The Zadok priests as teachers and judges (Ezek 44:23-44:24)

“They shall teach

My people

The difference

Between the holy

And the common.

They shall show them

How to distinguish

Between the unclean

And the clean.

In a controversy,

They shall act

As judges.

They shall decide it

According to my judgments.

They shall keep

My laws,

As well as my statutes

Regarding

All my appointed festivals.

They shall keep

My Sabbath holy.”

These Zadok priests would teach Yahweh’s people the difference between the holy and the common, as well as how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. In any controversy, they would act as judges. They would decide all these cases according to Yahweh’s judgments. They were to keep all Yahweh’s laws and statutes regarding the appointed religious festivals. Finally, they were to keep the Sabbath holy.

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.