The false pursuits (Bar 3:15-3:19)

“Who has found

Her place?

Who has entered

Her storehouses?

Where are the rulers

Of the nations?

Where are those

Who lorded it over

The animals on earth?

Where are those

Who have made sport

Of the birds of the air?

Where are those

Who hoarded up

Silver with gold

In which people trust ?

Where are those

With no end

To their getting?

Where are those

Who schemed

To get silver?

Where are those

Who are anxious?

There is no trace

Of their works.

They have vanished.

They have gone down

To Hades.

Others have arisen

In their place.”

Baruch talks about the vanity and uselessness of various life pursuits as in wisdom literature. What happens to people who store up treasures in a storehouse? Where are all the rulers of the various nations? Where are all the people who felt superior to animals. Where are the sportsmen who tried to shoot the birds in the air with their arrows? What happened to all those who hoarded up and put their trust in silver and gold? Where are all the people who never had enough? Where are those who schemed to get silver? Where are all the people who were so anxious? Baruch’s response is simple and clear. There is no trace of any of these people and their works. They have vanished and gone to hell, Hades, the Greek word for Sheol, the shadowy underworld that we often call hell. However, there are always others to take their place to do the same thing over and over again.

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David’s enemies were out to get him (Ps 31:11-31:13)

“I am the scorn of all my adversaries.

I am a horror to my neighbors.

I am an object of dread to my acquaintances.

Those who see me in the street flee from me.

I have passed out of mind.

I am like one who is dead.

I have become like a broken vessel.

I hear the whispering of many.

There is terror all around.

They scheme together against me.

They plot to take my life.”

David was scorned by all his enemies. He was a horror to his neighbors. He was an object of dread to his acquaintances. Anyone who saw him in the street fled from hid. He was a like a dead man walking. He was like a broken vessel. They whispered all around him. There was terror in the air. They schemed and plotted to take his life. He was in bad shape.