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2002 11 11
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Chapter 47


1 After him came NATHAN who served in the presence of David.


Like the choice fat of the sacred offerings, so was DAVID in Israel.


He made sport of lions as though they were kids, and of bears, like lambs of the flock.


As a youth he slew the giant and wiped out the people's disgrace, When his hand let fly the slingstone that crushed the pride of Goliath.


Since he called upon the Most High God, who gave strength to his right arm To defeat the skilled warrior and raise up the might of his people,


Therefore the women sang his praises and ascribed to him tens of thousands. When he assumed the royal crown, he battled


and subdued the enemy on every side. He destroyed the hostile Philistines and shattered their power till our own day.


With his every deed he offered thanks to God Most High, in words of praise. With his whole being he loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung;


He added beauty to the feasts and solemnized the seasons of each year With string music before the altar, providing sweet melody for the psalms


So that when the Holy Name was praised, before daybreak the sanctuary would resound.


The LORD forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever; He conferred on him the rights of royalty and established his throne in Israel.


2 Because of his merits he had as his successor a wise son, who lived in security:


SOLOMON reigned during an era of peace, for God made tranquil all his borders. He built a house to the name of God, and established a lasting sanctuary.


How wise you were when you were young, overflowing with instruction, like the Nile in flood!


Your understanding covered the whole earth, and, like a sea, filled it with knowledge.


Your fame reached distant coasts, and their peoples came to hear you;


With song and story and riddle, and with your answers, you astounded the nations.


3 You were called by that glorious name which was conferred upon Israel. Gold you gathered like so much iron, you heaped up silver as though it were lead;


But you abandoned yourself to women and gave them dominion over your body.


You brought dishonor upon your reputation, shame upon your marriage, Wrath upon your descendants, and groaning upon your domain;


Thus two governments came into being, when in Ephraim kingship was usurped.


But God does not withdraw his mercy, nor permit even one of his promises to fail. He does not uproot the posterity of his chosen one, nor destroy the offspring of his friend. So he gave to Jacob a remnant, to David a root from his own family.


4 Solomon finally slept with his fathers, and left behind him one of his sons, Expansive in folly, limited in sense, REHOBOAM, who by his policy made the people rebel; Until one arose who should not be remembered, the sinner who led Israel into sin, Who brought ruin to Ephraim


and caused them to be exiled from their land. Their sinfulness grew more and more,


5 and they lent themselves to every evil,



1 [1-11] David, a youthful and fearless warrior, the favorite of all Israel, by defeating Goliath, the boastful Philistine giant, removed the people's disgrace and greatly strengthened their power ( Sirach 47:1-7). With his whole being he loved and praised God, and his devotion to divine worship led him to develop a liturgical cult. David fell into sin, but repenting, received pardon from God and the promise of an everlasting kingdom ( Sirach 47:8-11).

2 [12-24] Solomon, son and successor of David, inherited peace through his father's conquests. He built the magnificent temple of Jerusalem ( Sirach 47:12-13) and received from God the favor of unparalleled wisdom, through which he obtained great fame ( Sirach 47:14-17). Luxury and sensuality, however, brought disgrace upon him, and because of his oppressive burdens, he disposed the kingdom for division after his death ( Sirach 47:19-21, 23-24). Nevertheless God did not withdraw his promise of establishing his throne in the descendants of David ( Sirach 47:22).

3 [18] Cf 2 Sam 12:25 where Solomon is called Jedidiah, "beloved of the Lord." The same term is used of Israel in Jeremiah 11:15.

4 [23] Expansive: the name Rehoboam means "the people is expansive," that is, widespread. The sinner: Jeroboam; cf 1 Kings 12:2, 20, 26-32.

5 [ 47:25- 48:11] The prophetic ministry of Elijah amid widespread idolatry is here described as a judgment by fire ( Sirach 47:25-26). Through his preaching, miracles and vengeance against God's enemies within and without Israel, the prophet succeeded for a time in destroying idols and in restoring faith and the worship of the true God ( Sirach 48:2-8). His miraculous departure from this life gave rise to the belief that he did not die but would return before the end of the world to put an end to wrath and restore the tribes of Israel ( Sirach 48:9-11). Cf Matthew 17:9-13.

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