The punishment of the Lord (Isa 13:11-13:13)

“I will punish the world

For its evil.

I will punish the wicked

For their iniquity.

I will put an end

To the pride of the arrogant.

I will lay low

The insolence of tyrants.

I will make mortals

More rare than fine gold.

I will make humans

More rare than the gold of Ophir.

Therefore I will make the heavens tremble.

The earth will be shaken out of its place.

The wrath of Yahweh of hosts

Will show his fierce anger

On that day.”

Isaiah turns to the first person singular of Yahweh to punish the whole world, in particular the evil ones. The evil, the wicked, the iniquitous, the prideful, the arrogant, the tyrants, and the insolent will all be punished. Thus human mortals will become as rare as fine gold, especially the expensive gold from Ophir. The heavens will tremble and the earth will shake like an earthquake. The wrath and anger of Yahweh will show itself on that day against human sinners. There is no doubt that this is an end time scenario.

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Sensible person (Sir 32:18-32:23)

“A sensible person

Will not overlook

A thoughtful suggestion.

An insolent proud person

Will not be deterred

By fear.

Do nothing

Without deliberation.

But when you have acted,

Do not regret it!

Do not go on a path

Full of hazards!

Do not stumble

On stony ground!

Do not stumble

At an obstacle twice!

Do not be overconfident

On an unexplored smooth way!

Give good heed

To your paths!

Guard yourself

In every act!

This is the keeping of the commandments.”

Sirach says that a sensible person will not overlook thoughtful suggestions. At the same time, the insolent and proud person is not deterred by fear, so that they do not fear the Lord. You should deliberate before you act. After your action, you should not regret it. Stay away from hazardous paths. Be careful on stony ground. Don’t stumble on the same obstacle twice. Don’t be overconfident on unexplored smooth paths. Be careful in all that you do. Then you will be keeping the commandments of the Lord.

How to get along with people (Sir 8:10-8:13)

“Do not kindle the coals of sinners!

You may be burned in their flaming fire.

Do not let the insolent bring you to your feet!

They may lie in ambush against your words.

Do not lend

To one who is stronger than you!

If you do lend anything,

Count it as a loss.

Do not give surety

Beyond your means!

If you give surety,

Be prepared to pay.”

Do not provoke sinners or you may be burned by their flames. Do not get involved with the insolent or they might ambush you. Do not lend money to someone stronger than you. If you do, write it off as a loss. Do not offer surety or guarantees for others. If you do, do not offer more than you can pay. You should be prepared to pay whatever you guarantee.

The trustworthy servant (Ps 119:17-119:24)

Gimel

“Deal bountifully with your servant.

Thus I may live and observe your word.

Open my eyes!

Thus I may behold

Wondrous things out of your law.

I am an alien in the land.

Do not hide your commandments from me!

My soul is consumed with longing

For your ordinances at all times.

You rebuke the insolent.

You rebuke the accursed ones,

You rebuke those who wander from your commandments.

Take away from me their scorn and contempt.

I have kept your decrees.

Even though princes sit plotting against me,

Your servant will meditate on your statutes.

Your decrees are my delight.

They are my counselors.”

This psalmist maintained that he was a trustworthy servant. He wanted to live and observe the word of God. He wanted his eyes opened so that he could see all the wondrous things of the law. He was like an alien in his own land. He did not want Yahweh to hide the commandments from him. He was consumed with following the laws of Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh rebuked those who wandered from keeping his commandments, the insolent and the accursed ones. Even if other princes were plotting against him, this psalmist would continue to meditate on Yahweh’s statutes. The psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s decrees since they were like his counselors. Thus this section on the third consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Gimel, came to an end.