Jacob (Sir 44:23-44:23)

“The blessing of all people

Came to rest

On the head of Jacob.

The covenant

Came to rest

On the head of Jacob.

The Most High acknowledged him

With his blessings.

He gave him his inheritance.

He divided his portions.

He distributed them

Among the twelve tribes.”

The stories about Isaac and Jacob can be found in Genesis, chapters 25-36. Thus the blessings and covenant of Abraham and Isaac came to Jacob, the son of Isaac. The Most High God acknowledged and blessed Jacob as he received his inheritance that was divided among the 12 tribes. Sirach has no indication about his 12 sons and their activities.

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City life (Prov 11:10-11:14)

“When it goes well with the righteous,

The city rejoices.

When the wicked perish

There is jubilation.

By the blessing of the upright,

A city is exalted.

But the city is overthrown

By the mouth of the wicked.

Whoever belittles another

Lacks sense.

But an intelligent person remains silent.

A gossip goes about telling secrets.

But one who is trustworthy in spirit

Keeps a confidence.

Where there is no guidance,

A nation falls.

But in an abundance of counselors

There is safety.”

The city dwellers are happy with the righteous. They rejoice when all goes well with them. However, they are just as happy when the wicked perish. The city dwellers exalt at the blessings of the upright. However, the words of the wicked can overthrow a city. Anyone who belittles another lacks sense because the intelligent person keeps silent. You cannot trust gossips that go about telling secrets because they are not trustworthy. If there is no guidance, a city or country will fall. It is much better when there are many counselors, since they will keep the city or country safe.

Who can go into the sanctuary? (Ps 24:3-24:6)

“Who shall ascend the hill of Yahweh?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,

Those who do not lift up their soul to what is false,

Those who do not swear deceitfully,

They will receive blessings from Yahweh.

Vindication comes from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him.

They are the ones who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Selah”

Who can enter the sanctuary or the holy place? Who can ascend the hill to be with Yahweh? They have to have clean hands and a pure heart. They cannot be false or deceptive. They will receive the blessings from Yahweh. Only God can vindicate their salvation. These are the ones who will seek and see the face of the God of Jacob. This section ends with a Selah, a musical pause or meditation. Notice that they are seeking the face of God of Jacob, not Israel.

The blessings (Deut 28:1-28:14)

“If you will only obey Yahweh your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, Yahweh your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of Yahweh your God.

Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle, and the issue of your flock.

Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

Yahweh will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways.

Yahweh will command the blessing upon you in your barns, and in all that you undertake.

He will bless you in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.”

There were 6 blessings that concerned your work, whether in the town or the fields. Everything will be fruitful for you. You will have bread to eat. You are blessed when you come and leave your house. Your enemies will fall before you and flee in 7 directions. Everything you do will be blessed by Yahweh if you follow his commandments.

“Yahweh will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, and walk in his ways. All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of Yahweh. They shall be afraid of you. Yahweh will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, and in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that Yahweh swore to your ancestors to give you. Yahweh will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain on your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations. But you will not borrow. Yahweh will make you the head and not the tail. You shall be only at the top and not at the bottom, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them. If you do not turn aside from any of the words that I am commanding you today, either to the right or to the left, following other gods to serve them.”

You will be successful in all that you do. You must only obey God and everything will be wonderful with you as you will be rich and powerful. You have to walk in his ways. You will be fruitful with children, livestock, and field produce. You will have the correct amount of rain. You will be on top and the head of everything. Everyone will borrow from you, but you will not borrow from them. Only you have to obey diligently the commandments by not straying to the left or the right. Of course, never serve other gods.

The blessings (Lev 26:3-26:13)

“If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season.  The land shall yield its produce.  The trees of the field shall yield their fruit.  Your threshing shall overtake the vintage.  The vintage shall overtake the sowing.  You shall eat your bread to the full and live securely in your land.  I will grant peace in the land.  You shall lie down and none shall make you afraid.   I will remove dangerous animals from the land.  No sword shall go through your land. You shall give chase to your enemies.  They shall fall before you by the sword.  Five of you shall chase to a hundred.  A hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand.  Your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.  I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you.  I will maintain my covenant with you.  You shall eat old grain long stored.  You shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new.  I will place my dwelling in your midst.  I shall not abhor you.  I will walk among you.  I will be your God.  You shall be my people.  I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more.  I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”

If you follow all Yahweh’s statutes and commandments faithfully, blessings will come to you.  You will have a happy existence if you follow Yahweh’s commands since Yahweh is a strong God who has already done things for you.  Here are your blessings:

1)      Rains will come in their season;

2)      The land shall yield good produce;

3)      The trees of the field will yield their good fruit;

4)      Your trashing shall last beyond your vintage;

5)      The vintage shall last beyond your sowing;

6)      You shall eat your bread to the full;

7)      You will live securely in your land;

8)      You will have peace to the land;

9)      No one shall make you afraid;

10)  All dangerous animals will be removed;

11)  No one shall go through your land;

12)  You shall give chase to your enemies as they shall fall by the sword;

13)  5 of you will chase a 100;

14)  100 of you will chase 10,000;

15)  You will be fruitful and multiply;

16)  You will maintain my covenant with me;

17)  You shall eat old grain long stored up;

18)  Yahweh will live in your midst;

19)  Yahweh will not abhor you;

20)  Yahweh will  walk among you;

21)  Yahweh will be your God;

22)  You shall be Yahweh’s people;

23)  You will be slaves no more;

24)  Your yoke has been broken so that you will walk erect.