“The Lord searches out the abyss.
He searches out the human heart.
He understands their innermost secrets.
The Most High knows
All that may be known.
He sees from old
The things that are to come.
He sees the signs of the age.
He discloses what has been.
He discloses what is to be.
He reveals the traces of hidden things.
No thought escapes him.
Nothing is hidden from him.”
The Lord knows the depths of everything. He knows the secrets of the human heart. The Most High God knows all that can be known since he knows about the past and the things to come. He understands the signs of the ages. He can tell you about the past and the future. He knows all about the hidden things, since nothing escapes him. Nothing is hidden from him because the Lord is all-knowing.
“‘I came forth
From the mouth of the Most High.
I covered the earth like a mist.
I dwelt in the highest heaven.
My throne was in a pillar of cloud.
I compassed the vault of heaven.
I traversed the depths of the abyss.
Over waves of the sea,
Over all the earth,
Over every people,
Over every nation,
I have held sway.
Among all these,
I sought a resting place.
In whose territory
Should I abide?’”
Sirach has wisdom personally speak in the first person singular. She seems to come directly from the mouth of the Most High God, like the spirit of God, what Christians would later call the Holy Spirit. She covered the earth like a mist. She was in the highest heaven on a throne in a cloud pillar. She was alone in the vault of heaven and walked in the depths of the sea. She was in charge of everything, earth and sea, peoples and nations. She was looking for a resting place where she might live. She wanted to know where this might be.
“Yahweh by wisdom founded the earth.
By understanding he established the heavens.
By his knowledge the deeps broke open.
The clouds drop down the dew.”
Yahweh God founded the earth with wisdom. He established the heavens with understanding. He broke open the depths of the world with knowledge. Thus finally the clouds dropped down dew. Yahweh had wisdom, understanding, and knowledge in his creating the heavens and earth. These are divine qualities.
From the earth!
You sea monsters!
All the depths!
Stormy winds fulfill his command!”
Besides heaven, the earth and its environment with its changing climate should praise Yahweh. All the sea monsters and the depths of the sea should praise Yahweh. Fire, hail, snow, frost, and stormy winds fulfill his commandments so that they praise Yahweh.
You have done great things!
Who is like you?
You have made me
See many troubles!
You have made me
See many calamities!
You will revive me again!
From the depths of the earth
You will bring me up again!
You will increase my honor!
You will comfort me once again!”
God has done great things. There is no one like God. He led the psalmist into many troubles and calamities, but he always revived him. He brought him back from the depths of the earth. God will do so again. God will increase his honor. He will comfort him as he had done in the past.
“But those who seek to destroy my life
Shall go down into the depths of the earth.
They shall be given over
To the power of the sword.
They shall be prey for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God.
All who swear by him shall exult.
The mouths of liars will be stopped.”
This psalm ends with the destruction of David’s enemies. Those out to destroy his life, like King Saul, shall go down to the depths of earth, the pit, or Sheol, the underground world of the dead. They would die by the sword. They would become the prey for the wild dog jackals. However, the king, meaning him rather than Saul, would rejoice in God. Those who swore by him would be exalted, while the mouths of the liars would be stopped.
“My days are past.
My plans are broken off.
The desires of my heart are gone.
They make night into day.
‘The light is near to the darkness.’
If I look for Sheol as my house,
If I spread my couch in darkness,
If I say to the pit,
‘You are my father,’
If I say to the worm,
‘You are my mother,
You are my sister,’
Where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”
Once again, Job ended his reply with a morose tone as he considered his death once again. The days were gone. The plans were broken. The desires of the heart were gone. There was a confusion of night and day, light and darkness. His home would be Sheol, the underworld of the dead. The ground and worms will become his father, mother, and sister. There was no hope. All of us should just go together into the depths of Sheol as the dust on the ground. This is a man in despair not hope.