The battle rages (Wis 5:21-5:23)

“Shafts of lightning will fly

With true aim.

He will leap from the clouds

To the target,

As from a well-drawn bow.

Hailstones full of wrath will be hurled

As from a catapult.

The water of the sea will rage against them.

Rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them.

A mighty wind will rise against them.

Like a tempest

It will winnow them away.

Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth.

Evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.”

The Lord will send aimed shafts of lightning. He will leap from the clouds to hit the target like a good archer. Hailstones will come down as from a catapult launcher. The sea and waters will rage and overwhelm them. A tempest will roar across the land. Lawlessness will destroy the earth as the evildoers will take over the royal thrones. So the judgment has come upon earth.

The prayer against slanderers (Ps 140:9-140:11)

“Those who surround me lift up their heads.

Let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!

Let burning coals fall upon them!

Let them be flung into the pits!

Let them rise no more!

Let not the slanderer be established in the land!

Let evil speedily hunt down the violent!”

Now David outlines his requests against those attacking him. He wanted Yahweh to act against them. He wanted the mischief of their lips to overwhelm them. He wanted burning coals to fall on them. He wanted them flung into the deadly pits so that they could not rise again. He did not want any slanderers in the land at all. He wanted the violent hunted down quickly. David certainly did not like his enemies, these slanderers.

Praise God in Zion (Ps 65:1-65:4)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David, a song

“Praise is due to you!

O God in Zion!

To you

Shall vows be performed!

O you who answer prayers!

To you

All flesh shall come!

When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,

You forgive our transgressions!

Happy are those

Whom you choose!

Happy are those

Whom you bring near!

Happy are those

Who live in your courts!

We shall be satisfied

With the goodness of your house,

Your holy temple!”

Psalm 65 is a choral psalm of David that is a song of thanksgiving and praise for the abundant harvest. This psalm refers to the holy Temple at Zion, but that was not completed until after the death of King David. Praise and vows should be given to the God at Zion because he answers prayers. All people should come when evil deeds overwhelm them. God will forgive sins. Even happier are those who are chosen to live in the courts of the Temple, which would be the Levites. They will be satisfied with the goodness of the Holy Temple, the house of God.

Jonathan with Simon wins at Azotus (1 Macc 10:82-10:85)

“Then Simon brought forward his force. He engaged the phalanx in battle because the cavalry was exhausted. They were overwhelmed by him and fled as the cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus. There they entered Beth-dagon, the temple of their idol, for safety. But Jonathan burned Azotus and the surrounding towns and plundered them. He burned with fire the temple of Dagon and those who had taken refuge in it. The number of those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand men.”

Simon then brought his reserve forces into play. They overwhelmed the army of Apollonius as it dispersed. The troops of Apollonius fled to the city of Azotus and to their temple of Dagon. The mention of Dagon at Azotus or Ashdod goes back to Samson in Judges, chapter 16 and the Philistines with the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel, chapter 5. Jonathan was not very tolerant of other religious beliefs so he burned down the temple with the refugees inside it. Altogether he wiped out 8,000 people either with the sword or by burning.

Holofernes chastises Achior (Jdt 6:1-6:4)

“When the disturbance made by the people outside the council died down, Holofernes, the commander of the Assyrian army, said to Achior in the presence of all the foreign contingents.

‘Who are you, Achior?

You are a mercenary of Ephraim.

How can you prophesy among us as you have done today?

How can you tell us not to make war against the people of Israel?

As their God will defend them.

What god is there except Nebuchadnezzar?

He will send his forces and destroy them from the face of the earth.

Their God will not deliver them.

We the king’s servants will destroy them as one man.

They cannot resist the might of our cavalry.

We will overwhelm them.

Their mountains will be drunk with their blood.

Their fields will be full of their dead.

Not even their footprints will survive our attack.

They will utterly perish.

So says King Nebuchadnezzar, lord of the whole earth.

He has spoken.

None of his words shall be in vain.’”

Holofernes was not pleased with the presentation of Achior. He turned on him. Who did he think he was? Achior was just an Ephraim mercenary. Who made him a prophet? There was only one great god, King Nebuchadnezzar. He was sending his forces to destroy the whole earth. The Israelite God could not help the Israelites against this great king. The Assyrians were going to overwhelm the Israelites. In very colorful language, he said that the mountains would get drunk from the Israelite blood. The fields would be fertilized with their bodies. Their footprints would even disappear. The Israelites would be wiped out. King Nebuchadnezzar was the lord of all the earth. Holofernes’ own words would not be in vain. This is a long diatribe against Achior and the Israelites.