Mt terrible life (Ps 102:3-102:11)

“My days pass away like smoke.

My bones burn like a furnace.

My heart is stricken.

My heart is withered like grass.

I am too wasted to eat my bread.

Because of my loud groaning

My bones cling to my flesh.

I am like an owl of the wilderness.

I am like a little owl of the waste places.

I lie awake.

I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.

All day long my enemies taunt me.

Those who deride me

Use my name for a curse.

I eat ashes like bread.

I mingle tears with my drink.

Because of your indignation and anger,

You have lifted me up,

You have thrown me aside.

My days are like an evening shadow.

I wither away like grass.”

This psalmist is in a terrible situation. His days are passing away like smoke. His bones are burning. His heart is broken and withering like grass. He cannot even eat. His bones are clinging to his skin since he is all skin and bones. He is like an owl or a lonely bird since he cannot sleep. His enemies taunt him every day as they use his name as a curse word. He eats ashes instead of bread. He drinks his own tears. Yahweh seems to be angry and indignant as he has been thrown aside. His days are like evening shadows and withering grass. He is in over all bad shape.

Job says that God is punishing him (Job 16:12-16:17)

“I was at ease.

God broke me in two.

God seized me by the neck.

God dashed me to pieces.

God set me up as his target.

God’s archers surround me.

God slashes open my kidneys.

God shows no mercy.

God pours out my gall on the ground.

God bursts upon me again and again.

God rushes at me like a warrior.

I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin.

I have laid my strength in the dust.

My face is red with weeping.

Deep darkness is on my eyelids.

Although there is no violence in my hands,

My prayer is pure.”

Job was very explicit. God was picking on him. God had broken him in two. God had seized him by the neck. God had broken him into pieces. Job had become a target having arrows coming at him. God had not shown him any mercy. God had slashed his kidneys and gall bladder. God had rushed at him like a warrior. As a result, Job said that he sewed his skin with sackcloth, a very course fabric worn next to the skin. His strength was in the dust. His face was red with crying tears. His eyes were darkened. Still there was no violence in Job’s hands. His prayer remained pure. Job is almost indignant that God is picking on him.

Lysias defends the peace treaty in Ptolemais (2 Macc 13:24-13:26)

“The king received Judas Maccabeus. He left Hegemonides as the governor from Ptolemais to Gerar. Then the king went to Ptolemais. The people of Ptolemais were indignant over the treaty. In fact, they were so angry that they wanted to annul its terms. Lysias took the public platform, made the best possible defense. He convinced them, appeased them, gained their good will, and then set out for Antioch. This is how the king’s attack and withdrawal turned out.”

Once again, this is similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 6. There Lysias convinced the king and the commanders that the peace treaty with the Jews was a good idea. Here he must convince the people of Ptolemais, who did not like the Jews. The Syrian Hegemonides remained the governor of the seacoast area. However, the people of Ptolemais were upset about the treaty with the Jews. Only the eloquent speaking of Lysias convinced and appeased them. Thus with good will, they set out for Antioch. This then is the peace treaty that took place when King Antiochus V and Lysias attacked and then withdrew.

The questioning of Tobit (Tob 5:11-5:14)

“Then Tobit said to him.

‘Brother, of what family are you?

From what tribe are you?

Tell me, brother.’

He answered.

‘Why do you need to know my tribe?’

However, Tobit said.

‘I want to be sure, brother.

Whose son are you?

What your name is?’

He replied.

‘I am Azariah the son of the great Hananiah.

He is one of your relatives.’

Then Tobit said to him.

‘Welcome!

God save you, brother.

Do not feel bitter towards me, brother.

I wanted to be sure about your ancestry.

It turns out that you are a kinsman, of good and noble lineage.

I knew Hananiah and Nathan, the two sons of Shemaiah.

They used to go with me to Jerusalem.

They worshiped with me there.

They were not led astray.

You kindred are good people.

You come of good stock.

Hearty welcome!’”

Tobit wanted to know about his family and tribe. However, Raphael was indignant. Like a modern Human Resource person, was he over stepping the bounds? What did his family have to do with being a guide for his son? Then the angel Raphael replied that that he was Azariah the son of the great Hananiah, Tobit was satisfied. Besides over 25 biblical people with that name, there was a King Azariah of Judah (781-740 BCE). Hananiah was a captain in the army of King Azariah, so that he might have been named after a king. Of course, it is the angel Raphael who is misleading Tobit. Then Tobit said that he along with Hananiah and Nathan, the sons of Shemaiah, would go together to worship at Jerusalem. He commended Azariah for coming from good stock. He gave him a hearty welcome. Anyway, Tobit was satisfied with this guide for his son Tobias.