Saved from death (Sir 51:5-51:9)

“The Lord delivered me

From the deep belly of Hades.

He delivered me

From an unclean tongue.

He delivered me

From lying words.

He delivered me

From the slander

Of an unrighteous tongue                          

To the king.

My soul drew

Near to death.

My life was

On the brink of Hades below.

They surrounded me on every side.

There was no one to help me.

I looked for human assistance.

There was none.

Then I remembered your mercy.

O Lord!

I remembered from of old.

You rescue those

Who wait for you.

You save them

From the hand of their enemies.

I sent up my prayers from the earth.

I begged for rescue from death.”

This author shows how he was near death, when the Lord helped him. He was saved from the belly of hell or Hades, the shadowy underworld after death. He also was saved from the unclean and lying tongues of the unrighteous people who went to the king against him. His soul grew close to death as he was on the brink of hell or the underworld of Hades. He was surrounded on every side, when he realized that human help was not enough. Then he remembered the mercy of the Lord who had rescued and saved others from the hands of their enemies. Thus he sent up prayers from earth to heaven, begging to be rescued from death.

The comfort of love (Ps 119:73-119:80)

Yod

“Your hands have made me.

You have fashioned me.

Give me understanding!

Thus I may learn your commandments.

Those who fear you

Shall see me.

They shall rejoice,

Because I have hoped in your word.

Yahweh!

I know that your judgments are right.

In faithfulness,

You have humbled me.

Let your steadfast love become my comfort,

According to your promise

To your servant.

Let your mercy come to me.

Thus I may live.

Your law is my delight.

Let the arrogant be put to shame.

They have subverted me with guile.

As for me,

I will meditate on your precepts.

Let those who fear you

Turn to me.

Thus they may know your decrees.

May my heart be blameless in your statutes.

Thus I may not be put to shame.”

Once again, the steadfast love of Yahweh sustains the psalmist’s love for the law. He recognized that Yahweh had made him. He wanted to gain an understanding of the commandments. Those who fear Yahweh would rejoice. He had hoped in the word of God. Yahweh was faithful. His judgments were right. His steadfast love had become a comfort to this psalmist as he had promised. The psalmist delighted in the law as he expected the mercy of God. The arrogant were to be put to shame because the psalmist was going to meditate on the precepts of Yahweh. In fact, he was going to teach others because his heart was blameless. He was not going to be put to shame. So ends this section on the tenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Yod.