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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 3


"LORD Almighty, God of Israel, afflicted souls and dismayed spirits call to you.


Hear, O LORD, for you are a God of mercy; and have mercy on us, who have sinned against you:


for you are enthroned forever, while we are perishing forever.


LORD Almighty, God of Israel, hear the prayer of Israel's few, the sons of those who sinned against you; they did not heed the voice of the LORD, their God, and the evils cling to us.


Remember at this time not the misdeeds of our fathers, but your own hand and name:


for you are the LORD our God; and you, O LORD, we will praise!


For this, you put into our hearts the fear of you: that we may call upon your name, and praise you in our captivity, when we have removed from our hearts all the wickedness of our fathers who sinned against you.


Behold us today in our captivity, where you scattered us, a reproach, a curse, and a requital for all the misdeeds of our fathers, who withdrew from the LORD, our God."


Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life: listen, and know prudence!


How is it, Israel, that you are in the land of your foes, grown old in a foreign land, Defiled with the dead,


accounted with those destined for the nether world?


You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!


Had you walked in the way of God, you would have dwelt in enduring peace.


Learn where prudence is, where strength, where understanding; That you may know also where are length of days, and life, where light of the eyes, and peace.


Who has found the place of wisdom, who has entered into her treasuries?


Where are the rulers of the nations, they who lorded it over the wild beasts of the earth,


and made sport of the birds of the heavens: They who heaped up the silver and the gold in which men trust; of whose possessions there was no end?


They schemed anxiously for money, but there is no trace of their work:


They have vanished down into the nether world, and others have risen up in their stead.


Later generations have seen the light, have dwelt in the land, But the way to understanding they have not known,


they have not perceived her paths, or reached her; their offspring were far from the way to her.


1 She has not been heard of in Canaan, nor seen in Teman.


The sons of Hagar who seek knowledge on earth, the merchants of Midian and Teman, the phrasemakers seeking knowledge, These have not known the way to wisdom, nor have they her paths in mind.


2 O Israel, how vast is the house of God, how broad the scope of his dominion:


Vast and endless, high and immeasurable!


In it were born the giants, renowned at the first, stalwarts, skilled in war.


Not these did God choose, nor did he give them the way of understanding;


They perished for lack of prudence, perished through their folly.


Who has gone up to the heavens and taken her, or brought her down from the clouds?


Who has crossed the sea and found her, bearing her away rather than choice gold?


None knows the way to her, nor has any understood her paths.


Yet he who knows all things knows her; he has probed her by his knowledge -  He who established the earth for all time, and filled it with four-footed beasts;


He who dismisses the light, and it departs, calls it, and it obeys him trembling;


Before whom the stars at their posts shine and rejoice;


When he calls them, they answer, "Here we are!" shining with joy for their Maker.


Such is our God; no other is to be compared to him:


He has traced out all the way of understanding, and has given her to Jacob, his servant, to Israel, his beloved son.


Since then she has appeared on earth, and moved among men.



1 [22-23] Despite the renown for wisdom of the peoples of Canaan or Phoenicia ( Ezekiel 28:3-4), of Teman ( Jeremiah 49:7), of the sons of Hagar or the Arabians, they did not possess true wisdom, which is found only in the law of God.

2 [24] The house of God: here, the created universe.

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