Patience (Bar 4:23-4:26)

“I sent you out

With sorrow,

With weeping.

But God will give you

Back to me

With joy,

With gladness forever.

As the neighbors of Zion

Have now seen

Your capture,

So they soon will see

Your salvation

By God.

This will come

To you

With great glory,

With the splendor

Of the Everlasting One.

My children,

Endure with patience

The wrath

That has come upon you

From God.

Your enemy

Has overtaken you.

But you will soon see

Their destruction.

You will tread

Upon their necks.

My pampered children

Have traveled rough roads.

They were taken away

Like a flock

Carried off

By the enemy.”

The personification of Jerusalem continued as this city advised her exiles to have patience. She had sent them out of town with sorrow and weeping. However, God was going to bring them back to Jerusalem with eternal joy and gladness. Zion’s neighbors had seen them captured. They would soon see these Israelites safely coming back with the glorious splendor of the Everlasting One, not Yahweh. Jerusalem wanted her pampered children to endure patiently the wrath of God that had come via their enemies. They would soon tread on the necks of their enemies since they would be destroyed. Even though they had traveled rough roads and were taken away like a flock of sheep, they needed patience.

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King Nebuchadnezzar will come to Egypt (Jer 43:11-43:13)

“‘King Nebuchadnezzar

Shall come.

He shall ravage

The land of Egypt.

Giving those who are doomed

For pestilence,

To pestilence.

Giving those who are destined

For captivity.

To captivity.

Giving those who are doomed

For the sword

To the sword.

He shall kindle a fire

In the temples

Of the gods of Egypt.

He shall burn them.

He shall carry them away captive.

He shall pick clean

The land of Egypt,

As a shepherd picks

His cloaks clean of vermin.

He shall depart

From there safely.

He shall break

The obelisks of Heliopolis

That is in the land of Egypt.

He shall break the temples

Of the gods of Egypt.

He shall burn them with fire.’”

Jeremiah described what was going to happen when King Nebuchadnezzar would come to Egypt, which he did around 568 BCE. The Babylonian king was going to ravage the land of Egypt. Those who were destined for pestilence got pestilence. Those destined for the sword, got the sword. Those destined for famine, got a famine. This was real simple, but who decided who was destined for what? King Nebuchadnezzar was going to burn down the Egyptian temples and make the Judeans captives. He was going to pick the land clean in the same way that shepherds pluck bugs off their cloaks or coats. He would come and go safely. However, he would also break the ornate pillars or obelisks in the town of Heliopolis, the city of the sun worshipers, which was about 25 miles east of Memphis, 6 mile northeast of Cairo. He would also burn down the Egyptian temples and their gods, as well as tear down other pillars throughout the land of Egypt.

Money (Prov 11:15-11:19)

“To guarantee loans for a stranger brings trouble.

But there is safety in refusing to loan money.

A gracious woman gets honor.

But she who hates virtue is covered with shame.

The timid become destitute.

But the aggressive gain riches.

Those who are kind

Reward themselves.

But the cruel do themselves harm.

The wicked earn no real gain.

But those who sow righteousness

Get a true reward.

Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live.

But whoever pursues evil will die.”

There was no safely in guaranteeing loans for strangers. A gracious woman has great honor, while those without virtue are covered in shame. The timid will become destitute, while the aggressive will get rich. The kind people take care of themselves, while the cruel people harm themselves. The wicked never earn any real gain in life. However, those who sow in righteousness will get a true reward. Those who are steadfast in righteousness will live, while the pursuers of evil will die. Money has to be used correctly.

John defeats Cendebeus (1 Macc 16:4-16:10)

“John chose out of the country twenty thousand warriors and cavalry. They marched against Cendebeus. They camped for the night in Modein. Early in the morning they started out and marched into the plain. There a large force of infantry and cavalry was coming to meet them. A stream lay between them. Then he and his army lined up against them. He saw that the soldiers were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first. When his troops saw him, they crossed over after him. Then he divided the army. He placed the cavalry in the center of the infantry. The cavalry of the enemy were very numerous. They sounded the trumpets. Cendebeus and his army were put to flight. Many of them were falling wounded. The rest fled into the stronghold. At that time Judas the brother of John was wounded. However, John pursued them until Cendebeus reached Kedron that he had built. They also fled into the towers that were in the fields of Azotus. John burned it with fire. About two thousand of them fell. He then returned to Judea safely.”

John, the son of Simon, had 20,000 warriors and cavalry. This is the first mention of cavalry on the Israelite side. They stopped at Modein one night on their march to meet Cendebeus. The next day on the plain they saw a large army coming at them. There was a stream between the 2 armies. John led his troops across the stream because they seemed afraid. He put the cavalry in the middle of his foot soldiers. They sounded the trumpets. Suddenly the army of Cendebeus fled. Judas, the brother of John, was wounded. John took after the fleeing army chasing them to the fields of Azotus where he burned the fields. About 2,000 of the enemy fell. Then John returned to Judea.

Trypho wants to defeat the Jewish troops (1 Macc 12:49-12:53)

“Then Trypho sent troops and cavalry into Galilee and the Great Plain to destroy all Jonathan’s soldiers. However, they realized that Jonathan had been seized and had perished along with his men. They then encouraged one another and kept marching in close formation, ready for battle. When their pursuers saw that they would fight for their lives, they turned back. So they all reached the land of Judah safely. They mourned for Jonathan and his companions. They were in great fear. All Israel mourned deeply. All the nations around about them tried to destroy them. They said.

‘They have no leader or helper.

Now therefore let us make war on them.

Let us blot out the memory of them from humankind.’”

Trypho wanted to defeat the Jewish troops of Jonathan. He sent his cavalry into Galilee and the great plain. However, the troops realized what had happened to Jonathan, so they decided to march in close formation as if they were ready for battle. When the Syrian troops saw this, they turned back and let them reach the land of Judah safely. Now they all mourned for Jonathan and his companions, as did all Israel. They feared that their neighbors would attack them since they had no leader. They might be annihilated.

Tobit predicts the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Tob 14:5-14:7)

“But God will again have mercy on the Israelites.

He will bring them back into their land.

They will rebuild the temple of God,

Although it will not be like the first one

Until the times of the fulfillment shall come.

After this, they will return from their exile.

They will rebuild Jerusalem in splendor.

They will rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem,

Just as the prophets of Israel have said concerning it.

Then the nations of the whole world will all be converted

They will worship God in truth.

They will all abandon their idols,

The idols that deceitfully have led them into their error.

In righteousness,

They will praise the eternal God.

All the Israelites who are saved in those days

All who are truly mindful of God will be gathered together.

They will go to Jerusalem.

They will live safely forever in the land of Abraham,

As it will be given over to them.

Those who sincerely love God will rejoice.

However, those who commit sin and injustice,

They will vanish from the earth.”

God will have mercy on the Israelites. He will bring them back to their land. They will rebuild the Temple, but not as nice as the first Temple, just as the prophets have predicted. The Israelites will return from their captivity and rebuild a splendid Jerusalem. All the nations of the world will convert to the true God. They will abandon their idols and praise the eternal God. All the Israelites will gather in Jerusalem, where they will live safely in the land of Abraham. However, sinners and unjust people will vanish from the earth.

How much should they give Raphael? (Tob 12:1-12:5)

“When the wedding celebration was ended, Tobit called his son Tobias.

‘My child,

See to the paying the wages of the man who went with you.

Give him a bonus as well!’

He replied.

‘Father, how much shall I pay him?

It would do no harm to give him half of the possession

That I brought back with me.

He has led me back to you safely.

He cured my wife.

He brought the money back with me.

He also healed you.

How much extra shall I give him as a bonus?’

Tobit said.

‘He deserves,

My child,

To receive half of all that he brought back.’

So Tobias called him.

‘Take for your wages half of all that you two brought back.

Farewell!’”

After the big celebration, Tobit called his son aside and asked him if he had paid the man who went with him. They both agreed that he should be paid a bonus. However, Tobias wanted to know how much he should pay him. He wanted to give him half of all the possessions he had brought back with him. After all, he had done a lot. Besides bringing him back safely, he also cured his wife, and his father, as well as got the money from Rages. Then Tobit agreed to give him half of what had come back to the house. Tobit called Raphael and told him to take half the possessions. Then he simply said “farewell.”