Unfulfilled prophecies about Egypt (Dan 11:42-11:43)

“He shall stretch out his hand

Against the countries.

The land of Egypt

Shall not escape.

He shall become ruler

Of the treasures

Of gold,

Of silver,

All the precious things

Of Egypt.

The Libyans.

The Ethiopians,

Shall follow in his train.”

Next Gabriel talked about another war against Egypt that King Antiochus IV would win. He would then become the ruler of all the gold, silver, and precious things in Egypt. He would then go and capture Libya and Ethiopia. In fact, nothing like this ever took place. That might indicate the date of this writing as before the end of the life of King Antiochus IV.

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Life is a game of chance (Eccl 9:11-9:12)

“Again I saw that under the sun.

The race is not to the swift.

Nor is the battle to the strong.

Nor is bread to the wise.

Nor is riches to the intelligent.

Nor is favor to the skillful.

But time happens to them all.

Chance happens to them all.

No one can anticipate

The time of disaster.

Like fish taken in a cruel net,

Like birds caught in a snare,

So mortals are snared

At a time of calamity.

When it suddenly falls upon them.”

Qoheleth sees human life under the sun like a game of chance. The swiftest runner does not always win the race. The strongest do not always win the battle. The wise do not always have the best food. The intelligent are not always rich. The skillful do not always succeed. Time and chance play a role. No one can predict when disaster will come. Just as fish and birds get stuck in nets and snares, so too mortals get caught when calamity suddenly happens to them.

The wise man (Prov 29:8-29:11)

“Scoffers set a city aflame.

But the wise turn away wrath.

If the wise go to law with fools,

There is ranting.

There is ridicule without relief.

The bloodthirsty hate the blameless.

They seek the life of the upright.

A fool gives full vent to his anger.

But the wise quietly hold it back.”

The scoffers or the cynics will set a city in flames with their comments. The wise, on the other hand, will turn away or stay away from anger. If there is a dispute about the law, the wise will win out because the fools will be ranting away and ridiculed non-stop. The bloodthirsty evil men hate the blameless since they seek the life of the upright ones. Fools give vent to their anger but the wise ones hold back quietly.

Hope and knowledge (Prov 13:12-13:19)

“Hope deferred

Makes the heart sick.

But a desire fulfilled

Is a tree of life.

Whoever despises the word

Brings destruction on themselves.

But whoever respects the commandment

Will be rewarded.

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.

Thus one may avoid the snares of death.

Good sense wins favor.

But the way of the faithless is their ruin.

The clever do all things intelligently.

But the fool displays folly.

A bad messenger brings trouble.

But a faithful envoy brings healing.

Poverty and disgrace come to

Whoever ignores instruction.

But whoever heeds reproof is honored.

A desire realized

Is sweet to the soul.

But to turn away from evil

Is an abomination to fools.”

When hope is deferred, it brings on sickness. However, when a desire is fulfilled, the tree of life grows more. If you despise the word or commandment of God, you will bring on your own destruction. If you respect the commandments, then you will be rewarded. Listen to the teachings of the wise ones because they are fountain of life to help you avoid the snares of death. Good sense will win you favors, while the faithless way leads to ruin. The clever smart ones do everything intelligently, while the fools tend to be foolish. It is better to be a good messenger than a bad messenger because that will bring healing to people. If you ignore instruction, you will end up poor and in disgrace. If you follow instructions, you will be honored. Realizing your dreams and hopes is sweet. The problem is that the evil ones have a hard time turning away from evil since they are so attracted to it.

The call to God for help (Ps 108:10-108:13)

“Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?

Have you not rejected us?

O God!

You do not go out

With our armies.

O God!

O grant us help

Against the foe!

Human help is worthless.

With God

We shall do valiantly.

It is he who will tread down our foes.”

This psalm ends with an almost word for word repeat of Psalm 60. There is a call to God to continue to help them in their battles. David realized that he could not succeed without God’s help, especially against fortified cities and Edom. If God did not go out with their armies, they would not win because human help was worthless. With God, they would fight valiantly so that they could smash their foes.

The call to God for help (Ps 60:9-60:12)

“Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?

Have you not rejected us?

O God!

You do not go out

With our armies!

O God!

O grant us help against the foe!

Human help is worthless!

With God

We shall do valiantly.

It is he

Who will tread down our foes.”

This psalm ends with a call to God for help to continue their battles. They realized that they could not succeed without God’s help, especially against fortified cities and Edom. If God does not go out with their armies, they will not win because human help was worthless. With God, they will fight valiantly so that they can smash their foes.

Holofernes wants Achior sent away (Jdt 6:5-6:9)

“As for you, Achior,

You Ammonite mercenary,

You have said these words in a moment of perversity.

You shall not see my face again from this day

Until I take revenge on this race that came out of Egypt.

Then at my return,

The sword of my army

And the spear of my servants shall pierce your sides.

You shall fall among their wounded.

Now my slaves are going to take you back into the hill country.

They are going to put you in one of the towns beside the passes.

You will not die until you perish along with them.

If you really hope in your heart that they will not be taken,

Then do not look downcast!

I have spoken.

None of my words shall fail to come true.”

Then Holofernes turned back to Achior. He would never see his face again. After he had defeated the Israelites from Egypt, then he would pierce his sides. In the meantime, he was going to be put him into a town in the hill country between the mountain passes. If he wanted to live, he should hope that the Israelites win. Once again Holofernes was insistent that his words would come true.