The restoration of Israel (Jer 50:19-50:20)

“‘I will restore Israel

To its pasture.

It shall feed on Carmel.

It shall feed in Bashan.

It shall feed on the hills of Ephraim.

It shall feed in Gilead.

Its hunger shall be satisfied.’

Says Yahweh.

‘In those days,

At that time,

The iniquity of Israel

Shall be sought.

None shall be found.

The sins in Judah,

Shall be sought.

None shall be found.

I will pardon

The remnant

That I have spared.’”

Both Israel and Judah would be restored. In the former northern Israelite kingdom, there would be plenty of satisfying food as four specific places are mentioned here, the Mediterranean costal Carmel area, the Bashan area on the east side of the Jordan River, the Ephraim territory north of the Benjamin territory, and the east bank area of the Gilead in the former Gad and Manasseh territory. No longer would there be any iniquity or sins found in Israel or Judah, even though people would look for them. Yahweh would forgive the sins of the remnant that was spared. All would be good again.

 

The good times to come (Isa 30:23-30:26)

“Yahweh will give rain for the seed

With which you sow the ground.

Grain will be the produce of the ground.

It will be rich

It will be plentiful.

On that day,

Your cattle will graze in broad pastures.

The oxen will till the ground.

The donkey will eat silage

That has been winnowed

With shovels and forks.

On every lofty mountain,

On every high hill,

There will be brooks running with water.

On this day of the great slaughter,

The towers will fall.

The light of the moon will be

Like the light of the sun.

The light of the sun

Will be sevenfold,

Like the light of seven days.

On the day

When Yahweh binds up

The hurt of his people,

He will heal the wounds

Inflicted by his own blows.”

In this future time, things will be good. Yahweh will send rain to make the seed grains grow rich and plentiful. The cattle will graze in large pastures. There will be plenty of winnowed silage for the working oxen and donkeys so that they can till the ground. All the mountains and the hills will have flowing brooks. The towers will fall on the day of slaughter. However, the light from the moon will be like that of the sun, while the light from the sun will be like the light of a week of sunlight. Yahweh will heal the wounds that people have suffered even from his own blows.

Vows and the Lord (Sir 18:22-18:26)

“Let nothing hinder you

From paying a vow promptly.

Do not wait until death

To be released from it.

Before making a vow,

Prepare yourself.

Do not be like one

Who puts the Lord

To the test.

Think of his wrath

On the day of death.

Think of his wrath

In the moment of vengeance,

When he turns away his face.

In the time of plenty,

Think of the time of hunger.

In the days of wealth

Think of poverty,

Think of need.

From morning to evening

Conditions change.

All things move swiftly

Before the Lord.”

Sirach reminds us about the problems of making vows. You should prepare yourself before you make a vow to give an offering or payment. Then you should pay your vows promptly. Don’t wait until your death, so that it will be forgotten. Don’t test the Lord. Think of his wrath on the day of your death, if you have not fulfilled your vows. He will turn his face away from you. So also remember when you have plenty to eat, about the times when you were hungry. In the days of your wealth, remember the days of your needy poverty. Remember that things change quickly before the Lord, sometimes as quickly as from morning to evening of the same day.

Boasting (Sir 10:26-10:27)

“Do not make a display

Of your wisdom

When you do your work.

Do not boast

When you are in want.

Better is the worker

Who has goods in plenty

Than the boaster

Who lacks bread.”

You should not display your wisdom when you are working. You should not boast when you have nothing to boast about. You should be a worker who has plenty rather than a boaster who has nothing to eat.

Light (Eccl 11:7-11:8)

“Light is sweet.

It is pleasant for the eyes

To see the sun.

Even those who live many years,

Should rejoice in them all.

Yet let them remember

That the days of darkness

Will be many.

All that comes is vanity.”

Light is sweet as it provides your eyes with the pleasant sight of the sun. Even those who get to live a happy long life should remember that there will be plenty of long dark days to come. Your long light filled life is mere vanity or useless, because it will come to an end.

A faithful man (Prov 28:18-28:20)

“Whoever walks in integrity

Will be safe.

But whoever follows crooked ways will fall into the pit.

Anyone who tills his land

Will have plenty of bread.

But one who follows worthless pursuits

Will have plenty of poverty.

The faithful will abound with blessings.

But whoever is in a hurry to be rich

Will not go unpunished.”

If you walk in integrity, you will be safe. However, if you follow the crooked ways, you will fall into the pit of death. Then repeating a phrase from chapter 12, if you till the land you will have plenty of bread. On the other hand, if you pursue worthless pursuits, you will end up with plenty of poverty. The faithful will have many blessings, but those who are in a hurry to become rich will not go unpunished.

Yahweh knows (Prov 20:11-20:13)

“Even children make themselves known by their acts.

You can tell by whether

What they do is pure and right.

Yahweh has made the hearing ear.

Yahweh has made the seeing eye.

Yahweh has made them both.

Do not love sleep.

Otherwise you will come to poverty.

Open your eyes!

You will have plenty of bread.”

Children make themselves known by their acts on whether they are pure and right. Yahweh has made both the hearing ear and the seeing eye. Do not sleep too much or you will end up in poverty. Open your eyes and you will have plenty of bread.