Some proverbs (Sir 40:12-40:17)

“All bribery

Will be blotted out.

All injustice

Will be blotted out.

But good faith

Will last forever.

The wealth of the unjust

Will dry up like a river.

The wealth of the unjust

Will crash like a loud clap

Of thunder in a storm.

A generous person

Has cause to rejoice.

Lawbreakers

Will utterly fail.

The children of the ungodly

Put out few branches.

They are unhealthy roots

On sheer rock.

The reeds by any water

Or river bank

Are plucked up

Before any grass.

Kindness is

Like a garden of blessings.

Almsgiving endures forever.”

Sirach utters some proverbs or sayings about injustice and life. Bribery and injustice will be blotted out, but good faith will last forever. The wealth of the unjust will disappear like a dried up river or thunder in a storm, here today, but gone tomorrow. Generous people should rejoice, while the lawbreakers will fail. The children of the ungodly will have few branches because their unhealthy roots are on solid rocks so they will have no yield. They are like reeds near water that is plucked before the grass. Kindness, on the other hand, grows into a garden of blessings. Then too almsgiving endures forever.

The Lord prepares for the battle (Wis 5:17-5:20)

“The Lord will take his zeal

As his whole armor.

He will arm all creation

To repel his enemies.

He will put on righteousness

As a breastplate.

He will wear impartial justice

As a helmet.

He will take holiness

As an invincible shield.

He will sharpen stern wrath

For a sword.

Creation will join with him

To fight against his frenzied foes.”

The Lord will prepare for this battle against the unjust. His zeal will be his armor. All creation will join him against his enemies. His breastplate will be righteousness. His helmet will be impartial justice. Holiness will be his shield. His sword will be his stern anger. Once again, all of creation will join with the Lord to fight his foes.

Rescue me from the wicked (Ps 71:4-71:6)

“Rescue me!

O my God!

From the hand of the wicked!

Rescue me!

From the grasp of the unjust!

Rescue me!

From the cruel man!

Yahweh!

You are my hope!

You are my trust!

From my youth!

Yahweh!

I have leaned upon you from my birth.

You took me

From my mother’s womb.

My praise is continually of you.”

Another common theme is the rescue from the hands of the wicked. This psalmist is no exception. He wants to be rescued and saved from the wicked, the unjust, and the cruel ones. This psalmist has hoped and trusted in Yahweh from the day of his birth to the present time. All his life he has continually praised God.