Restoration of Israel (Sir 36:13-36:22)

“Gather all the tribes of Jacob!

Give them their inheritance!

As at the beginning,

Have mercy!

O Lord!

On the people called by your name!

Have mercy on Israel!

You have likened them

To your first-born son.

Have pity on the city of your sanctuary!

Have pity on Jerusalem!

The place of your restful dwelling,

Fill Zion with your majesty!

Fill your temple with your glory!

Bear witness

To those whom you created

In the beginning!

Fulfill the prophecies

Spoken in your name!

Reward those who wait for you!

Let your prophets

Be found trustworthy!

Hear!

O Lord!

The prayer of your servants,

According to your good will

Toward your people!

All who are on the earth

Will know

That you are the Lord,

The God of the ages.”

The goal of Sirach and many Israelites was the restoration of Israel, the unification of the tribes of Jacob. They were to get their original inheritance since the Lord had called them as his firstborn son. Jerusalem on Mount Zion was the chosen city for the sanctuary and the temple dwelling of the Lord. Sirach wanted all the trustworthy prophecies fulfilled. The Lord should listen to the prayers of his servants here on earth. They have recognized that the Lord is the God for all ages, but now they want everyone to know this. In this chapter, there is a discrepancy with the numbering of the verses.

Sins of pride (Sir 21:4-21:7)

“Panic

Will waste away riches.

Insolence

Will also waste away riches.

Thus the house of the proud

Will be laid waste,

Will be uprooted.

The prayer of the poor

Goes from their lips

To God’s ears.

His judgment comes speedily.

Whoever hates reproof

Walks in the steps of sinners.

Whoever fears the Lord

Will repent in their heart.

The mighty in speech

Are widely known.

When they slip,

The sensible person knows it.”

Terror, violence, panic, and insolence waste riches. Thus the house of the proud will be destroyed. On the other hand, the prayers of the poor go directly from their lips to God’s ears. God’s judgment will come quickly. If you hate criticism, you are walking in the steps of sinners. If you fear the Lord, you will repent in your heart. The great speakers are known far and wide, but when they slip up, the sensible people know it right away.

The wicked (Prov 15:26-15:30)

“Evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh.

But gracious words are pure.

Those who are greedy for unjust gain

Make trouble for their household.

But those who hates bribes

Will live.

The mind of the righteous

Ponders how to answer.

But the mouth of the wicked

Pours out evil.

Yahweh is far from the wicked.

But he hears the prayer of the righteous.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.

Good news refreshes the body.”

Wicked evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh. Gracious words, on the other hand, are pure. The greedy seek after an unjust gain or profit as they make trouble for their family. If you hate bribes, you will have a long life. The righteous ponder how to answer questions, while the mouths of the wicked pour out evil things. Yahweh stays far away from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. The light in your eyes rejoices your heart, just as good news refreshes your body.