Prayer to Yahweh (Hab 3:2-3:2)

“O Yahweh!

I have heard

Of your renown!

O Yahweh!

I stand in awe

At your work!

In your own time,

Revive it!

In your own time,

Make it known!

In wrath,

May you remember mercy.”

This hymn or prayer is clearly addressed to Yahweh.  Habakkuk had heard of the great renown of Yahweh.  He was standing in awe of Yahweh and the works of his hand.  Yahweh would set his own time when he would revive his work.  He would make it know when he wanted to.  Habakkuk wanted Yahweh to remember his mercy whenever he was angry.

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Yahweh is against all countries (Jer 25:13-25:14)

“Jeremiah prophesied

Against all the nations.

Many nations

With great kings

Shall make slaves of them also.

I will repay them

According to their deeds

With the work of their hands.”

Yahweh wanted Jeremiah to prophesize against all the countries. Many nations and kings would make the Babylonians slaves. They would be repaid according to their deeds and the works of their hands. In the following chapters there are different numbers in the Greek translation of the Septuagint. This section is equivalent to chapter 32 of the Septuagint.

The conclusion of the hymn (Sir 39:32-39:35)

“So from the beginning,

I have been convinced

Of all this.

I have thought this out.

I have left it in writing.

All the works of the Lord

Are good.

He will supply every need

In its time.

No one can say.

‘This is not as good as that.’

Everything proves good

In its appointed time.

So now,

Sing praise with all your heart!

Sing praise with your voice!

Bless the name of the Lord!”

Sirach concludes his hymn. He has been convinced of the power of the Lord all the time. He has thought about it. Now he has written it down here in this work. All the works of the Lord are good. Everything will be provided in its proper time. You cannot say that one thing is not as good as another, because everything is good in its appointed time. Therefore you should sing praises to the Lord with your voice. The name of the Lord is to be blessed.

The opposites (Sir 33:14-33:15)

“Good is the opposite of evil.

Life is the opposite of death.

Thus the sinner is

The opposite of the godly.

Look at all

The works of the Most High!

They come in pairs.

One is the opposite of the other.”

Sirach then points out the opposites in creation. Good is the opposite of evil, just as life is the opposite of death. Thus the sinner is the opposite of the godly ones who do not sin. Sirach wanted us to look at all the works of the Most High God, since they are all in opposite pairs.

Yahweh helped those wandering in the desert (Ps 107:4-107:9)

“Some wandered in the desert wastes.

They found no way to an inhabited town.

They were hungry and thirsty.

Their soul fainted within them.

Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble.

He delivered them from their distress.

He led them by a straight way.

They finally reached an inhabited town.

Let them thank Yahweh

For his steadfast love!

Let them thank Yahweh

For his wonderful works to humankind!

He satisfies the thirsty.

He fills the hungry with good things.”

This section points out how Yahweh has helped those wandering Israelites in the desert. I am not sure what particular event this refers to since these wanderers seem to be looking for inhabited towns. This does not seem to be a reference to the 40 years of wandering in the desert, but a smaller group of lost Israelites who were hungry and thirsty. Their souls were fainting. In their distress they called out to Yahweh. Yahweh heard them. He led them in a straight path to an inhabited town. Thus they have to give thanks again to Yahweh for his steadfast love and the all the works that he has done for all humans. He has satisfied the thirsty. He has filled the hungry with good food.