweh as in 1 Kings, chapter 19. Yahweh told him whom he was to anoint as kings and prophets. Thus Elijah tried to follow out the orders of Yahweh.

The golden calf (Ps 106:19-106:23)

“They made a calf in Horeb.

They worshiped a cast image.

They exchanged the glory of God

For the image of an ox that eats grass.

They forgot God!

Their Savior!

He had done great things in Egypt.

He had done wondrous works in the land of Ham.

He had done awesome things by the Red Sea.

Therefore he said

That he would destroy them.

But Moses,

His chosen one,

Stood in the breach before him.

He wanted God

To turn away his wrath

From destroying them.”

This is a sanitized version of the story in Exodus, chapter 32. While Moses was at the top of the Sinai Mountain with Yahweh, Aaron and the Israelites built a golden calf at Horeb or Sinai as it is called. They then worshipped this golden ox as they turned away from Yahweh. They forgot how he had saved them in Egypt and the all the deeds that he done for them in the land of Ham, Egypt, and the Red Sea. Yahweh wanted to destroy them all. However, Moses interceded with God to turn his anger away so that he did not destroy them.