The test of human speech (Sir 27:4-27:7)

“When a sieve is shaken,

The refuse remains.

Thus a person’s faults appear

When he speaks.

The kiln tests

The potter’s vessels.

Thus the test of a person

Is in his conversation.

The fruit discloses

The cultivation of a tree.

Thus a person’s speech

Discloses the cultivation of his mind.

Do not praise anyone

Before he speaks.

This is the way people are tested.”

When cooking, people often use a sieve to only let the good grains go through. So when a sieve is shaken, the refuse remains. In the same way, when a person speaks, their faults appear. Just as a potter’s work is finished or tested in the furnace kiln, so too human conversation is a test. Just as the fruit of a tree reveals how well the tree was cultivated, so too a person’s speech reveals how his or her mind has been cultivated. Thus you should not praise anyone until they have spoken. Human conversation is how we test each other.

The righteous stand tall (Wis 5:1-5:3)

“Then the righteous

Will stand with great confidence

In the presence of those

Who have afflicted them.

They will stand

In the presence of those

Who make light of their labors.

When the unrighteous see them,

They will be shaken with dreadful fear.

They will be amazed

At the unexpected salvation of the righteous.

They will speak to one another

In repentance.

In anguish of spirit

They will groan.”

The righteous (δίκαιος) will stand with great confidence against those that afflicted them and made light of their labors. The unrighteous will see this. They will be shaken with a dreadful fear. They will be amazed at how the righteous are saved (σωτηρίας). They will begin to repent to one another because their spirits will be in anguish. Then they will groan.

The life of darkness (Ps 82:5-82:5)

“They have neither knowledge nor understanding.

They walk about in darkness.

All the foundations of the earth are shaken.”

The people of earth and the rulers do not have knowledge or understanding. They are people walking around in darkness.   Thus all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

Trust in God (Ps 62:5-62:8)

“For God alone

My soul waits in silence.

My hope is from God.

He alone is my rock.

He alone is my salvation.

He alone is my fortress.

I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance.

On God rests my honor.

My mighty rock is God.

My refuge is God.

Trust in God

At all times!

O people!

Pour out your heart before him!

God is a refuge for us!”

Selah

These first few verses repeat the first few verses of this psalm. David placed all his trust in God alone. He waited in silence. He knew that God was his salvation, his rock, and his fortress. He would not be shaken in his ways. God gave him deliverance and honor. God was his mighty rock and refuge. He wanted all the people to trust in God at all times. He wanted them to pour out their hearts to God because he was the refuge for all of them. This section concluded with a musical interlude meditative pause, the Selah.

Hope in God alone (Ps 62:1-62:2)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Jeduthun, a psalm of David

“For God alone

My soul waits in silence.

From God

Comes my salvation.

He alone is my rock.

He alone is my salvation.

He alone is my fortress.

I shall never be shaken.”

Psalm 62 is another choral psalm of David. However the melody is to Jeduthun, who was mentioned in Psalm 39 and 77. Jeduthun was the name of one of the Levite Merari families that David appointed as music master in 1 Chronicles, chapters 16 and 25. He was a trumpet player and his sons led the music in the Temple. David placed all his trust in God alone. He waited in silence. He knew that God was his salvation, his rock, and his fortress. He would not be shaken in his ways.

David wants Yahweh to answer him (Ps 13:3-13:4)

“Consider me!

Answer me!

Yahweh!

My God!

Give light to my eyes!

Otherwise I will sleep the sleep of death.

My enemy will say.

‘I have prevailed over him.’

My foes will rejoice

Because I am shaken.”

David wanted Yahweh to listen to him and answer him. He wanted his eyes kept open because otherwise he might fall into the sleep of death. His enemies might say that they have prevailed. His enemies would rejoice because He was shaken.

The battle begins (1 Macc 9:11-9:13)

“Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp. They took their stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies. The slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as well as all the chief warriors. Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets. The men with Judas also blew their trumpets. The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies. The battle raged from morning until evening.”

The large army of Bacchides and the Syrians marched out from camp ready to engage the battle. There were 2 companies of cavalry. The slingers, the archers, and the chief warriors were ahead of the army.   Both sides sounded their trumpets as the earth shook from the noise of the armies. The battle raged from morning until evening.