The bad leaders (Zeph 3:3-3:4)

“The officials within her

Are roaring lions.

Her judges

Are evening wolves.

They leave nothing

Until the morning.

Her prophets

Are reckless persons.

They are faithless persons.

Her priests

Have profaned

What is sacred.

They have done violence

To the law.”

Zephaniah rebuked not only the city, but the leaders in the city of Jerusalem.  Their officials were like roaring lions.  Their judges were like evening wolves preying on people at night.  Their prophets were reckless faithless people.  Their priests profaned the sacred things, by doing violence to the law of Yahweh.

Reckless drunkards (Sir 19:1-19:3)

“A worker who is a drunkard

Will not become rich.

One who despises small things

Will fail little by little.

Wine leads intelligent men astray.

Women lead intelligent men astray.

The man who consorts

With prostitutes is reckless.

Decay will take possession of him

Worms will inherit him.

The reckless person

Will be snatched away.”

Sirach warns us that a drunkard will not become rich. If you despise small things, you will fail little by little. Both wine and women have led intelligent men astray. You are reckless, if you hang around with prostitutes. Always blame your downfall on someone or something other than yourself. Your body will decay and worms will take over. The reckless person will have his life snatched away.

Conduct at home (Sir 4:29-4:31)

“Do not be reckless in your speech!

Do not be sluggish in your deeds!

Do not be remiss in your deeds!

Do not be like a lion in your home!

Do not be suspicious of your servants!

Do not let your hand be stretched out to receive!

Do not let your hand be closed,

When it is time to give.”

Here we have a series of reprimands for how to conduct yourself in your own home. You should not be reckless in your speech. You should not be sluggish or remiss in your actions. In your home, you should not be like a wild lion or suspicious of your servants. Obviously, you are rich enough to have servants. Do not stretch out to receive things. Also do not close your hand when it is time to give.